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Leaf Peeping Season: Where to View the Changing Foliage

August 31, 2019

Ok, so you know about our Telluride summers and winters, but what about the fall? Have you ever been in Telluride to witness the changing foliage? Telluride is composed of primarily aspen, fir, and spruce trees. At the end of September and early October the white trunked aspen trees with their light green leaves begin to transform into a golden yellow. This, in contrast with the dark green spruce trees, is a spectacle you do not want to miss.

Of all the spots to find a view in Telluride, aka everywhere, here are a few of my favorites for leaf peeping.

1. On top of the Via Ferrata
Via Ferrata’s were invented as a means of soldiers to move quickly through the mountains during war. They are composed of a series of metal cables to safely clip into and metal rungs to traverse across steep cliff faces (like monkey bars for adults). Telluride’s Chuck Kroger had a vision for the first public, recreational Via Ferrata in the U.S. to traverse the end of our valley. What began as a hush hush spot for the local climbers, is now one of the most popular activities of Telluride. If you do not have your own gear and expertise, you can hire a guide service (San Juan Outdoor Adventures or Mountain Trip) to take you across this exposed hike/climb. At the end of the valley and far above town, you will experience the best views of Bridal Veil Waterfall, the town below, and the Golden aspens painting the valley floor.

2. Hope Lake Trail
If you have a vehicle and would like to explore areas outside of the town limits, take a bit longer hike (approximately 5 miles round trip) to Hope Lake. Turn left at Trout Lake and head up the road to the trailhead. Follow a stunning, moderate trail through the woods and up to this deep blue, sparkling, alpine lake. Find perspective in viewing the changing foliage from within the forest and far above. Try to catch it in the early morning when the rising sun creates a magical ambience within the forest. 

3. Dinner or Drinks at Allred's Restaurant
To catch the foliage at the Golden Hour, make a reservation with Allred’s Restaurant at the top of the Gondola Station. Reserve an early dinner, window seat and view the aspens as the sun sets on the Town of Telluride. Allred’s Restaurant is not only an experience, but also has some of the most flavorful entrees and fine wines of Telluride. For a more casual evening, enjoy the same views from the bar with your choice of hand crafted cocktails and a light meal.


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