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The Best Places for Fall Colors in Northern Colorado

Rocky Mountain National Park-Facebook Page
Rocky Mountain National Park-Facebook Page

As my son and I were driving up to Estes Park this past weekend for the Colorado Jeep Jaunt, we were reminded how fortunate we are to live here. The amazing vistas and the majesty of the Rocky Mountains filled up the view through the windshield like a wide-screen HD television. It’s a great scene anytime of the year, but with Fall weather already here, the leaves are starting to turn and those rugged looking mountains will come alive with color. It is so stunning and brilliant, we can’t get enough of it. While sitting at home on the couch in front of a warm fire might be the best option in the winter, we feel compelled to hit the road and find those colors and take it all in with the camera.

So….where to go?

I did some searching online and found a variety of lists that included places all over Colorado. I thought I would focus on what we have here in Northern Colorado. Let’s start with: Trail Ridge Road.

Colorado, Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, Scenic Views Along Trail Ridge Road
Education Images/ Getty Images

It’s the highest continuous paved U.S. highway and crests at 12,183 feet as it crosses the Continental Divide. This is prime leaf looking territory. However, always take a look at weather and the National Park Service website because this road can close quickly and without much notice.

Before or after you visit Trail Ridge Road, you’re not far from another magnificent leaf looking venue: Rocky Mountain National Park.

The Rocky Mountain National Park's Alpine
NurPhoto via Getty Images

Bear Lake Road is the second most favorite scenic drive, right behind Trail Ridge Road. Amazing high mountain lakes, rivers, trailheads, and of course, beautiful foliage.

Other scenic drives while you’re up there:

  • Cache la Poudre Scenic Byway
  • Colorado River Headwaters National Scenic Byway
  • Glen Haven-Drake Scenic Drive
  • Mount Evans Scenic Drive
  • Old Fall River Road
  • Peak To Peak Scenic Byway

Please be mindful of the weather forecasts before planning your trip. Trail Ridge Road was temporarily closed just the other day due to weather.

Get out there and enjoy the beautiful Fall colors in Northern Colorado. As I told my son during that drive, people travel from all over the world to see what we’re seeing…..and it’s in our own backyard.

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