Flat tops Wilderness, Colorado
One of the most satisfying things on a backpacking trip is hindsight, when you can look back over the miles you've covered and say, "Damn, I just walked through that!" This image is especially fun for me because it not only shows the valley we had spend the last day moving through, but also where we camped the previous night (the little patch of trees just right of center on the near side of the lake). With this kind of view it's easy to imagine yourself within the landscape, tramping or camping, as a component rather than just an observer. That, ultimately, is the biggest reward of backpacking: the reminder that yes, you are part of a natural system much larger than yourself, and that yes, you do belong.
Coloradoadventureflat topsmountainsnaturepublic landrocky mountainswilderness