Saturday, September 10, 2016

Fall Foliage 2016: Three Ideas for an Autumnal Excursion

(Taken 8/24/16 in Estes Park, CO)

(Source: News KOAA 5, Sept. 2016)

Ah, the feel of Autumn.
That refreshing touch of crisp, cool air that waffs gently against your face.
You close your eyes, and sense the sudden urge for a pumpkin latte and a roadtrip.

So, here are three ideas for fall leaf-viewing excursions:


(J. Foster, 2011)
(J. Foster, 2011)

There's a reason this is the most photographed view in Colorado....
Simply put: It's just honestly an incredible panoramic view. Evergreen trees mixed in with multi-hued aspens, situated beneath Maroon Peak and North Maroon Peak...and then throw in a mountain lake....and nicely lined photographic isn't hard to see why people flock to this area especially during the peak of autumn.

Details: Because of the popularity/traffic/parking issues there are some restrictions in place. Check the Aspen Chamber website for more details on how to drive your car or take bus (from Aspen or Snowmass).

 Lodging: There is lodging in Aspen, Carbondale, Glenwood Springs (and some other places nearby as well). Also, there are some commercial and not commercial hot springs around. 

(J. Foster, 2012)

(J. Foster, 2012)
The Boreas Pass road takes you from hwy 285, up and over the continental divide, and into Breckenridge, CO.

As you enjoy the colorful leaves, you can also revel in the history that surrounds you.
You will be driving where many of the Colorado gold miner's once travelled on their way to and from South Park.
The road was later used for the railroad but the tracks have since been taken up.

Details: Look for the sign that says Boreas Pass, near the town of Como... once you pass Fairplay off of Highway 285.

Lodging: Breckenridge has many lodging, shopping, and dining destinations. The downtown area runs along a scenic river. Check out the Breckenridge Welcome Center that hosts a nice history exhibit. The town of Frisco and Lake Dillon are also nearby.


(J. Foster, 2015)
One of my favorite places to visit in September is Rocky Mountain National Park. Besides being able to see colorful aspen groves sprinkled among the evergreens, it is also mating season for the hundreds of elk in the park. It is an interesting phenomenon to listen to the elk bugling, trying to attract mates. Then to watch as bull elk battle each other for dominance over various harems.

Note: Weekends in September can be even busier than summer days at the park. Please consider taking the shuttle when possible. Also, please be considerate of the wildlife. As you view them, be sure to not get too close and be careful to not interfere with what they are doing or where they are wanting to go.

(August 2016)

Things to do: Besides viewing the aspen trees, listening to and watching the elk, there are many trails you can hike within the park. Today's featured hike: Alberta Falls. About a 3 mile roundtrip hike to a lovely rushing waterfall.

(August 2016)
Lodging: There are many, many hotels and lodges in Estes Park. Along with plenty of shops and restaurants.

Peak to Peak Highway: For even more scenic, fall foliage photos...consider driving from Blackhawk to Estes Park along the Peak to Peak Highway. Click here for more details.

For more ideas, click here and here.