When to see the fall colors in Colorado

When to see the fall colors

It's my favorite time of year in Colorado and it's easy to see why -- "leaf peeping" season is upon us!

Labor Day, I drove through I-70 and saw spectacular colors near Silverthorne and Dillon Reservoir. The surrounding peaks were absolutely stunning and created quite a marvelous scene.

It was also gorgeous near Hoosier Pass where I found a small pond with yellow trees around it.

Eventually driving south into Teller County, I swung into Mueller State Park. Most of the trees there had only started changing into a lighter green color. I talked to Sharron Correu who adores fall in Colorado.

"It's just beautiful to see when the colors are changing or when they're putting on their green leaves. It's just beautiful," said Mueller State Park gatekeeper Sharron Correu.

If you're planning a "leaf peeping" trip this fall in the high country, know that these colors will peak sooner than usual.

Our drought this year is playing a major role in when these fall colors peak in the Rocky Mountains. We still have extreme and exceptional conditions over the high country. This dry and stressed vegetation is causing the fall colors to change faster than recent years. Sadly, these vibrant colors will probably be around shorter than usual due to the same reason.

A map shows estimates for when the aspens transform into their most spectacular hues. In Rocky Mountain National Park, the colors should peak sometime in the next few weeks. For the central mountains near Buena Vista, the colors will peak roughly between Sept. 19-26. As for the southern cities in the high country, the colors will be the most vivid in late September and early October.

The StormTracker 13 weather team is holding a fall colors contest later this month. You can start submitting your entries on Friday, Sept. 14th.

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