Gold yellow aspen forest in autumn with blue sky

Aspen forest in San Juan National Forest outside of the mountain towns of Ouray and Silverton along the Million Dollar Highway. Photo Credit: sboice (iStock).

Fall foliage season is right around the corner in Colorado. Here’s a look at what you can expect for fall colors in 2020.

The approach of September 22 – the first official day of autumn — is getting leaf-peepers excited to see fall colors. Colorado generally starts to color up anywhere from mid-September to early October. Keep in mind that the aspen leaves at higher elevations tend transform much faster.

According to AccuWeather, it's looking like peak fall foliage could be delayed this year due to warmer and dryer weather.

Senior Meteorologist Paul Pastelok says, "with all the warm weather, I think it’s going to be delayed again. It’s kind of been the typical rule the last couple of years."

Warm sunny days and cool crisp nights are ideal for creating spectacular fall foliage. Weather conditions, particularly temperature and moisture, play a major role in the timing and brilliance of fall colors.

According to the U.S. Forest Service, "the amount and brilliance of the colors that develop in any particular autumn season are related to weather conditions that occur before and during the time the chlorophyll in the leaves is dwindling."

Dry conditions could also cause some leaves to drop early in parts of the state, without little or much of a color change. While there's a chance for peak fall foliage to be delayed this year, Mother Nature will ultimately set the schedule.

Seeking color adventures in Colorado? Here are 12 scenic drives to see fall colors around the state.  

Breanna Sneeringer writes about news, adventure, and more for OutThere Colorado as a Digital Content Producer. She is an avid adventure seeker and wildflower enthusiast. Breanna joined OutThere Colorado in September 2018.


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