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Fall colors in Colorado

Discussion in 'The Rockies – It's all downhill from here...' started by AK2ID, Aug 11, 2019.

  1. AK2ID

    AK2ID Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2014
    Oddometer:
    309
    Location:
    Salmon, Idaho
    I am looking forward to this trip to see the Colorado high country fall colors.

    I am also conditioning my thinking to be respectful of and humble to the Colorado high mountain weather in the fall. I will be prepared to stop and hunker-down, turn around, or not go if weather gets too sporty.

    Thanks for all of the comments.
    #21
    ridesmoothfast and Cuchulainn like this.
  2. oldmanb777

    oldmanb777 Just say NO to socialism! It's a bad drug!

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
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    8,800
    Location:
    Peoples republic of Kalifornia, East...Kolarado
    I notice this morning that there are some leaves that look yellow-ing on some of my trees here in the city. Maybe they are just sick, or old, but its getting that time of year.
    #22
  3. nwcolorider

    nwcolorider NWCOLO

    Joined:
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    7,286
    Location:
    NW Colo and SW Wyoming!
    Got some color in my cottonwoods along the creek. Love Sept, weather is cooler. Mountains are not as crowded, can go ride the mountains or out to the high desert! Yesterday it was 41˚ at 5:30 am! Today bit warmer at 46˚
    #23
  4. oldmanb777

    oldmanb777 Just say NO to socialism! It's a bad drug!

    Joined:
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    Peoples republic of Kalifornia, East...Kolarado
    ^^^^^^^^^^ Yep,,,,,,AND its hunting season...……...:clap
    #24
  5. ridesmoothfast

    ridesmoothfast Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2014
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    CO
    I'm also planning on doing a good 5 day trip with my pops to see the color the last week of Sep. Mainly towards the North Central part of the state and into the Snowy range of Wyoming, including the Medicine Bow. I spent about 12+ solid hrs looking at routes and got it nailed down to about 600mi dirt and 150 or so miles pavement through nothing but Aspen patch after Aspen Patch after Aspen Patch. Cannot wait.
    #25
    oldmanb777 likes this.
  6. ridesmoothfast

    ridesmoothfast Long timer Supporter

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    Jan 1, 2014
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    CO
    30 degrees this morning in Tabernash. Its been in the low 30's all week every morning. The willows are just starting to get the slightest bit of color change to them. Will be in the park next weekend with some family, fingers crossed we'll catch the early rut.
    #26
  7. Mala Suerte

    Mala Suerte Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    445
    Location:
    Fruita, CO
    I know the feeling. I've planned a fall colors ride for the last few years and something (usually kid's activities) come up and can't get it done.

    We have been in the 100s recently, which is not the norm. So the trees look more heat withered than changing colors.
    #27
  8. ridesmoothfast

    ridesmoothfast Long timer Supporter

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    A few patches are starting to turn higher up. Near Mt. Elbert, east side of Independence Pass.

    20190901_155014.jpg

    They are also starting to pop here in Grand County.
    #28
  9. AK2ID

    AK2ID Been here awhile

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    Apr 17, 2014
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    Location:
    Salmon, Idaho
    I rode through Yellowstone yesterday and the grasses are gold and willows are just starting to show color. I left Jackson at 0630 and I hit 34 degrees a couple times. With freezing temps any day now the colors will soon follow.
    #29
  10. jnclem

    jnclem True Airhead

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2012
    Oddometer:
    769
    Location:
    Gunnison, CO.
    Sounds like you will be in the ballpark as far as timing goes with the end of September, but so much depends on elevation, aspect, and what part of the state you are in. In the Gunnison Basin, peak is usually the 3rd or 4th week of September. When we lived in Durango, it was more like the 2nd or 3rd week of October. Even just over the hill down around Paonia and Hotchkiss, they are 2000’ lower and the colors change later. If you are coming through Aspen, they are always warmer than we are, and Colorado Springs turns much later than we do.

    All that said, it was a wet year early, but has been very dry now since early July. The monsoon has been non-existent, and we have been have mid-summer temperatures. This is a very hard year to predict.
    #30
  11. ridesmoothfast

    ridesmoothfast Long timer Supporter

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    Largest patch I've seen so far. Cottonwood Pass, Grand County.

    20190905_140702.jpg

    Grand Lake is also in the early stages of turning.
    #31
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  12. oldmanb777

    oldmanb777 Just say NO to socialism! It's a bad drug!

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    Wish we could get up there. Taking care of MIL, so all life is on hold.
    #32
    ridesmoothfast likes this.
  13. randingo

    randingo Voted "Class Lounger"

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    The dog house
    Went over Guanella Pass today and some of the aspens were just starting to turn at about 10,000 ft
    #33
    katbeanz likes this.
  14. oldmanb777

    oldmanb777 Just say NO to socialism! It's a bad drug!

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
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    Location:
    Peoples republic of Kalifornia, East...Kolarado
    I was in Grand Lake yesterday. Just starting to get the first color. Had to come back in a hurry. MIL passed in the afternoon. But the aspen are just barely starting. The oak brush in places is just a hint of color. Probably 2 weeks for the beginning of the good color.
    #34
  15. AK2ID

    AK2ID Been here awhile

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    Salmon, Idaho
    Any fall color updates from the Colorado mountain riders?

    I am traveling through central Oregon and south central Idaho. The colors are just starting but it is feeling very fall like.
    #35
  16. randingo

    randingo Voted "Class Lounger"

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    The dog house
    Went over Cottonwood Pass and Kebler Pass yesterday and there were some Aspens starting to turn around 10,000 ft, but not much. I think most of the mountains will be lit up in about 1 1/2 to 2 weeks
    #36
  17. patrkbukly

    patrkbukly Life at 10,000 feet Supporter

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    Fairplay, CO
    I did Weston pass and Boreas route over to Breck from como last few days and we are getting large blocks of yellow here and there and a few gold and orange already.
    #37
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  18. MountainsandRivers

    MountainsandRivers loves dirty things! Supporter

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    We are starting in the San Juan's. Seemed like a pretty slow start this year
    #38
  19. RustySpokes

    RustySpokes Ordinary average guy Supporter

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    Between here and there.
    Last weekend Cumbres and La Manga Passes had just a few aspens showing the first signs of color.
    #39
  20. AK2ID

    AK2ID Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2014
    Oddometer:
    309
    Location:
    Salmon, Idaho
    Thanks for the local intel.

    I am looking into my crystal-ball to get an idea for the weather for the next couple weeks. Unless regional conditions turn cold and stormy, I am planning to leave central Idaho on Tuesday. This will put me in Colorado for the last week of Sept. My rough route is to come in through Grand Junction, through Aspen, Buena Vista and on to the Springs. I will spend a day with friends. Then I will turn west and south to Durango (this segment is currently undefined). Then I will cross west into southern Utan, through the parks to Cedar City. Then north back to Idaho. I will humbly adjust my plans or "hole-up" if weather conditions make road conditions dangerous.

    Thanks in advance for any additional real-time condition reports (colors and weather).

    See you on the trail. I will be the guy on the Imperial Blue 1200 GS (BMW color...See K1600 Grand America).
    #40