Colorado Fall Colors - When, Where & How to See the Best of Colorado Aspen Trees
When the cool, crisp air of fall hits, the mountains of Colorado call. Colorado Fall Colors are spectacular to view but there's a few things you should know before you head on out to see them in all their glory. These orange, red, yellow, explosions of color you can see all around the Colorado Rockies are shouted out from the gorgeous Aspen Trees. Read on to learn more about how you can make the most of the time you and and see all the best of Colorado's Fall Colors.
Check out 'Wilson Vibes' in Joe Garza's full collection of Colorado Fall Colors!
2023 Colorado Fall Colors Forecast
The Farmer's Almanac is predicting a later peak for fall colors this year in Colorado with the most vibrant colors hitting October 5-14. Early predictions based on summer weather indicate some areas may see fall colors late in September. Here's the forecast:
- Northern mountains and I-70 area will likely hit mid to late-September.
- Central mountain ranges including areas of the San Juan Mountains and the Gore range will light up end of September to early October.
- Southern mountains including areas of the San Juans, Sangre de Cristo Range and Laramie Mountains will sparkle most brightly early to mid-October.
Colorado Fall Color Photography Workshop
If you're looking to photograph some of the best fall scenes in Colorado, don't miss joining Joe Garza Photography and Light Chasing Photo Tours on their Colorado Fall Color Photography Workshop. It's always an epic adventure where you'll be brought right to the best scenes in Colorado and receive professional instruction on composition, camera settings, and techniques. Every skill level and all photography equipment welcome! It's always an incredible adventure with minimal hiking and loads of laughs as you connect with others looking to chase the light legendary Colorado fall colors with stunning mountain views!
Best Time to View
The changes in the colors from green to shades of gold, orange, and red can happen almost overnight. The color changes when the leaves stop photosynthesis which fades the green chlorophyll and allows you to see all the other colors that have been hidden until this time.
Colorado's peak colors start about September 15th for the northern Colorado mountains and for the southern mountains peak will hit about the first week of October.
Best Drives to See Colorado Fall Colors
The best way to see the most fall colors is to hit the road. Drives all over Colorado will bring you to spectacular sites. Here's a few of the best and some of my favorites.
Trail Ridge Road
In northern Colorado, Trail Ridge Road winds through Rocky Mountain National Park for about 48 miles. You'll gain about 4,000 feet in a matter of minutes and notice the views and the temperature change rapidly. Definitely a ride to enjoy in many ways.
In Central Colorado check out Independence Pass. This 36 mile route is near camping and will take you up to 12,095 feet. Cutting near Aspen means a must stop at Maroon Bells. Maroon Bells are two peaks in the Elk Mountains with an elevation of 14,163 feet.
Highway of Legends
In southern Colorado you don't want to miss the Highway of Legends. Take Highway 12 to LaVeta where you can a ride on the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad, and land in Alamosa. Nothing to do but sit back on the train and catch colors you wouldn't be able to see by car!
Last Dollar Road
This narrow, bumpy dirt road is the perfect road for the adventurer. Last Dollar Road runs between Telluride and Ridgeway. Don't miss the Orvis Hot Springs in Ridgeway. There's plenty of camping on this drive so no worries about finding a place to park for the night, if needed.
Check out Joe Garza's full collection of Colorado Fall Colors!
Million Dollar Highway
For the ultimate Fall Color Drive in Colorado, you take the 236 mile drive on the San Juan Skyway that winds through Durango, Delores, Telluride, Ridgeway, Ouray, and Silverton. It's a spectacular drive through the San Juan Mountains that's well worth it if you have the time. If you don't have time for the whole drive, just hit the Million Dollar Highway for the absolute best views of Colorado's Fall Colors. This climbs up Coal Bank Pass, Molas Pass, and Red Mountain Pass and most of this road has no guardrails, shoulders so take your bubble gum and caffeine to make sure you stay awake and alert!
Of course, you can always enjoy the stunning colors of Colorado's fall colors from your home by putting one of Joe Garza's amazing images up in your home or business!
Don't miss Joe Garza's full collection of Colorado Fall Colors!