DENVER (KDVR) — Leaves are starting to change to fall colors in what arborists expect to be a more vibrant-than-average foliage season in Colorado.
Colorado has some of the best places in the country for fall colors. Whether you plan to go leaf-peeping via train tour, at a state park, in a mountain town or on a hike, Colorado Parks and Wildlife has tips for enjoying the fall colors while protecting natural resources
“We want everyone to have a great time experiencing the vibrant colors and the natural wonders our beautiful state has to offer,” Todd Farrow, Golden Gate Canyon State Park manager said. “No matter where you plan to explore this fall, please respect our natural resources, park staff, volunteers and fellow recreationists out searching for Colorado gold.”
Here are some of the tips to know before you go leaf-peeping this fall.
Colorado state parks, forests and trails are especially busy in the fall and the parking lots get full. Plus, people who park illegally or block traffic at a state park might get a ticket from park rangers.
Parking in undesignated areas can destroy vegetation, ignite wildfires and block first-responder vehicles in the case of an emergency, CPW said.
CPW recommends having a backup plan in case your desired trailhead, park or location is crowded. And if a parking area is full, move on to the next designated parking area.
Stick to the trails
Staying on the pathway of any trail will decrease your risk of injury while also protecting trailside plants and local wildlife, CPW said.
Leave it as you find it
CPW asks leaf-peepers to help let the trees thrive by not carving into them or pulling down on branches. Additionally, don’t drive over plants, flowers, rocks or through water streams.
If you bring a dog to a dog-friendly trail, be sure to pick up waste bags and dispose of those bags in a trash can, not in toilets or hung on trees, CPW asks.
Keep wildlife wild
There is lots of wildlife in Colorado, and as tempting as it may be, you should avoid approaching or touching wild animals.
CPW said to watch the wild animals from a safe distance and keep dogs on a leash to avoid conflict, startling the animal or forcing them to flee. Do not feed wildlife and if you notice an animal that appears to be sick or injured, leave it alone and call a CPW office to tell a trained wildlife officer.
If you don’t want to miss any of what autumn has to offer, check out FOX31’s Ultimate Denver Fall Guide 2023.