Early fall colors? Here’s where fall foliage could be arriving sooner than normal for leaf-peepers

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Dawn at Maroon Bells. Credit: Getty Images

DENVER (KDVR) — August is here, which means leaf-peeping adventures are around the corner for many.

So, when will the fall colors peak this year? It may be earlier than normal. For reference, peak fall color normally occurs mid to late September. The last week of September is usually the sweet spot.  

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

Watch for slightly earlier than normal color across the Western Slope where the drought remains deep and trees are drought-stressed. This includes the Aspen area, Grand Mesa, the San Juan Mountains, and parts of Steamboat.

Watch for a normal fall color timeline east of the Divide where drought conditions are normal. This includes the Mount Evans Wilderness, most of Rocky Mountain National Park, and the Pikes Peak district.

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.

Here’s a look back at some of the photos of fall colors in 2020:

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