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fall

By Matt Payne, Examiner.com 

One of my favorite parts of living in Colorado is the fall colors that come each September and October. Over the years, I’ve come to note in my mind the best areas to view fall colors around the state, and I thought I’d share my top five areas with you!

1. Dallas Divide

Not only is the Dallas Divide home to some of my favorite mountains to climb, it is also home to some of the most breathtaking areas for fall foliage. Start in the town of Ridgway, which is located south of Montrose. You will see the mighty 14er, Mount Sneffels as you enter Ridgway. Mount Sneffels is one of my favorite mountains to climb. From there, head west on Colorado Highway 62 over the Dallas Divide. You will be afforded incredible, classic views of the Sneffels Wilderness Area and a bounty of color will explode before your eyes from the aspen trees. At Placerville, drive southeast toward Telluride on Colorado Highway 145. From here, you will head towards Lizard Head Pass and see incredible views of Wilson Peak, which I climbed back in July. Did you also know that Wilson Peak is featured on the Coors Beer can?

2. West Elks and Kebler Pass

I’ve not had the chance to visit this area yet, but through my admiration of one of Colorado’s best photographers, Kane Engelbert, I feel like this is one of the best areas for viewing fall colors in the country. To get there, head west out of Crested Butte on Gunnison County Road 12. You will be immediately pleased by the fall colors in this area. The aptly named Ruby Range add contrast and more color as you continue. This would be a great area to stop and hike in. At Colorado Highway 133, you should drive north toward McClure Pass for more incredible colors and opportunities for incredible fall hiking.

3. Maroon Bells – Snowmass Wilderness Area

The Maroon Bells are quite possibly the most photographed mountains in the world, and it is really no wonder as to why. The fall colors, as seen in this area, are quite splendid indeed. I feel that this area needs no further introduction, and examples can be found in the slideshow. According to the Colorado Tourism website, on weekends in September, access to the Maroon Bells is limited to shuttle buses that leave Aspen on a regular basis. But if you reserve a campsite along Maroon Creek Road, you can drive your vehicle all the way to the scenic Maroon Lake. This whole area is incredible – I visited it twice this year, once to backpack to Snowmass Lake, and another time to climb Snowmass Mountain and Hagerman Peak.

4. Cottonwood Pass

The mighty Sawatch Mountain Range is home to several 14ers and 13ers, including some of the best fall colors around. When driving in from the east on Highway 285, the majestic Mount Princeton greets you with huge groves of aspen at its base. Driving up to Cottonwood Pass places you between both Princeton and Mount Yale, another huge 14er. As you pass beneath the 14ers, you’ll find yourself in a valley full of aspen trees ranging from green to gold. Last year, I was able to view all of this from the summit of six 13ers, all in one day!

5. Guanella Pass Scenic and Historic Byway

To reach this superb area, drive south out of the historic town of Georgetown to the summit of 11,699 ft. Guanella Pass. The changing aspen are pretty amazing, especially on the south side of the pass. Turn right on US Highway 285 and take the highway for 15 minutes to the top of Kenosha Pass, where you will be afforded more incredible views of aspen trees near South Park.

RANDOM POSTS

Hayden Public Library's Reader of the Week is 2-year-old Eve Phillips, who is one of the youngest honorees in the history of the program. She is a Craig resident, along with her parents, Courtney Archuleta and Seth Phillips. She has an 11-year-old brother, Tyler, a boxer mix dog named Zeus and a bunny named Storm.

Eve's favorite color is pink, and her favorite food is fruit, especially watermelon and strawberries. She enjoys playing with her cousin, Maliah, her brother and her friends at the playgroup she attends with her mother.

Eve also fishes with her dad, swims, plays ball outside and comes to the library's story hour. Her favorite book is “Goodnight Moon,” by Margaret Wise Brown. Eve also enjoys watching “Clifford the Big Red Dog.”

The family just got back from fishing at Flaming Gorge and is hoping to go to the zoo in Denver. Eve's mom was very excited when she found out her daughter was Reader of the Week.

Newspaper seeks editorial board representatives

Steamboat Today is accepting letters of interest from readers who would like to serve as community representatives on the newspaper's Editorial Board.

Individuals selected for the board will be asked to serve a four-month term beginning mid-August.

The Editorial Board includes two community representatives and four members of the newspaper staff.

Publisher Suzanne Schlicht, Editor Lisa Schlichtman, Assistant Editor Jim Patterson and veteran reporter Tom Ross serve as the board's newspaper representatives. Current community representatives on the board are Geoffrey Petis and Tami Havener.

The Editorial Board formulates the Our View opinions expressed on the ViewPoints page of the newspaper on Wednesdays and Sundays. The Editorial Board meets at 10:30 a.m. Thursdays at the newspaper offices, 1901 Curve Plaza.

Readers interested in serving on the Editorial Board should email a letter and resume to Schlichtman at [email protected] or send it to the Steamboat Pilot & Today, P.O. Box 774827, Steamboat Springs, CO 80477. Letters also may be dropped off at the Pilot & Today office at 1901 Curve Plaza. Call Schlichtman at 970-871-4221 with questions.

Next Coffee and Newspaper slated for Wednesday, Aug. 5

Steamboat Today's next Coffee and a Newspaper will be held from 7:30 to 9 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 5 at the newspaper office, 1901 Curve Plaza. The proposed Steamboat Springs School District bond issue will be the topic of discussion. Superintendent Brad Meeks and other district officials will attend to present information and answer questions from the community. Coffee and pastries will be served. Members of the newspaper staff — including Publisher Suzanne Schlicht, Editor Lisa Schlichtman and Assistant Editor Jim Patterson — also will be on hand to answer questions.

Steamboat class of 1995 reunion to be held today

All Steamboat Springs High School graduates are invited to join the class of 1995 reunion at 5 p.m. today at Slopeside Grill. On Saturday, class of '95 graduates and their families can enjoy a barbecue at 3 p.m. at Little Toots Park. For more information, visit the Steamboat Springs High School Class of 1995 Reunion page at facebook.com.

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