DENVER (KDVR) — This weekend will be the peak of fall color in Colorado. If you are planning to get out and about and do some leaf-peeping, we have you covered.

Meteorologist Chris Tomer said the quality of the color of leaves will be vibrant thanks to the monsoon moisture we have received over the summer. The peak of fall color was slightly delayed due to heavy fall moisture.

What you need to know about traffic

As you plan your leaf-peeping adventure, one important thing to know is that traffic is expected to be very heavy, especially along Interstate 70 from Denver to the mountains.

The Colorado Department of Transportation said motorists should consider transit options, like Bustang or Pegasus, or carpooling via the TreadShare app, takes vehicles off the road and allows for a more enjoyable ride. For those who drive, using the GoI70 travel forecast can help plan the least congested travel times on the I-70 mountain corridor. 

“Congestion on the I-70 mountain corridor can really dampen a trip, so we want visitors to know they have options,” said Margaret Bowes, Director of the I-70 Coalition. “Whether you use an airport shuttle, like Epic Mountain Express, or take Bustang or Pegasus from Denver Union Station or the Federal Center in Lakewood, you can get to many mountain towns along I-70 and then use local transportation to get around once you arrive. The more people using alternatives to driving means fewer vehicles are on the road, making it easier and quicker to get to your destination.”

What will the weather be like?

Tomer said a cold front will arrive on Friday. It will bring rain to some parts of the state and snow to others.

The snow line will be at 12,000 feet. Those areas will see one to six inches of snow accumulation from Friday through Sunday, Tomer said.

The cold front will drop temperatures in Denver into the 70s with rain chances.

10 places to see fall leaves this weekend

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

  1. Dillon Reservoir– Located 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 Lake– Located about two hours from Denver
  5. Peak to Peak Highway– A 55-mile route from near Nederland to near Estes Park
  6. Kenosha Pass– Located about 65 miles from Denver
  7. Steamboat Springs– Located 156 miles from Denver
  8. Kebler Pass– Located 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

Busiest places to see fall foliage in Colorado

Here are the busiest places to see the fall colors in Colorado:

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.

If you are planning to go leaf-peeping, we have you covered. Here is a look at everything you need to know:

Want to go to a fall event?

If you want to go to a fall event this weekend, there are several happening across the state. Here is a look at 10 events:

  1. Brighton Fall Festival Craft Show– Oct. 1
  2. Cider Days– Lakewood- Oct. 1
  3. Cool Vibes Reggae Festival– Denver- Oct. 1
  4. Elk Fest- Estes Park– Oct. 1-2
  5. Golden’s AUtumn Fest– Oct. 2
  6. Anderson Farms 25th Annual Fall Festival– through Oct. 31
  7. Oddities & Curiosities Expo– Oct. 1
  8. Prairie Harvest Fest– Aurora- Oct. 1
  9. Colorado Bridal Show– Denver- Oct. 2
  10. Belleview Station Fall BAZAAR– Oct. 1

You can always find events on our Community Calendar. You can also add your event to the calendar.

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.