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Mount Silverheels, north face
New England isn't the only place that attracts fall foliage gawkers.  Colorado, named for the red silt in the Colorado river, has plenty of gold in the hills.  Every year, the new gold brings rushes of treasure seekers and Colorado never lets anyone down.  This past Saturday, Mrs. Colotim and I went for a drive up into the mountains to find our own motherload of beautiful vistas and I wanted to share our state with you.

Please see below the orange FSM pasta for some pictures and our route.

Colorado has been experiencing a very dry year.  Most of you are familiar with the results of the dryness, what with the national news of multiple large fires destroying several hundred homes here in Colorado.  The area burned, however, is only a tiny fraction of the state and as you can see, there are still many areas totally beyond the reach of recent fires.  The dryness seems to have started the color changes a bit early this year, especially down lower.  

This last weekend may have been one of the peak times this fall for colors, so I've brought this to you as a public service.  I've also brought it to tempt some others who might be into photos to let me see some other areas that might want to challenge Colorado for the colorful fall capital of the country.

The route for the journey was southwest from Denver along US 285 up and over Kenosha Pass into South Park (yes, there is a South Park, Colorado, and there even is a South Park display in the county seat of Fairplay).  South Park is more like the town of Evergreen rather than the fictionalized cartoon.  Anyway, we didn't go to Fairplay, but turned west through the town of Como and we took the dirt road up and over Boreas Pass, which led down into Breckenridge.  After an ice cream break and a festival with live music, we went north to Frisco to join up with I-70, went east through Dillon and then up and through the Eisenhower Tunnel (at 12,000 feet elevation) and then downhill towards Denver.  Total distance was around 160 miles, but we had a few detours that added on.

Along US 285 SW of Denver
Along US 285 just NE of Kenosha Pass
From Kenosha Pass, looking over South Park towards the Mosquito Range
View of South Park from the road to Boreas Pass
On the road to Boreas Pass
Mount Silverheels from the road to Boreas Pass
This mountain is named for a dance hall girl who cared for miners sick from Smallpox during an epidemic during Colorado's gold rush days - she had silver heels on her famous shoes.  She wound up becoming sick herself and perished, but the miners named this 13,822 foot peak for her.  A very good writeup can be found here.
The lake and mountains of Breckenridge
Mountains with Breckenridge's ski runs (sans snow)
Dillon Lake, showing the effect of the drought in Colorado.  
My yard will have yellow, red, green, dark purple and some orange over the next month.  I've had some yellowing leaves for a few weeks already.  What's going on in your area of the country?  Do you have any special fall foliage?

Originally posted to ColoTim on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 05:33 AM PDT.

Also republished by Backyard Science, J Town, and Colorado COmmunity.

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Colorado's colors are

20%19 votes
43%41 votes
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| 94 votes | Vote | Results

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