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Epic Year Colorado Leaf Peeping Season

Published: September 10, 2019

The snow-melt from above-average snowfall last winter combined with the late spring snowstorms have produced exceptionally green mountain landscapes this summer in Colorado.  The vibrant green summer landscape is predicted to yield one more dividend – an epic year for Colorado leaf peeping season starting in mid-September.

Leaf peeping is an informal term for the activity in which people travel to view and photograph the fall foliage.  Leaf peeping was coined as an activity particularly evidenced in the northern New England and upper Midwest area.  However, Colorado continues to carve its path as a top autumn leaf peeping location.

The ample precipitation from this past winter and spring means great growing conditions for Colorado.  Last year’s hot summer meant early peaks for fall color, but this year Colorado expects normal peak periods.  That typically means mid-September to the beginning of October in the Colorado high country.

Colorado always looks good.  It will arguably look even better in the upcoming weeks as we approach the leaf peeping season.  Healthy groups of trees show more vibrant green colors.  Consequently, the high country has produced a perfect growing season this summer for native aspen groves and burr oak trees.  Each year, Colorado shows off a spectrum of color ranging from buttery yellow, champagne gold, blazing red and amber orange.

As Good As Gold

Colorado aspen tree groves make up approximately 20% of Colorado’s forests. Aspen tree groves are found between 6,900 feet and 10,500 feet in elevation.  Depending on a number of factors including moisture, temperature, and weather, peak viewing is typically mid-September.  Keep in mind that it is impossible to predict the exact timing of when the leaves will start to change.  Ultimately, mother nature will determine when the colors start to unfold.

Local favorite hiking spots for seeing fall colors in Summit County include Boreas Pass, Aspen Alley, French Gulch and Hoosier Pass.  Similarly, downtown Breckenridge is surrounded by beauty.  Framed from its mountain backdrop to the tranquil Blue River lined by aspen trees.  No matter the mode of transportation – bus, car, ATV, horseback, foot or bicycle, fall leaf peepers will discover golden foliage around downtown Breckenridge and on the surrounding mountains.  An added bonus, Colorado mountain towns are gifted with Colorado bluebird skies and snowcapped mountains contrasting the autumn colors.

Due to the high elevation, Breckenridge is one of the first places in the country where leaves begin to change colors.  Visitors and locals alike flock to trails and embark on scenic drives to view the vibrant hillsides.  Breckenridge is expecting an epic year for Colorado leaf peeping season.  Breckenridge events also fill the calendar and there are even more fall outdoor activities to enjoy!


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