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DENVER (KDVR) — If you want to go leaf-peeping this weekend, there is still a great opportunity to see beautiful fall colors without having to make a long drive into the mountains.

Much of the mountain corridor in our state has already seen the peak of fall color. However, the Front Range and Foothills are areas where leaves are still vibrant.

Here is a look at places you can see the foliage less than two hours 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– Located about 65 miles northwest of Denver on US-36
  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.

If you are ever looking for something to do, be sure to check out the FOX31 community calendar.