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Halvor Tweto | 10.06.2016

As if we really needed another reminder that Colorado is a beautiful place, each year Mother Nature embellishes the Rocky Mountain landscape with color that must be seen to be believed. The meadow grasses mellow into a fine beige and the understory brush flames into crimson, but the headlining performance is indisputable: In the fall, the high country belongs to the aspen. The distinctive and vibrant golden leaves of the aspen are an icon of the changing season. And thanks to the fact that this species grows in colonies, with each tree a visible extension of a single underground network of roots, Colorado's mountain sides, valleys, and basins become a stage, and we are treated to color performances that appear almost choreographed. A jagged and toothy peak gets its first taste of snow as a colony of tremulous aspen send their golden leaves into the blue sky like some new species of autumn butterflies. One couldn't stage it any more perfectly, and yet it is there, every year, but for a limited time only. 

Aspen leaves blowing in the wind along Red Sandstone Road. Photo by Stefan Myers.

Indeed, the spectacular season flies by, and before you know it the brisk winds have whisked traces of color from the landscape in what feels like a preparation for the winter snows. Don't let the show pass you by this year! Get out there and find your slice of autumn in the Rockies with a hike, a mountain bike ride, an scenic drive, or best of all, a few nights out under the stars. We've assembled a variety of adventures showcasing some of the wonderful Colorado colors this time of year, so consider this a starting point for crafting your own itinerary. Just be sure to get out there soon, and let us know how about your experience by sharing some photos when you return!

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