Is there any place as beautiful as western Colorado during the peak of the fall leaf-color season? I am sure there is, but this has to rank near the top. This year was no exception. The colors were vibrant and persisted. A little timely snow at higher elevations made for exciting photo opportunities.
When I signed on to work at Colorado National Monument this summer, the opportunity to live in western Colorado and photograph the region during fall color greatly influenced my decision. In 2010, I had visited the same region for fall color photography. I vowed then that I would revisit the area again. I didn’t know it would take me 13 years, though, to return.
One of my personal favorite areas for fall color is the San Juan Mountain range, near Ridgway, CO. I was not disappointed.
Traversing County Road 7 southwest of Ridgway, I rounded a bend in the road and was treated to a beautiful landscape.
Driving further down the road (towards the mountains in the above picture), I did some exploring off the unpaved road. Thankfully, I had packed my muck boots before leaving Iowa in June. They came in quite useful as I explored the valley floor, looking for different photo opportunities.
Headed up the Dallas Divide on Highway 62 provides many photo opportunities.
Further to the west, the Last Dollar Road provides access to a unique feature, sometimes referred to as drunken Aspens.
I thoroughly enjoyed the fall-color season in Southwestern Colorado. My only regret was not taking off a week of work to spend more time exploring.