The Top Colorado Destinations for Fall Leaf Peeping

Calling all fall color fanatics!

Photo by Wisanu Boonrawd

Jeepers, peepers. From mid-September, Coloradans head for the hills, seeking that fall-foliage holy grail, peak color. While climate vagaries determine the season’s length and brilliance, it’s the predictable lengthening of nights as winter approaches, triggering a decrease in chlorophyll, that unveils trees’ true colors. And Colorado’s mountain passes set the gold standard, as swaths of aspens— which grow in families sharing a single root system—light up simultaneously in breathtaking shades from eyepopping chrome yellow through deep red.

Destinations to fall for: Aspen’s Maroon Bells—a leaf peepers’ paradise (requires a reservation); photographer John Fielder fave Kebler Pass, home to North America’s largest aspen grove; or the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway, a fall-color classic since 1918.

Dates: The Old Farmer’s Almanac predicts October 5-14 but check local news for real-time updates and foliage maps.

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