We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Fall Foliage Reports 2018

Colorado
Level Contributor
12,960 posts
16 reviews
Fall Foliage Reports 2018

There have been a few posts already about aspen color in some areas of the state. Experts agree that the drought is likely responsible for stress which can cause leaves to change color or drop.

https:/…94447518

From the Colorado Springs Gazette: https:/…aspens-changing-early

Advice from Haley Balentine at the Crested Butte Visitor Center: Don't delay.

"Over the past week her eyes widened at what she saw on Kebler Pass, the go-to spot for photographers visiting Crested Butte. Balentine said she also beheld yellow splashes up and down Monarch Pass and Kenosha Pass boasting surprise brilliance in photos recently posted to social media."

One of the Denver meteorologists predicts "it will likely be a quick color-change this year and likely not last as long."

We'll keep this thread updated with information as it comes in.

And please report your fall color sightings here.

112 replies to this topic
Colorado
Level Contributor
2,536 posts
142 reviews
1. Re: Fall Foliage Reports 2018

The scrub oak has turned near us. An interesting mix of black fire burned areas and yellow/orange oak brush.

colorado springs,co
Destination Expert
for Colorado Springs
Level Contributor
2,592 posts
18 reviews
2. Re: Fall Foliage Reports 2018

Where are you Sopris (elevation)?

Colorado
Level Contributor
12,960 posts
16 reviews
3. Re: Fall Foliage Reports 2018

@ 8300' near Nederland we've seen yellow aspen leaves for weeks. Many are brown around the edges - not pretty :( The scrub oak and underbrush has already turned. Our burn area looks like yours, sopris.

Eagle, Colorado
Level Contributor
1,360 posts
4. Re: Fall Foliage Reports 2018

Aspens definitely beginning to turn above avon[7400 ft] and on Beaver Creek.

Colorado
Level Contributor
12,960 posts
16 reviews
5. Re: Fall Foliage Reports 2018

This morning from meteorologist Matt Makens on Facebook and Twitter:

Leaf colors: Based on past similar drought patterns, here's a forecast for the peak for aspen colors this year. Will need to adjust if extreme cold or snow should move in. (post includes a map)

https:/…

https:/…1033097226350940160

Windsor, Colorado
Destination Expert
for Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park
Level Contributor
12,967 posts
136 reviews
6. Re: Fall Foliage Reports 2018

This is the most recent drought monitor map for Colorado.

…unl.edu/CurrentMap/StateDroughtMonitor.aspx…

Since Matt Makens referenced the comparison of this year to 2012, here is the Fall Colors 2012 thread posted on the Colorado Forum.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g28927…

I was in Estes Park and RMNP this past week. Looking at the drought monitor map, most of the eastern side of RMNP is not in drought. However, it was really hot in RMNP in May, June and July. For the first time since 2012, RMNP officials put a Stage 2 fire ban in effect in the park from July 6 through July 20. For the most part, the aspen trees on the east side of RMNP looked okay. I did see signs of heat stress on some of the aspen trees and particularly on willows. In my opinion, RMNP will follow a more normal color change pattern this year. That generally means nice color change by mid-September on the west side of RMNP and in the Grand Lake area. A week later (9/22), the Bear Lake area should be near peak color. Peak color will make its way down the mountain in the following week to 10 days. Lower elevations of RMNP will have nice color through very early October - as in before October 7. The tundra along Trail Ridge Road is displaying its fall color now which is normal for this time of year. I will add that I really could not see the aspens at the highest elevations in RMNP because of the smoke haze so I can't tell you if those aspens were changing to chartreuse green. When those aspens turn chartreuse green, that is a good indication that the change to yellow is about 2 weeks away.

I have not been up Poudre Canyon or in the Red Feather Lakes area recently. That area is divided between abnormally dry and no drought on the map. Normal timing of the beginning of peak color in upper Poudre Canyon and in the Red Feather Lakes area is around September 21.

Colorado
Level Contributor
12,960 posts
16 reviews
7. Re: Fall Foliage Reports 2018

Thanks for posting the link to the 2012 thread.

Fall color will definitely depend on where the drought hit hardest. For example, I live ~40 miles south of Estes Park and we haven't had any measurable rain this month; June and July were hot and dry. I always report on the leaf progress along the Peak to Peak byway every fall. Color will vary because I know they've received rain north and south of here.

8. Re: Fall Foliage Reports 2018

Do you recommend Sep 22-23 or Sep29-30 weekend for fall colors in Aspen - planning to do maroon bells, independence day ?

Colorado
Level Contributor
2,536 posts
142 reviews
9. Re: Fall Foliage Reports 2018

7200'

Colorado
Destination Expert
for Colorado
Level Contributor
14,661 posts
64 reviews
10. Re: Fall Foliage Reports 2018

I was at Twin Lakes, August 26th. The leaves are just starting to turn, early there too.

Reply to: Fall Foliage Reports 2018
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted