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DENVER (KDVR) — Thursday marks the first day of fall. Whether you want to travel across the state to see the leaves change or take in the more fall-like temperatures, we have you covered.

The peak of fall color will happen over the next few weeks in Colorado. Meteorologist Chris Tomer said the quality of the color will be vibrant this fall thanks to the monsoon moisture we have received over the summer.

Where to see leaves change

Here are 10 great places to see fall colors in our state:

  1. Dillon ReservoirLocated less than 90 minutes from Denver on I-70 near Frisco
  2. Guanella Pass– Located less than 60 miles from Denver on I-70 near Georgetown
  3. Beaver Brook Watershed Trailhead– Located near Evergreen
  4. Grand LakeLocated about two hours from Denver
  5. Peak to Peak Highway– A 55-mile route from near Nederland to near Estes Park
  6. Kenosha PassLocated about 65 miles from Denver
  7. Steamboat SpringsLocated 156 miles from Denver
  8. Kebler PassLocated 209 miles from Denver or about 4 hours and 25 minutes away
  9. Maroon Bells– About 170 miles from Denver
  10. Golden Gate Canyon State Park– Less than 30 miles from Denver

Silverton named one of the best towns in the U.S. to see foliage

Trips to Discover, a popular travel site, recently put out a list of the top 15 best small towns in the United States for fall foliage.

There was not a particular ranking of the locations, just a list of the best small towns. Named to that list was Silverton, which is located in San Juan County in the southwest part of our state.

Why do leaves change color?

Meteorologist Jessica Lebel said leaves have chlorophyll in them that give them green pigment during the warmer months. In the fall, when the temperatures get cooler and the sun angle changes, the tree’s chlorophyll starts to break down.

Eventually, the green color disappears, and other colors become visible. The leaf color depends on the pigment present in the leaf.

Want to see elk this fall?

If you want to travel to see fall leaves and elk, here are five great places to travel to:

  1. Evergreen– Located off of I-70, west of Genesee in Jefferson County
  2. Estes Park– You can also check out Elk Fest on Oct. 1-2
  3. Mueller State Park– Located near Divide with 55 miles of trails and thousands of acres
  4. West Elk Wilderness– Located near Gunnison, the U.S. Forest Service said there’s over 200 miles of constructed trails
  5. Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge– Located north of Golden, it is a great place to see elk. You also have the opportunity to see other wildlife in the area, such as deer, coyotes, and prairie dogs.

Be sure to bookmark these tools to keep them handy for whenever you might need them:

Be sure to download the free Pinpoint Weather app to get vital weather information sent straight to your phone.