Emerson said in “On Nature”:
To the attentive eye, each moment of the year has its own beauty, and in the same field, it beholds, every hour, a picture which was never seen before, and which shall never be seen again.
Enjoy this season of the year, and marvel at the beauty of Colorado’s seasons with our Four favorite drives and hikes in Colorado’s Fall from our own Colorado Native and writer, Tiffanie!
The Aspens’ leaves are changing, and the beauty is sublime, to say the least. This sublimity is exaggerated when one thinks of the interconnected nature of all of those gorgeous trees. The Aspen grove in Aspen is one of the largest organism in the world – though, it is thought Utah might have the biggest grove.
The Maroon Bells are one of the most photographed – and photographic – mountains in country. A four-hour drive from Denver, now is the time of year that makes it truly worth it. You’ll need to make your way to Aspen, and from there, to access the Maroon Peak, you’ll need to either arrive before 8AM or after 5PM or take the bus. More information on bus travel and fees is linked below. As for the hiking, there are a couple of options including a 1-mile round trip or about 3 miles one-way hike. Whatever you’re up for, this area has it.
You’ll need details on the specifics of accessing Maroon Bells, including cost for driving or busing to the area. So don’t go unprepared.
Guanella Pass offers numerous advantages. The grove is not as large as in Aspen, Colorado, but its beauty is not to be ignored. Head West on I-70 to Georgetown, enjoy some lunch or tea at the quaint stores and restaurants there, and then head on up the mountain. You’ll get to see Mt. Bierstadt – one of the easier Fourteeners to hike, (something we will have an article on here soon), and you’ll view the spectacular mountain range. If you feel like ending in Georgetown – a historic city, take 285 South to Grant where you will find a right turn labeled “Guanella Pass”. Trek this way to end at a wonderful
Drive slow and don’t camp on the side of the road!
On your way home down 285, stop at Kenosha cafe, or some of the local restaurants on the side of the highway.
Want to know more about the history?
Want more fourteeners before the nice weather has went into hibernation? Numerous 14,000ft peaks surround Buena Visita, and afford you the perfect opportunity to see the Aspens and lose your breathe. If you’re like me, and don’t wish to huff and puff your way to a beautiful view, take the drive on Cottonwood Pass. And afterwards? Relax in the Cottonwood Hot Springs.
View more on Cottonwood Pass: Here.
Boulder is a lot more than the home of the Best University in the Country – no, we don’t have a Buff, here. Take the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway to view all the beauty that is Nederland. It’s the one every one loves, and its beauty is nothing to brush off.
If you want the secret – the best place to go is up Flagstaff Road. Baseline turns into Flagstaff. Take a left on Gross Dam Rd, and you can follow that on a nice loop pass the reservoir, up to Coal Creek Canyon Rd. Go to Hwy 119, take a left, then make your way to Gap Rd and take a left. Wonder down this road through Golden Gate State Park. It’s mostly dirt, but the views are worth it!
Learn more about Nederland: Here.
SOME FRIENDLY REMINDERS FOR DRIVERS:
This is supposed to be a relaxing adventure, don’t speed, enjoy your time, and don’t be reckless. A lot of these roads are dirt or places of residence for some people. Have gas, drive slow on dirt roads, and be happy. Tis the season to enjoy nature.
Keep a level head, and remember – road rage only ruins your time! Ignore those drivers who are not driving safe, and relish in the beauty of Colorado.
SOME FRIENDLY REMINDERS FOR HIKERS:
Bring water, SUNSCREEN – you’ll be at high elevations and no one wants skin cancer or dehydration. Bring your pups, but check out the local areas restrictions on animals before doing so. Maroon Bells will even bus your dog to the top, but keep them on a leash, and make sure you have tags on them.
Don’t go off the trails. Everyone says this, but so few listen. Colorado is a mecca of natural beauty. Your hedonistic desire to see something off the beaten trail does not entitle you to ruin it for future generations. Eco-systems are sensitive, so be careful and STAY ON THE TRAILS!