Fall Color 2012
/forum/topic/1145323/4

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mco_970
Registered: Apr 03, 2009
Total Posts: 5288
Country: United States

Hi Gary, I did not drive the full loop yet - maybe next week.

Tomorrow I was thinking of running from Durango through Dolores toward Lizard Head to see what's happening that direction. Probably won't go allll the way to Telluride, though.

Be sure you hit up the hot springs in Ouray for me.

Here's a snapshot from the lower elevation - around Durango Mountain Resort. There's a little bit of color popping, but not quite as much as the higher elevations.








garyroach
Registered: May 24, 2003
Total Posts: 1994
Country: United States

I don't know if I'll hit the hot springs, but I do plan to rent a jeep in Ouray and drive Last Dollar Road and Owl Creek Pass. Then I plan a day in Telluride and I thought I would drive toward Lizard Head but I don't know if I'll get all the way to Dolores. So, I hope you'll let us know what it's like there.



Sneakyracer
Registered: Mar 24, 2004
Total Posts: 2602
Country: United States

Nice pics! There is still a lot of green. Higher elevations look to be 60% changed already so peak is most likely next week at spots between 8-10k. Next weekend is most likely gonna be packed. I get there the 22nd. (Denver) Bad weather is predicted on the 25th so its gonna be close.



mco_970
Registered: Apr 03, 2009
Total Posts: 5288
Country: United States

garyroach wrote:
I don't know if I'll hit the hot springs, but I do plan to rent a jeep in Ouray and drive Last Dollar Road and Owl Creek Pass. Then I plan a day in Telluride and I thought I would drive toward Lizard Head but I don't know if I'll get all the way to Dolores. So, I hope you'll let us know what it's like there.


Ohhhhh... That will be an amazing drive! Lucky you!! I love Owl Creek Pass!



mco_970
Registered: Apr 03, 2009
Total Posts: 5288
Country: United States

Ok, so I drove the whole loop and I'm glad I did. Red Mountain Pass was AAAAH-mazing!

Durango - Rico - not much happening
Rico - Lizard Head - getting started
Lizard Head - Telluride - colors are nice in places but mostly not peaking
Telluride - Ouray - barely getting started, just a tad at the higher reaches
Ouray - Silverton - large pockets at or near peak in places, still some green
City of Silverton - at or past peak!
Silverton - Molas - large pockets at or near peak in places, still some green
Molas to Durango - starting at the higher elevations but still a ways from peak



JimFox
Registered: Jan 11, 2005
Total Posts: 37738
Country: United States

Hey Michelle,

Thanks so much for that update. I am going to have figure out about this loop you are taking, it sounds very interesting. I still have 7 days to go until I can get there, so it sounds like I should still have some nice color but I will have to pick my spots.

Thanks again,

Jim



astv99
Registered: Apr 12, 2011
Total Posts: 227
Country: United States

This thread so far seems to be mostly about Colorado. No reports from any other states?

Colorado update 9/16:

- Peak to Peak Highway between Nederland & Estes Park: Overall, more green than yellow, though there was one patch around Sawtooth Mtn that was intense that drew quite a crowd of parked cars. I'd say maybe a week longer for the Highway to develop more consistency throughout.

The Sawtooth Mtn spot


- Rocky Mountain National Park: I don't usually go to RMNP for fall colors (in fact, I can't remember ever going for fall colors specifically!) so it was a surprise to see the park all decked out in everything from green to red! There was quite a bit of yellow throughout Bear Lake Rd, especially at Bear Lake itself and on the trail to Alberta Falls.

Bear Lake


Although RMNP isn't known for being a big fall colors spot, I can definitely say it won't be a disappointment for anyone who might want to go there over the next week to catch both the fall colors and the elk in their mating season. There were lots of elk out today!

The colors today looked promising enough for me to advance my upcoming McClure/Kebler Pass trip by another day to 9/22 (through 9/26). Hope I don't miss the peak timing there.



mco_970
Registered: Apr 03, 2009
Total Posts: 5288
Country: United States

JimFox wrote:
Hey Michelle,

Thanks so much for that update. I am going to have figure out about this loop you are taking, it sounds very interesting. I still have 7 days to go until I can get there, so it sounds like I should still have some nice color but I will have to pick my spots.

Thanks again,

Jim


Jim - it's called the 'San Juan Skyway'. About 220 miles through the mountains... It's a nice scenic loop.

Here are a few snapshots of color conditions:

Top of Red Mountain Pass looking back toward Ouray:







Near the start of Last Dollar road (for Gary ):







Rico:







Between Telluride and Lizard Head Pass:







That should paint a pretty good picture of where things are at this weekend.


mamankyle
Registered: Aug 06, 2011
Total Posts: 1002
Country: N/A

From the Aspen Times

http://www.aspentimes.com/article/20120916/NEWS/120919892/1077&ParentProfile=1058



Sneakyracer
Registered: Mar 24, 2004
Total Posts: 2602
Country: United States

Its snowing in the Colorado high country around the continental divide at and above about 10,500ft. Dunno how that is going to affect the foliage but as long as the wind doesnt blow a whole lot its gonna be fine I think.



mco_970
Registered: Apr 03, 2009
Total Posts: 5288
Country: United States

Sneakyracer wrote:
Its snowing in the Colorado high country around the continental divide at and above about 10,500ft. Dunno how that is going to affect the foliage but as long as the wind doesnt blow a whole lot its gonna be fine I think.


It might help to say where. Blue skies down here in the S. San Juans.



mamankyle
Registered: Aug 06, 2011
Total Posts: 1002
Country: N/A

its cold and rainy in aspen, snow higher.



Sneakyracer
Registered: Mar 24, 2004
Total Posts: 2602
Country: United States

mco_970 wrote:
Sneakyracer wrote:
Its snowing in the Colorado high country around the continental divide at and above about 10,500ft. Dunno how that is going to affect the foliage but as long as the wind doesnt blow a whole lot its gonna be fine I think.


It might help to say where. Blue skies down here in the S. San Juans.


I think its just along the i70 corridor mostly in and around Vail up to Loveland Pass area and maybe a touch north and south of there. Crested Butte is getting snow maybe Telluride also dunno.



saaketham
Registered: May 18, 2004
Total Posts: 5657
Country: United States

JimFox wrote:Not useless, but the Bells will probably be gone or right at peak then. I would think that there would still be color in other parts. Will you not be able to make it there till the 28th? I am sure a bunch of us will still be floating around then, we all just need to keep updated on where the color is popping at.
Jim

Yeah .. 28th is the earliest I can reach CO. Maybe I can do south to see some colors.



mco_970
Registered: Apr 03, 2009
Total Posts: 5288
Country: United States

saaketham wrote:
JimFox wrote:Not useless, but the Bells will probably be gone or right at peak then. I would think that there would still be color in other parts. Will you not be able to make it there till the 28th? I am sure a bunch of us will still be floating around then, we all just need to keep updated on where the color is popping at.
Jim

Yeah .. 28th is the earliest I can reach CO. Maybe I can do south to see some colors.


There is still usually quite a bit of color in the lower San Juans that time of year (around 7000' elevation)...



saaketham
Registered: May 18, 2004
Total Posts: 5657
Country: United States

mco_970 wrote:There is still usually quite a bit of color in the lower San Juans that time of year (around 7000' elevation)...
Good to know. The GF really wants to go, so I can't slip away this weekend. She's really cute, so.
Thanks for the info on this thread, everyone. I'll hopefully update it soon for the late-goers in a few days.



gdanmitchell
Registered: Jun 28, 2009
Total Posts: 9284
Country: United States

Believe it or not - and I didn't expect to see this - there is already some aspen color starting in a few areas of the eastern Sierra.







I was in the eastern Sierra to backpack during the past three days. Having photographed fall color there many times, I was not expecting any real aspen color. In most places, there still isn't any - lots of green trees everywhere. (Though other signs of seasonal change are abundant.) However, after hiking a mile or more up McGee Canyon we came upon large groves in which a good number of trees were starting to get color. Many of th trees had at least some color, and on those with the most it seemed that perhaps 1/4 of the leaves had changed already.

Now this is not at all yet to the point where most people would want to head to the Sierra to start photographing aspens - but it is unusual, in my experience, to see such color in mid-September.

I wrote more about my observations in a post accompanying the photo at my blog: http://www.gdanmitchell.com/2012/09/17/early-fall-color-mcgee-canyon

Dan


JimFox
Registered: Jan 11, 2005
Total Posts: 37738
Country: United States

saaketham wrote:
mco_970 wrote:There is still usually quite a bit of color in the lower San Juans that time of year (around 7000' elevation)...
Good to know. The GF really wants to go, so I can't slip away this weekend. She's really cute, so.
Thanks for the info on this thread, everyone. I'll hopefully update it soon for the late-goers in a few days.


Hey Anil,

Well, I will have to say that having a cute GF does count for something... and it does give you the right to show up when she says... I mean when you can...

Text me before you head out, hopefully we can connect out there.

Jim



mco_970
Registered: Apr 03, 2009
Total Posts: 5288
Country: United States

saaketham wrote:
mco_970 wrote:There is still usually quite a bit of color in the lower San Juans that time of year (around 7000' elevation)...
Good to know. The GF really wants to go, so I can't slip away this weekend. She's really cute, so.
Thanks for the info on this thread, everyone. I'll hopefully update it soon for the late-goers in a few days.


I will post some updates on the lower elev. colors as they develop. That's more my zone anyway.

Of course you must obey the cute GF. It's not even a question.

Cheers,
Michelle



bruceali
Registered: Nov 10, 2005
Total Posts: 1333
Country: United States

Any updates from Yellowstone?



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