Colorado’s Crested Butte Struts Its Fall Foliage

No wonder Colorado's state colors are blue and gold. Photo ©Laurel Kallenbach

Last weekend (September 23–25), Ken and I headed up to our favorite mountain area: Crested Butte, Colorado. We’ve been there for powder days in winter and wildflower fireworks in summer, but autumn had some sizzle in store for us.

I’m usually verbose on these posts, but this time I thought I’d let the photos do the talking. All I can say is that it’s worth the five-and-a-half-hour drive from Boulder to get to this Shangri-la of the Rockies.

Kebler Pass, just above Crested Butte, boasts the largest aspen grove in the state, but in most spots the aspen hadn’t yet started to change colors. There were a few breathtaking vistas on Kebler Pass,  but I think the first week of October should be insanely gorgeous there.

The Castle spires as seen from Ohio Creek Road. Photo ©Laurel Kallenbach

You can take Ohio Creek Road from Gunnison to Crested Butte. (You can also get to Ohio Creek Road from Kebler Pass.) One great reward is seeing the Castle Mountains from that  road.

Ken cycled along the road to Gothic, a mountain town above Crested Butte. Photo ©Laurel Kallenbach

View from Gothic Road. Photo ©Laurel Kallenbach

The road up to Gothic displayed some pretty impressive foliage. We were among the many cars that kept pulling over to the edge to snap photos.

Aspen flanking Gothic Road near Crested Butte. Photo ©Laurel Kallenbach

For tips on scenic mountain drives around Crested Butte, visit the Gunnison–Crested Butte Tourism Association.

Laurel Kallenbach, freelance leaf-peeper

P.S. Leave a comment below reporting on your favorite fall scenery.

11 thoughts on “Colorado’s Crested Butte Struts Its Fall Foliage

  1. Gorgeous! And it looks like a fabulous place to bike too! The yellow colour reminds me of my home province, although we’ve got more larches and their yellow colour looks stunning against the blue fall sky. I do miss the colours of Ontario since I moved away. I’d love to go back this October, though not sure if I manage!

    • Oooh…Ontario. I’ve only been there in summer, but the thick forests would be spectacular.

      And yes, biking is a great option. The only disadvantage is that on paved roads, the cars can speed by at dangerous speeds. On dirt roads, the drive is more pleasant–except that cars kick up a lot of dust. Worth getting dirty for though!

  2. Laurel, you freelance leaf-peeper, you–insanely gorgeous is right, and your photos do the aspens proud! Porter bicycled up to Brainard Lake yesterday, and the aspens between Peak-to-Peak Highway and Brainard were flaming orange on the top, golden yellow in the middle, and green on the lower branches.

  3. Laurel: Your articles on Crested Butte, Paonia, and other Colorado places and activities make me even more excited with sharing with others, my love for Colorado, its people and places. A Fan of your travels and writing.

  4. I recently moved to Boulder in August of this year. Within a week, I got a year national parks pass so I could go into Rocky Mountain National Park whenever I want. I used to live in Texas, so the sight of those fall aspen trees was just awe-inspiring. Thanks for bringing that picture back into my thoughts. I’ll be sure to check this spot out next fall! Great post!

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