Welcome to fall, America’s favorite season! While Colorado is a state known for its glorious outdoor beauty, it is often overlooked as a spot for seeing fall colors. At South Denver Cardiology, your Colorado Heart specialists, we want all out patients to celebrate their health and what better way is there than taking in our Colorado fall foliage. While New England’s legendary autumns are more famous, Colorado fall is just as beautiful. What better way to experience the beauty of the season than with scenic fall drives. Here are some of the best spots to visit and some tips for the best drive:
- When to go: Most of Colorado’s leaves reach their peak color around the fourth week of September. In Southern Colorado, the leaves hang on longer and can be seen up until the second or even third week of October. On the other hand, in Steamboat and nearby mountain towns, the best time to see the leaves is in mid-September. In general, there are three weeks of prime fall colors in Colorado, stretching between the last week of September and the first two weeks of October.
- For photographers: Kebler Pass in Gunnison, Colorado has the largest aspen grove in North America and is known for its stunning photo opportunities. Be aware that the pass is unpaved, though, and drive slowly and safely.
- For hikers: Maroon Bells near Snowmass, Colorado is a favorite hiking spot and an excellent place to see fall foliage. Accessible by both bus (on weekends) and car, catch a glimpse of some beautiful turning trees on the way up and then explore one of the area’s numerous hiking trails once you’re there.
- Colorado’s oldest: the Peak to Peak Scenic and Historic Byway is the oldest route, established in 1918. The 60 mile route is relatively short, but the views are incredible and there are many great places to stop.
- Free gondola ride: Telluride offers a free gondola ride to its visitors. Enjoy the amazing leaves while driving there, and then get a different view from the gondola and enjoy the historic town’s charm and beauty.
- Road to the Sky: The San Juan Skyway is a 236 mile loop through Southwest Colorado. The views are often breathtaking, and because of the loop’s Southern location in the state, the leaves should stay up for longer. In addition, check out the special photo train offered by the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad during this time of year as well as the many zip lining opportunities in the area.
- Head North: Start in Fort Collins and head to the North Park to see not only beautiful fall colors but also wildlife! Deer, elk, and moose all roam the park and can be seen at this time of year around the Cache la Poudre River.
- Stay Nearby: Even close by Denver and Boulder have great fall foliage! A neighborhood drive or park walk through some of the historic parts of these great towns while offer a charming and nearby fall drive through some of the state’s favorite cities.