Good Colorado Adventure: See the 2012 Changing of the Aspens

2012 September 11
by David Schlichter
Changing of the Aspens The Good Life Denver

The aspens changing colors at Rocky Mountain National Park in 2011

Seeing the changing of the Colorado aspens is a must-do.  As I wrote last year around this time, “There are few more picturesque times of the year in Colorado than the early fall as the aspen leaves change colors.  Bold bursts of yellow and gold erupt amidst brown and green backdrops to create stunning, euphoric views.  But the moment doesn’t last long–after only a week or two the leaves are on the ground, the cold begins to set in, and snow is soon to follow.”

Well, my friends, that time has arrived again.  I camped on and climbed Mt. Elbert over Labor Day weekend (two weekends ago), and the aspens there were just starting to change colors–a couple weeks from their peak.   Now, photos are streaming in from Crested Butte, Vail, Steamboat, Keystone, Breckenridge, and other mountain towns demonstrating that the next two weeks are going to be the best time to go to the mountains to see the beautiful fall Colorado colors.

Fox31 posted their predictions for peak fall color dates for the northern, central, and southern thirds of Colorado, and they predict the fall colors in the central third of Colorado will peak September 19th-26th.  I’m no meteorologist or arborist, but judging from what I saw over Labor Day weekend and the photos I’m seeing from the ski resorts, I’d recommend getting out to the mountains sooner rather than later.  There are already magnificent views to be seen!

If you are looking for the best places in Colorado to view the changing of the aspens, lots of people have their own spots they like to keep secret.  Nonetheless, here’s a list of 22 Good places to view the fall colors.  Also, the Colorado Tourism Office put out a very Good aspen viewing guide, and the Sacramento Bee has a Good article with 10 different ways to experience Colorado’s fall colors (on horseback, by train, on bicycle, etc.).  If you’re a photographer, professional photographer Jeff Jessing offers a 5 day photography tour of Colorado’s fall colors around Durango, Ouray, and Telluride, and it looks incredible.  Check out his site to get more information, or if you’d just like to look through some stunning photos of autumn in Colorado.

Last year I quoted Edward Abbey to close out the article, and this year I’ll do the same: “It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it.  While you can.  While it’s still here.  So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space…

The Good Life Denver is written by David Schlichter.  To stay in the loop, like The Good Life Denver on Facebook and follow @thegoodlifeden on Twitter!

In addition to writing for The Good Life Denver, David works full-time as a Denver real estate agent.  David helps his clients (ranging from first-time home buyers, to sellers, to seasoned investors) achieve their real estate goals.  Contact him today for all of your Colorado real estate needs.

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