I took a drive to the Colorado high country this morning and the leaves are just starting to hint at the change of seasons. In another couple of weeks, those trees will look like these aspen trees on Guanella Pass last year on September 24th. I can’t wait! I’ve already planned out at least one route that I will be taking.
Many folks that have never been here before envision Denver as being in the mountains. That is certainly not true. The Rocky Mountains lie just to the west of the Mile High City with Denver itself actually residing on the Great Plains.
This image, taken back in November, gives a good view of the landscape. Looking toward the west from a spot about eight miles northeast of downtown, you can see the city with the mountains towering in the background.
As everyone knows however, the city’s official elevation is one mile above sea level, 5,280 feet, as measured from the steps of the state capitol. That of course is where the city gets its primary nickname but it has also been called the Queen City of the Plains and the Queen City of the West at different times in history.
Taken back at the end of September from Boreas Pass not far from Breckenridge, Colorado. With the arrival of autumn the aspen trees were aglow and a snow the night before had coated the mountain peaks in a blanket of white.
The mountain in the background is the 13,829-foot high Mount Silverheels. While not one of the Centennial State’s famous fourteeners, it is a gorgeous, dominating peak with a fascinating story. The mountain is named after a dance hall girl from the nearby mining town of Buckskin Joe. Her real name is unknown but she earned her nickname due to the shoes she wore when she danced.
Legend has it that during a smallpox outbreak in 1861 she used her money to bring in doctors to fight the epidemic. She remained at the foot of the mountain while most other women and children fled to Denver. While she survived the smallpox, her face was scarred by the disease and she chose to remain isolated at her home at the foot of the mountain.
Buckskin Joe is now a ghost town and every now and then people report seeing a black veiled woman at the town’s cemetery placing flowers on the graves of those who died during the smallpox epidemic.
Ah yes, the changing of the seasons. It comes quick and never seems to last long enough.
This image was taken 10 days ago and the scene was absolutely gorgeous. Early morning light lit up the trees almost making them look like they were on fire. Above, very pretty clouds with some Colorado blue showing through.
Today if you were go to this same spot, it would not look anything like this. Many of the leaves are now gone in a sign that colder weather is not far away.
It was an absolutely beautiful morning on the Great Plains today with unseasonably warm temperatures and calm conditions. Looking toward the sunrise the view was ‘just okay’ but not overly impressive. However, turning west toward our mountains it was beautiful. The rising sun colored the mountains and clouds in shades of red. There was a monstrous wave cloud above , the snow-capped peaks below and fall colors in the foreground.
One from my son’s and mine ‘leaf peeping’ trip a few weeks ago. Lying on my back and with a wide angle lens on my camera, I snapped this image of the golden aspen trees on Guanella Pass, Colorado. Above, the high altitude deep blue skies and a passing wisp of a cloud.
My son and I had a lot of fun clambering around the side of this hill seeing what sort of compositions we could come up with. This one is probably one of my favorites.
For more pics of the fall colors from this year and previous years, see here.
I realized I didn’t really share too many of my pics of fall colors that I’ve gotten in recent weeks so reckon I should fix that. 😉
This particular one was taken near the southern end of Boreas Pass in Park County, Colorado. The sun had been up for a couple of hours and was illuminating the changing aspen trees in all their brilliant gold and as always, our beautiful blue skies were above.
Yes, this is the same area that the infamous South Park cartoon takes place in case you were wondering. 😀
It was probably the last, good weekend to view the changing foliage in Colorado’s high country and Rocky Mountain National Park’s Kawuneeche Valley was one of my stops. Temperatures had dropped to close to freezing and frost coated the grass and trees. In one spot, thick fog settled in obscuring the view but a hint of sun helped illuminate the golden leaves on aspen trees. It made for a very pretty, calm and quiet scene in one of the most beautiful places in the state.
Aspen trees with golden leaves indicate it is autumn but the snow on the ground might make you think it is winter. This is a pretty typical scene in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains this time of year and one that was captured in this image taken this past Saturday morning.
A fresh layer of snow covered the landscape as I ascended toward the summit of the 11,293 foot high Boreas Pass. It made for a beautiful and peaceful scene as the clouds began to break and a hint of blue appeared above.
The road follows the path of the old South Park and Pacific Railroad between the Town of Breckenridge, Colorado and Como. When in use from 1872 to 1938, it was the nation’s highest narrow-gauge railroad. Today it makes for a gorgeous fall drive and affords incredible views of the Blue River Valley and Tenmile Range.
It is peak time for the fall foliage in the Centennial State’s high country and it is absolutely gorgeous up there. My son and I took a 230 mile trip yesterday, leaving well before dawn.
We headed west from Denver to Breckenridge then up and over Boreas Pass, our first destination. On the north side of the pass, it was quite like winter with 27 degree temperatures, strong winds and a fresh layer of snow.
Just over the other side, where this image was taken, it was a good bit warmer but not so warm that there hadn’t been some overnight snow (you can see it on the ground on the left). The road was lined with golden aspen trees and the clearing skies provided just a hint of drama. The sun shining through the trees lit up the leaves making for a very nice scene.