I love the fall in Colorado Springs. Cooler mornings, clear crisp air, and golden aspens make this a special time of year. One of the big treats is the changing of the leaves. It is a different experience every year, and every elevation. Some years a wind storm can come and blow it all away in a heart beat. But most years, we get a chance to do some sort of color tour. This year we’ve had a pretty dry, warm fall, but they say the leaves will fall quicker because of it, and they have started turning aleady, although not too much in the Springs yet. By the 1st week of October, many of the aspen groves in the state are quite bare.
When time allows (it is 4 – 4 1/2 hours each way with stops), we like the loop up to Aspen, taking Highway 24 , and eventually Highway 82 over Independence Pass into Aspen (this road is breathtaking!). The return part (you can do this in either order) is to take Highway 82 back down to Glenwood Springs, take I70 back through Vail, and then either take highway 9 back through Breckenridge, or stay with the freeway.
Another fall favorite for me is Rocky Mountain National Park, a 2 1/2 – 3 hour each way trip. The elk come down into the meadows, and it is treat to get so close to the wildlife. They really put on a great show, there is nothing quite like seeing 2 bull elk go at it head to head.
When time is in short supply (seems to happen a lot), we tend to at least go up to Cripple Creek (only a 1 hour drive each way), where along Highway 67 there are some nice stands of aspens, and great hiking trails to enjoy them from in places along the way, such as Mueller State Park, Horsethief Falls or the Crags.