(COLORADO) — Colorado’s landscape is quickly becoming vibrant with fall colors as trees continue to reach their peak colors for the season. While you may still be planning that leaf peeping trip, your time to see the fall colors is running out.
This weekend (Oct. 8-Oct. 9), will be the best time to explore the fall colors in the high country in Southwest Colorado, as northern parts of the state have already reached their brightest colors.
Through Sunday, Oct. 9, leaf peepers can see gorgeous views in the San Juan Skyway, as the southern mountains in Colorado will reach their peak fall foliage around Oct. 10. Areas near Pagosa Springs and Durango will be a few days behind, and will see their brightest colors through around Oct. 17. Telluride and Ouray are also seeing colors reach their peak through Oct. 16.
Other areas of the state that will also see peak fall colors through Oct. 16 include, Salida, Buena Vista, Cottonwood Pass, and the Collegiate Peaks, where beautiful views of Aspen trees line the mountain drive.
If you’re wanting to explore a bit closer to the Pikes Peak Region, it’s going to be gorgeous driving through Teller and Park Counties. A fun option to soak up the colors is driving on Gold Camp Road, which takes drivers through Colorado Springs to Victor.
Cripple Creek will be at its peak fall color season through Oct. 10, and Woodland Park will be just behind that, reaching its peak colors around Oct. 14-17.
The beneficial monsoon moisture we saw over the summer typically leads to a later change in fall colors for lower elevations. That’s why it’s taking a bit longer this year for areas outside the mountains to reach their peak.
During drier summers, changes start in the high country closer to the middle of September. This year, we saw a later start with colors peaking at the end of the month and into early October.