Fall Color Update for Friday, 21 Sept 2012

Quick update for roads I traveled today:

  • Last Dollar Road near Telluride—I traveled it today. The color is at or near peak. I define peak as when the earliest trees lose their leaves. There is still some green, but mostly yellow.
  • CO Hwy 145 from Last Dollar Road to Ophir Pass (and beyond a bit—I went a bit beyond the Ophir Pass turn)—very pretty, nearing peak, lots of color right on the highway, will be past peak soon.
  • Ophir Pass—some pretty color on the western side of the pass. After passing eastbound through the town of Ophir, nice stretches where it winds through golden aspens. Some nice stands on the hillsides. At peak or slightly beyond.
  • Ophir Pass, east side—not that many aspens, so not much color
  • San Juan CR 14—not that many aspens, so not much color
  • Red Mountain Mining District (Ouray CR 31)—past peak. Trees that were orange last week are now barren.
  • US Hwy 550 north of Red Mountain Pass, through Ironton Park—still very pretty, but past peak. Lots of bare spots where trees have lost all leaves. Will be pretty for a few more days, but it’ll get patchier and patchier.

Overall, color is about a week to a week and a half early this year. And it isn’t lasting long. If you want to see it, don’t delay. If your vehicle is highway-bound, try CO Hwy 145 from Telluride to Lizard Head Pass. I haven’t been, but I suspect from Lizard Head Pass through Rico and down to Delores might be pretty good—it usually is. If you have a 4WD vehicle, Last Dollar Road will be a good bet for the next few days. Note that Last Dollar Road is pretty rutted in spots.

I took lots of video today and hope to have it on the website soon.

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