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Do you feel that crisp morning air? While it’s not officially fall on the calendar, it’s definitely fall in the mountains! The aspens are presenting their bright yellows and even the brush along the river banks is hinting at a shade of red.
Leaf viewing in Northern Colorado is usually best from mid-September to early October. We’ve heard that the colors will be especially vibrant this year due to the wet winter and lots of rain this spring. There are plenty of great places to go to see the fall colors, all within driving distance of Fort Collins.
Poudre Canyon & Cameron Pass
Driving up the Poudre Canyon is a local favorite. The highway winds along the Cache la Poudre River, and up towards a bounty of beautiful trees in full fall color. You can catch splashes of color on the mountainsides as the aspen, oak and cottonwoods dot the landscape. Colorado Highway 14 takes you from Fort Collins to Walden (an easy day’s drive). Take time to stop along the river and enjoy the scenery. One of the highlights of the trip is topping Cameron Pass. You’ll see breathtaking views of the mountain peaks along with the fall colors!
Red Feather Lakes
For a slower-paced drive, head northwest of Fort Collins on Highway 287 to Livermore, turn left and head just 30 minutes to Red Feather Lakes. This area is surrounded by 612,000 acres of Roosevelt National Forest. West of town, you’ll hit dirt roads and feel a part of nature as trees line both sides of the road. The road is well maintained and leads you up to the top of the area so you can see for miles. Take your binoculars and scan for fall colors.
Rocky Mountain National Park
We’re proud to have this National Park in our backyard. The drive to Estes Park to access the entrance to the Park is a beautiful drive. Once inside the Park, enjoy the drive all the way to the top to Trail Ridge Visitors Center. Be sure to stop at the observation points and definitely at Rainbow Curve, where you can look out across the valley and easily see the colors of the changing trees and bushes along the river.
You don’t even have to drive out of town to see reds, golds, and oranges come alive. Just keep an eye out for the changing leaves. The fall display is already happening around the City! Walk along the Poudre River on the north edge of downtown or explore Fort Collins in any direction. You’ll see hints of color everywhere!
Welcome to fall in Northern Colorado!