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:
    167
    Location:
    Salmon, Idaho
    Peeper update 9/29... (a few days late)

    Went over Red Mtn Pass. The nicest colors so far. Both sides have good color accentuating a fantastic mountain setting. The weather was cold, wet and windy the whole trip from Montrose to Durango. Arghhh. It snowed , gorpple to be specific, over the top. I stopped to turn up my heated jacket. The spot was in the Aspen trees. I forgot how pretty the Aspen forest is with the gold leaf carpet. I thought I was pretty tough pushing on in the cold until another guy came down off the pass on a Harley, no helmet, no gloves. He waved and smiled as he passed. A strong old rocker.

    Over the last couple days I continued west across southern Utah. The section from Torrey to Escalante was quite colorful.

    I am turning north tomorrow from Cedar City back to ID. I am executing my contingency plan mentioned earlier, to put the bike in a uHaul. It is forecast to be snowing back home. 452E241D-75A7-42E9-817A-DE62DD6223F6.jpeg A6D661A4-DA94-4A80-87CC-A43706790504.jpeg 55C2B9B0-7FE5-4532-9F13-54FF0CE3A500.jpeg Oh well. The ride was fun.
    #81
    Pariahtize, bmon, HanzoSteel and 3 others like this.
  2. timeOday

    timeOday Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,855
    Location:
    New Mexico
    Smart man. I once dropped a bike in the snow commuting to work, I was so close, how could I turn back now? That bike never tracked straight again after that.
    #82
  3. AK2ID

    AK2ID Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2014
    Oddometer:
    167
    Location:
    Salmon, Idaho
    There is a mountaineering term called “summit fixation” where mountain climbers dismiss or fail to accept dangerous conditions. They slog on and then get caught in a bad situation. This contributes to many mountain top deaths.

    I will be a bit disappointed if it is warm and sunny in Salmon as I get home in a few days. I will be safe though. (And my bike will still track straight).
    #83
  4. Blakebird

    Blakebird r-u-n-n-o-f-t

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2004
    Oddometer:
    27,654
    Location:
    Parker, CO
    Just got back from six days on the 1290... on the way out to the coast I checked out Cottonwood Pass to see the new pavement, and see how the trees were coming along.
    A little early (a week ago) for big blazes of color...

    Coming back today, Vail was very nice - lots of color, and still a bunch more trees to go.
    I rode from Tropic this morning, close to the 'Bryce end' of UT12 - coming over the mtn from Boulder to Torrey, there was some good color on that drive.
    ...might have a picture or two to download

    It was beautiful all the way over the passes today, warm and not a cloud in the sky....until I hit the US40 turnoff.
    Then a big wall of white. Temperature dropped 20 d and it got nastier the further downhill I went :lol2
    #84
  5. HanzoSteel

    HanzoSteel n00bish

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2012
    Oddometer:
    3,485
    Location:
    Fletcher, Co.
    Peak to Peak with a group from work last Saturday

    20190928_110531.jpg

    20190928_121716.jpg


    And a goat from Guanella Pass

    20190928_161946.jpg
    #85
    bmon and Assfault like this.
  6. Omi

    Omi Out of step

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    Oddometer:
    6,300
    Location:
    Durango, Co
    Found this today.

    Updated: Oct 1, 2019, courtesy San Juan National Forest
    Estimated Percentage of Current Fall Foliage:
    Durango to Purgatory: ~15-20%
    Purgatory to Coal Bank: ~30-50%
    Coal Bank to Molas Pass: ~50-60%
    Molas Pass to Silverton: ~80%
    Silverton to Red Mtn Pass: ~80%
    Red Mtn Pass to Ouray: ~80%
    Ouray to Telluride (Dallas Divide): ~40%
    Dolores to Rico: ~40% with some sections at 60-75% south of Rico; gorgeous scrub oak north of Dolores
    Rico to Telluride: ~40-50%
    Missionary Ridge: ~30%
    Mancos/La Platas: ~40%
    Pagosa: ~15%
    #86
    CPAT, Rossmoesis, Merfman and 2 others like this.
  7. Rossmoesis

    Rossmoesis Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2013
    Oddometer:
    139
    Location:
    Grand Junction, CO
    Any intel about foliage colors on the grand mesa? I'm looking to do a big loop up there is this weekend on the 500 husky. PM if interested
    #87
  8. MrBob

    MrBob Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2005
    Oddometer:
    18,057
    Location:
    Tallahassee, FL
    Kenosha was perfect today. Parking was jammed.
    #88
  9. PurpleTiger

    PurpleTiger Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2013
    Oddometer:
    108
    Location:
    Winston-Salem, NC
    B0C1BB97-3DFC-40A9-B1F2-41646DD550D1.jpeg B8EC9D42-73C0-4535-98C6-309D597CF229.jpeg 9EC26323-CFBE-4571-9DB4-F178C95F98F7.jpeg
    #89
    23103a and Pariahtize like this.
  10. AviatorTroy

    AviatorTroy Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,346
    Location:
    Castle Rock, CO
    Kenosha, I curse you!!!

    Like a moron, I took a Jeep ride Sunday with a couple buddies, did Mosquito and Weston pass. Started to hit BAD traffic just east of Fairplay, turned around and went 9 to 24 through the Springs to Castle Rock and still beat my buddy home who stuck it out on 285.
    #90
    Assfault likes this.
  11. MrBob

    MrBob Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2005
    Oddometer:
    18,057
    Location:
    Tallahassee, FL
    Kenosha Pass is one of my favorite spots on earth. Catching the leaves at their peak today was a bonus, for sure.
    285 south was a breeze, but I sat for 40 minutes in construction traffic on 50 on the way to Canon City, and dodged big trucks and RV's all the way. Tourists haven't left yet.
    #91
  12. AviatorTroy

    AviatorTroy Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,346
    Location:
    Castle Rock, CO
    The main problem is not the location in question, but the fact that I violated my own S.O.P of never doing any touristy things in the mountains on weekends or holidays.
    #92
    23103a and oldmanb777 like this.
  13. MrBob

    MrBob Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2005
    Oddometer:
    18,057
    Location:
    Tallahassee, FL
    I stay away from touristy spots during summers, though I hope our many tourists have a great visit, but sometimes I discover a break between jobs and it behooves me to get away while I can, crowds be damned.
    It’s still possible to find quiet, alternate routes. I was mountain biking on Taylor Mtn. recently and had the trails to myself.
    #93
  14. oldmanb777

    oldmanb777 Just say NO to socialism!

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Oddometer:
    8,013
    Location:
    Peoples republic of Kalifornia, East...Kolarado
    The colors are not great this year. At least where I have been. Yellow's are not florescent. Then quickly turning brown and falling off. Maybe the wet spring followed by a dry August. I don't know, but certainly not as vivid this year.
    #94
  15. AK2ID

    AK2ID Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2014
    Oddometer:
    167
    Location:
    Salmon, Idaho
    Peeper post-ride debrief...

    Thanks to the Colorado riders who have shared real time color info.

    I got home to east-central Idaho yesterday afternoon. I executed my contingency plan and rented a uHaul for the last leg back to Idaho. There was a NOAA wind advisory for IF ( I take these warnings seriously when on a bike). Snow was forecast for Salmon. The weather from SLC north was very windy, cold and wet. Part of me feels like a wussy, but I have learned from experience that there are limits while on a bike, where it is not fun and potentially dangerous. Oh well.

    Reflecting back, my favorite CO segment was Red Mtn Pass. The negative is the traffic in Colorado. The Aspen area was the worst. The Aspen drivers were aggressive and rude. Special I guess. Maybe less coffee would help. My return route took me across souther Utah, through the red rock canyon lands. Utah has a red-orange fall color palate. I think the red trees are maples. Not as bright as the yellow of the Colorado aspens, but still very pretty.

    PS: the color palate of the central Idaho mountains is white.

    Good trip.
    #95
  16. Blakebird

    Blakebird r-u-n-n-o-f-t

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2004
    Oddometer:
    27,654
    Location:
    Parker, CO
    That was my first impression too after a lap of some local areas saw mostly trees that were turning brown right away....

    But - the last couple of days going over Independence (great color on both sides) and some other areas, we saw spectacular colors.
    Monarch looks great this year, though not quite as impressive as last year.
    McClure was a little flat, it's usually the one that blows me away - not this year...just ok.
    Hwy 92 along the Black Canyon of the Gunnison was very good, better than expected.
    The cottonwoods along the river between Gunnison and Sargents were popping like crazy.

    Didn't get to the Lake City area, last year it was awesome... and our ride up 550 was a couple weeks too early to see good color.
    #96
  17. fortrider

    fortrider Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    Oddometer:
    606
    Location:
    North Rim of the Poudre - Summer
    From my ride yesterday near Laramie River Road 4 corners area. Some have already peaked.
    PA031093.JPG
    #97
    Pariahtize likes this.
  18. oldmanb777

    oldmanb777 Just say NO to socialism!

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Oddometer:
    8,013
    Location:
    Peoples republic of Kalifornia, East...Kolarado
    Could be better down south, than up north.
    Fall River Rd (near Idaho Springs) was just so-so. Pretty much the same for Squaw Pass. It was nice, but lots of leaves looked like they went from starting to turn yellow, to just falling off.
    #98
  19. darmahman

    darmahman "Illogically Deluded" Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2003
    Oddometer:
    4,072
    Location:
    Fort Collins, CO
    Hey Steve - New Piaggio dealer in town. You can now get it serviced "in town".
    @Aces:muutt
    #99
  20. fortrider

    fortrider Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    Oddometer:
    606
    Location:
    North Rim of the Poudre - Summer
    Yeah, let me rush down there, NOT. Looks like Cycle Central in LL is the new dealer.