Here are a few suggestions for areas to explore to see the aspens change:
Pikes Peak Region
– If you’re staying close to home, be sure to consider a drive to Cripple Creek. Take U.S. 24 west through Woodland Park. At Divide, take Colorado 67 south. Hikers might wish to check out Mueller State Park or Pancake Rocks along the way.
– Also consider driving the Pikes Peak Highway for a panoramic view of the region. Fee is $12 per person or $40 for a family.
– Find another great drive on Mt. Herman Road in Monument. Take Interstate 25 north to exit 161. Go west and follow Second Street through town. Head south on Mitchell Road and take a right onto Mt. Herman Road at Dirty Woman Park. Take the well-maintained dirt road to the top of Mt. Herman.
Within a few hours’ drive:
– Aspens ring the stately peaks of the Sangre de Cristo range south of Colorado Springs. Wait for them to reach their peak and take Colorado 115 to Colorado 67 to Colorado 69.
– For a classic drive, head to Kebler Pass near Crested Butte. Head west out of Crested Butte over County Road 12, an improved dirt road, and be surrounded by aspens and breathtaking vistas. At Colorado 133, you can head north toward McClure Pass for more or return the way you came. For a shorter day, stick to Colorado 135 between Crested Butte and Gunnison.
– Independence Pass, one of Colorado’s higher paved roads, provides sweeping views of golden aspens, but be sure to check road conditions. Colorado 82 is normally open until Nov. 1 but could be shut down early because of weather.
– Head to Estes Park and pick up Trail Ridge Road for an unforgettable trip through Rocky Mountain National Park, where brilliant aspens might clash with ruddy colors of other fall foliage.
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