008 - Colorful Colorado
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Updated - June 2009 / with color photos
If you are looking for great alpine wildflowers or autumn color painted across mountain-sides covered with yellow aspens, you'll find the best locations in Colorado's San Juan Mountains. This newsletter highlights the best dates to find the color and directions to locations, like the Yankee Boy Basin and the Kebler Pass.
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Looking for great alpine wildflowers or autumn color painted across mountain-sides covered with yellow aspens? You'll find all the best locations in Colorado's San Juan Mountains in this newsletter. Details on the best dates to find the color and directions to locations like the Yankee Boy Basin and the Kebler Pass. In the mountains above Ophir are some of Colorado's best aspen groves. With a 4x4, you can reach Alta Lakes ringed with wildflowers in the spring and drive the Engineer Pass from Ouray to Lake City for spectacular panoramics. Photograph old gold mines and ride the steam train from Durango to Silverton.
My camera has captured images of all the seasons across the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. Autumn is my favorite. A photographer searching for America's most magnificent landscapes should not miss southwestern Colorado in late September. Autumn reaches the aspen groves of southwestern Colorado as early as the third and fourth week of September each year. Some trees are already bare of leaves, while other trees are still green. A few turn rust-red, and some turn shades of orange. Most turn a translucent yellow that, in strong backlight, stands out sharply against the Colorado sky. Unlike the riot of colors found in an eastern hardwood forest, a Colorado autumn is painted in shades of yellow. By early October, the first snows have closed many of the best mountain roads, and the peak of the autumn color has usually moved south and into New Mexico.