Fall colors peak this weekend: Here’s where you can go leaf-peeping in Colorado

Local News

DENVER (KDVR) — It’s time to get your camera ready, grab your favorite fall sweater and sip on your favorite pumpkin coffee or beer.

Fall color will mostly be on time, with peak color arriving by mid-to-late September. As always, a stretch of abnormally cold weather could alter this timeline a few days. 

The prolonged drought across Western Colorado could push some leaves to peak early.

2021 Colorado Fall Colorado Guide (KDVR)

When you can expect to see fall colors:

  • September 15-30
    • Steamboat & Flat Tops
    • Rocky Mountain National Park
  • September 17-Oct. 1
    • Aspen
    • Grand Mesa
    • Gunnison
    • Sawatch Range
  • September 19- Oct. 3
    • Northern San Juan Mountains
    • Southern San Juan Mountains
    • Sangre De Cristo
  • October
    • Denver

The Farmers Almanac predicts that peak fall color will arrive in Colorado on Oct. 5-14.

Meteorologist Chris Tomer says he thinks the fall color in Colorado will closely follow the drought tracker this year. 

Drought tracker: Aug. 17, 2021

Where to see fall colors:

Within 1 hour of Denver:
Guanella Pass
Peak to Peak Highway
Rocky Mountain National Park
Winter Park
Kenosha Pass

A look at fall colors from Guanella Pass in the past:

  • Fall colors along Guanella Pass Road on Sept. 16, 2012. (David Harpe)
  • Fall colors along Guanella Pass Road on Sept. 16, 2012. (David Harpe)
  • Fall colors along Guanella Pass Road on Sept. 16, 2012. (David Harpe)
  • Fall colors along Guanella Pass Road on Sept. 16, 2012. (David Harpe)
  • Fall colors along Guanella Pass Road on Sept. 16, 2012. (David Harpe)
  • Fall colors along Guanella Pass Road on Sept. 16, 2012. (David Harpe)
  • Fall colors along Guanella Pass Road on Sept. 16, 2012. (David Harpe)

Within 2 hours of Denver:
Vail
Tennessee Pass
Breckenridge
Hoosier Pass
Fairplay
Grand Lake

Fall colors from Vail taken in the past:

Within 3-4 hours of Denver:
Steamboat
Rabbit Ears Pass
Buena Vista
Aspen
Independence Pass
Monarch Pass
Grand Mesa

Fall colors from Aspen and Steamboat taken in the past:

Last year, fall colors arrived slightly earlier than normal and didn’t last long. The colors weren’t as vibrant as normal. In 2019, fall colors arrived later than normal.

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