Tis the season…of fall colors. While I’ll always talk about missing the reds + oranges of the Midwest there is no denying the beauty of the Colorado yellows. It may not be the end of September yet, but we’ve already woken up to snow-topped peaks on the horizon more than once. I’ve even had the pleasure of driving over a snowy mountain pass already…so. not. ready.
In an effort to blissfully ignore the arrival of winter + all of the snowy days it will bring I’ve been out chasing down fall colors, one aspen at a time.
Obviously, I’ve had varied levels of success. I’ve spent the past few weeks working up north in Steamboat Springs. The days were sunny + hot, with afternoon storms. Ah, Colorado summer! Except…last week I went to sleep with rain pounding on the car roof, then woke up to an icy windshield. Oh, winter. I had plans to hit up Fish Creek Falls for a bit of a morning run-hike. That’s exactly what I did, while stubbornly wearing shorts.
It was a rather wet, snowy adventure. I found fall colors…but they were tucked in nicely, under a blanket of fresh snow. As soon as the sun crested the horizon the snowy forest became a dripping forest. I swapped my puffy jacket for my rain jacket + frolicked forward. Tree branches were drooping over the trail, laden with heavy snow. I found simple smiles in pulling one twig to watch the snow tumble to the ground + the branch spring back up to a more “tree-like” position. As it warmed up I got wetter. Snow fell from the tops of aspens to land on my head + shoulders. The shrubs lining the trail dribbled slushy snow onto my legs + shoes. I gave up + just embraced my freebie cold shower…
Of course, I’ve had less snowy luck on the trails, too. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been lucky enough to hit up about 10 trails lined changing undergrowth, softened by fallen leaves + surrounded by stunning mountain views.
I’ve ventured out to soak it all up on Steamboat Springs’ trails [Rabbit Ears Pass, Fish Creek Falls, Howelsen Hill], Summit County’s trails [Ptarmigan Peak, Willow Creek Falls, Lily Pad Lake, Buffalo Peak, Blue River] + new-to-me trails near Eagle [Hardscrabble Mountain Trails]. I got a mix of mountaintops + treed valleys, sandy trails + buttery smooth trails, chilly starts + steamy finishes. It’s been a good fall…to say the least!
*the trail links above are to Trail Run Project + link to trails that are near or overlap the routes I’ve explored*