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21 Breathtaking Shots of a Colorado Fall

By: Stephen Martin

When crossing into Colorado, visitors will see a quick glimpse of a "Welcome To Colorful Colorado" sign as they pass the state line. If you happen to be traveling through Colorado in the fall, or luckily call it home, then the reasoning behind those signs is blatantly obvious on a fall drive through practically anywhere in the state where aspens grow. From down south by Telluride to long stretches of road up and down the front range, these beautiful golden groves of aspens fill Colorado's forrest and captivate their viewers with glowing trees and softly falling yellow leaves. All photos in this gallery by Diane Sandoval ofThe Forest's Edge Photography.

Evening in an Aspen Wood

Ouray, Colorado

I am reminded of one of my favorite poems from Robert Frost that includes the phrase “…the woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep… It was so quiet, just the sun setting in these aspen woods near Ouray, Colorado.
Photo Credit: The Forest’s Edge Photography – Diane Sandoval

After the Rain

Kebler Pass Road, Crested Butte

Aspen leaves shining with raindrops have the effect of magic, as if the forest floor was sprinkled with stars.
Photo Credit: The Forest’s Edge Photography – Diane Sandoval

Lone Pine

Rampart Range Road, Woodland Park

A young, Colorado blue spruce stands alone amid a grove of aspens in this late fall forest. Snow fell before the aspen trees dropped their gold leaves making an interesting contrast to the winter white ground. Photographed off Rampart Range Road near Woodland Park, Colorado.
Photo Credit: The Forest’s Edge Photography – Diane Sandoval

Blazing Mountainside

West of Mt Elbert, Forebay Reservoir, Twin Lakes

The clouds were rolling over the mountains, fast, but as they did this beautiful patch of aspen trees changed colors as each cloud came through. The leaf colors went from bright gold, to orange to reds, then almost to burgundy, then back to golden again.
Photo Credit: The Forest’s Edge Photography – Diane Sandoval

In Dreams Awake

Last Dollar Road, near Telluride

Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake,” said Henry David Thoreau. As a photographer we see beauty all of the time, but in the midst of the technical side of shooting, we’re seeing composition, light and color. Often times we don’t take enough time to stop in awe of the sheer magnificence of nature. This amazing aspen forest was near Telluride on Last Dollar Road and it was bathed in warm afternoon light. What’s your “In dreams awake?”
Photo Credit: The Forest’s Edge Photography – Diane Sandoval

America’s Mountain Fall

Forest Road 306, near Rampart Reservoir

An early, heavy snow fell on America’s Mountain, Pikes Peak and surrounding range near Woodland Park, Colorado. Snow is supposed to come after the leaves fall, after we have a warm, sunny fall, but not this year. Still stormy with more snow on the way, I captured a bit of sun shining on the foreground aspen and pine forest.
Photo Credit: The Forest’s Edge Photography – Diane Sandoval

High Country Gold

Maroon Creek Rd, (CR 13), Aspen

High country gold! Fall in the high country of Colorado is synonymous with golden aspen leaves. 
This photo was taken on one of those amazingly perfect, early fall days on Maroon Creek Rd, near Aspen.
Photo Credit: The Forest’s Edge Photography – Diane Sandoval

Miles of Gold

Independence Pass, Aspen side

There were miles and miles of golden aspen forests on every highway and on every back country forest road. Yellow gold leaves, orange leaves, even red leaves this year. On Independence Pass, in Colorado, this forest was spectacular; it’s no wonder they call these forests the, “Forests of Light!”
Photo Credit: The Forest’s Edge Photography – Diane Sandoval

New Morning

Kebler Pass Road, Crested Butte

Between clouds and precious sunlight – a new morning begins. Rain saturated and painted every leaf and blade of grass the night before. A blue, soft light penetrated the aspen leaf canopy, creating a muted, early morning forest.
Photo Credit: The Forest’s Edge Photography – Diane Sandoval

Last Light in the Valley

Ridgway, County Road 5

It was the night of the eclipse of a full blood moon and as I waited for the moonrise, I took this photo near Ridgway, looking southwest towards Telluride, Colorado and the valley below was still glowing with the dimming sun light. A pretty row of aspen trees in their golden glory highlighted the foreground ridge.
Photo Credit: The Forest’s Edge Photography – Diane Sandoval

Ohio Pass Gold

Gunnison, Colorado

Ohio Pass is one of the most scenic areas in and around Gunnison Butte, Colorado, but in fall it goes to another whole level of natural beauty. Colorfully golden yellow aspen trees make this pass magical. A must see if you’re in the area of Gunnison in fall.
Photo Credit: The Forest’s Edge Photography – Diane Sandoval

The Forest Glowed

Cottonwood Lake, off Cottonwood Pass, near Buena Vista

After the snow, after the wind, after the rain, the sun came out and the forest glowed.
Photo Credit: The Forest’s Edge Photography – Diane Sandoval

Rows

Gunnison National Forest, Colorado

Rows of aspens trees end in a touch of gold ~ Gunnison National Forest, near Crested Butte, Colorado.
Photo Credit: The Forest’s Edge Photography – Diane Sandoval

Splash of Gold

The Shadow of Mt Elbert, Twin Lakes

Just a splash of fall gold created a colorful contrast to the stark black and white trunks of these aspen trees near Twin Lakes, Colorado.
Photo Credit: The Forest’s Edge Photography – Diane Sandoval

Stillness

Mueller State Park

Sometimes, we, as photographers take a photograph just for ourselves, always with the goal in mind to “capture” a moment of time that moves us. This isn’t the iconic scene, nor perfect aspen forest, but was more about a quiet Sunday afternoon, in an aspen woods when the sun broke through the clouds and everything stilled.
Photo Credit: The Forest’s Edge Photography – Diane Sandoval

Two

Kebler Pass Road, near Crested Butte

My first shot of the rainy morning started when I walked into an empty camp off Kebler Pass Road and came upon an old campfire ring with large, wooden logs strewn around the ring used for seating. Fallen leaves covered the ground, but only two fell on the worn logs.
Photo Credit: The Forest’s Edge Photography – Diane Sandoval

Vigilant

Castle Creek Road, Aspen

One pine stands quietly vigilant among the tall aspens. Sunlight dotted the forest floor with bright beams of light. So peaceful here, near Aspen, Colorado with just the wind in the quaking aspens.
Photo Credit: The Forest’s Edge Photography – Diane Sandoval

Aspens Reflection

Mueller State Park

A forest pond with just enough wind to cause the ripples and wavy lines of this late season aspen forest. Past its prime, not deep gold and rust; the leaves of these aspen still glowed when reflected in the small, forest pond.
Photo Credit: The Forest’s Edge Photography – Diane Sandoval

West Elk Range Reflection

Kebler Pass Rd, Crested Butte

A quiet pond reflects golden aspens, stately pines and a bit of snow that remains on mountaintops nearby.
Photo Credit: The Forest’s Edge Photography – Diane Sandoval

White Woods

Last Dollar Road, Telluride

The bark on an aspen tree comes in all different tones of white, but never truly white it seems. I’ve seen some with an olive green tinge and some tan or even a dirty gray, but these aspens were the whitest I’ve ever seen. It did help that the dazzling afternoon sun almost bleached the whole scene to a bright, soft sheen.
Photo Credit: The Forest’s Edge Photography – Diane Sandoval

White Autumn

Forest Road 306, near Woodland Park

The aspen tree bark in this area has long been a source of food for deer and elk creating the most beautiful patterns on these aspen tree trunks. We had an early snow with golden aspen leaves still on the trees in most places. Here they fell and dotted the snow below. I love the contrast and the slight bits of gold aspen leaves that decorate the bark.
Photo Credit: The Forest’s Edge Photography – Diane Sandoval

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