Sunday, September 23, 2012

Leaf Peeping via Motorcycle

The Fall Colors are in full bloom in the mountains and forests to the west of the Denver Metro Area.  This Sunday I left early to beat the traffic that would surely swarm the mountain roads, with cars full of folks trying to see the bright yellows of Aspen and other deciduous trees as the weather turns cooler.

I rode into the Foothills via Deer Creek Canyon and from there into Turkey Creek Canyon, eventually twisting and turning my way upwards towards the town of Conifer where I fueled up again.
Next was a ride down towards the South Platte River area via Foxton Road.

I made several stops as I spotted a clump or group of brightly yellow trees from the road.  The contrast between their yellow leaves shining in the sun, and the dark green pine trees in the background were sometimes quite stunning.

A short run along the South Platte River Road towards Foxton, led me past a sunlit Cathedral Spires mountain and onto CO126.  I headed north on CO126 until I got to the small town of Pine Junction and I turned off its main street and up the mile towards Sphinx Park's several rock domes.

I took Elk Creek Road out of Sphinx Park and enjoyed its many tight turns and curves, finally arriving at the town of Pine.  I got onto US285 Southbound at this point and thought to include the fall colors on Guanella Pass since I wasn't too far away at this point.

Apparently, this idea occurred to a whole lot of other folks.  I'd never seen Guanella Pass Road, out of Grant, so full of cars and SUVs, all trying to get to the trees where colors had turned.

Still, traffic aside, the weather was pretty good all day, the crowds at the top of Guanella Pass were bearable and you could see that folks were trying to squeeze on more nice weekend in the mountains in before Fall really sets in.

 Along Foxton Road

 Scraggly Peak

 Cathedral Spires 

 Along the South Platte River Road

 Fall Colors along Guanella Pass Road

 Summit of Guanella Pass, Sawtooth Mtn in background


SonjaM said...

Isn't this a brilliant time of the year? My favourite for sure. Nice to see Brigitta on the road for a change.

redlegsrides said...

Truly a good time of the year to ride, nice and cool for the most part...good scenery....and it tells me snow is near....which is why Brigitta was the chosen steed of the day....

Keith - Circle Blue said...

I went for a long ride Sunday and was a little surprised at how green things are here. I'm wondering what effect the dry conditions will have on the autumn colors.

I think you chose wisely for the cover photo. I'm partial to flowing water and like the photo with the stream.

Oz said...

Great shot. I have only visited Colorado once in the fall, but I loved it. The colors are so nice.
Thanks for sharing.

RichardM said...

Beautiful colors. There were a few flakes of the white stuff today but not enough to worry about.

As is usual on the Examiner site, I am unable to see the pictures. About two thirds of them are just black.

redlegsrides said...

Richard, there's a link at end of article to the album on google

Troubadour said...

Great photos as always. I appreciate the changing color of the leaves as they have yet to turn here.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks Troubadour for the kind words, I lucked out with the colors in a couple of the pics

Unknown said...

You have beautiful pictures posted. I would love to go visit Colorado sometime. You should visit my site at where we share pictures, videos, and stories about our rides cross country. :)

redlegsrides said...

Megan, thanks for the link.

Unknown said...


we don't have trees around here that change colours like that. We used to go into our interior, around Merritt BC where you would find leaves turning yellow. but other than that you would have to go to Leavenworth to find the red turning leaves. Most of our trees are evergreen

you must have had problems leaning the correct way on this ride.

Riding the Wet Coast
My Flickr // My YouTube

Bluekat said...

Am I like the last one to figure out there are more pictures on the Examiner link!?!

Beautiful all! I stole one for my desktop, thank you very much :)

redlegsrides said...

Well actually Bob, some If the stops were so iffy I was wanting that third wheel!

Thanks for the visit

redlegsrides said...

Thanks for the kind words Motoroz

redlegsrides said...

Thanks Circle Blue, that one was one of my favorites as well

redlegsrides said...

Kari, you see, you have to read the articles too, not just look at the pictures! ;)