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Leaf Peeping in Nederland

It's the first weekend in October, which means that this might be the last weekend to see fall colors in the mountains. There will still be plenty of colors down in the foothills, but not the same kinds of colors that we get in the mountains. Primarily I'm talking about the Aspen trees which can grow in thick groves in the mountains and turn a vibrant yellow color. Fall colors seemed to be a little late this year, so there's a chance that the colors could be good next weekend, but we have plants that will keep us out of the mountains next weekend, and the colors will surely be gone the weekend after.

This is our second "hike" this weekend, which is rare. I put hike in quotes since neither of the trails we were on this weekend were very difficult. Our barometer for if something should be considered a hike is usually that it needs to be over 1,000 feet in elevation gain, but that isn't fair for snowshoeing where a moderately difficult hike might only be 800 feet in elevation gain. But I digress - with fall colors not lasting very long, we knew we had to go out to try and find some rich Aspen groves. Yesterday we found fall colors past their peak; today, we found fall colors not quite at their peak. It's so odd that the colors change in different areas (even though yesterday and today we were at similar elevations), but not knowing what the aspens will be like helps in the adventure of trying to find the perfect colors.

This hike started off with someone telling us there was a bull nose not too far from the start of the trail. This got us quite excited, but we never saw it. The temperature was about right for a moose sighting, but we figured it was probably too busy to see one. Then just a few minutes from our car at the end of the hike another group warned us that the moose was still roaming around. We extended our hike a little bit to try and find it, but the moose didn't want to be seen by us. We've seen plenty of moose this season, but it would have been really cool to capture one in the aspens. Maybe next year...

Trailhead Location
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3.69 mi 2 hrs 8,826 ft 331 ft
View Graph
Between the Pine Trees
Weather Over the Mountain
Aspen Alley
Hanging off the Cliff
Aspen Trunks
Around the Bend
Hwy 132W
Golden Leaves
Colorful Mountainside
Muddy Water