2 of the best places to see Colorado’s fall colors are right here in Roaring Fork Valley. The drive from the roundabout right outside of Aspen Co offers two of the most stunning areas to leaf peep, Castle Creek Rd, and the Maroon Bells.
The first, which is my favorite place to be a Leaf Peeper is up Castle Creek Rd. Once passed the hospital, the drive is mostly private homes that are tucked along the mountainside, then you will reach Ashcroft Ghost Town but don’t just stop there a few more miles up the road is Pine Creek Cookhouse. Once past the secluded restaurant, the views open up and the gold on the aspen trees against the blue skies truly is breathtaking. If you have time take advantage of the many hikes offered from Castle Creek Rd, Cathedral Lake, and Conundrum Hot Springs.
We had to take time for some rock throwing and playing with a stick in a puddle. No reason for us to be in a rush on a stunning fall day.
Back at the roundabout is the route to get to the Maroon Bells which is located in the White River National Forest. The Maroon Bells are the most photographed mountain range in all of Colorado and once you experience it, you’ll understand why.
Driving through the roundabout you will pass the Aspen school system, next is the extreme ski hill known as Highlands (This is where you would catch the Maroon Bells bus). You can drive before 8 am and after 5 pm, otherwise, you have to take the bus for a fee. Next up is the working ranch called T-Lazy-7, they offer horseback riding tours and in the winter snowmobile tours in the winter. This road is a favorite to cyclist since the traffic is limited and the scenery is stunning. After several miles on the road, you will go around a curve with an impressive view of the Bells, you still have several more miles until you reach the destination. Once at the destination you will walk down a few hundred yards and see the reflection of the Bells in a lake. Take advantage of the trail that goes around the lake or heads up to Crater Lake.
In my opinion, Castle Creek Rd and Maroon Bells are the 2 best places to see Colorado’s fall colors.
Where is your favorite place to enjoy the changing colors of fall? Leave your comment below.
Be sure to check out some of my other blogs regarding the Aspen area.