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Tue September 24, 2013
Weekend Getaway: You can still enjoy Colorado Fall Foliage
Even though the images and stories you hear of Colorado say everything is a mess, there are still opportunities to enjoy the fall colors despite the flood.
"With 23 million acres of public lands, there's still a lot open for people to see and experience," says Colorado Tourism Office director Al White. "Visitors should still be able to experience Colorado and the glorious fall we're famous for."
The Denver Post had these get-away ideas in a recent travel feature:
Kebler Pass is one of the most famous and most photographed fall scenes in the state, and for good reason — seemingly endless stands of old-growth aspens on a high-mountain pass, surrounded by towering peaks. The town is world-famous as a mountain-biking mecca.
Grand Lake and Granby
If you had your heart set on elk bugling and a setting similar to that of Estes Park - you'll get the other side of Rocky Mountain National Park and its peaks and forests as a backdrop — these two towns should top your list. They offer the bonus of multiple lakes, great fishing, hiking and biking.
Check out the great scenic drives on the Top of the Rockies Scenic and Historic Byway that circle through the area: the Minturn- Leadville-Twin Lakes-Aspen loop and the Copper Mountain-Leadville-Vail loop. Both will take leaf-peepers by Camp Hale, home of the 10th Mountain Division, and through historic downtown Leadville.
The 2nd annual Pedal the Plains rolled through the little towns on the prairie for three days in September, highlighting — Eads, Lamar and La Junta — with their easygoing charm and real Old West offerings. You can enjoy them with the cooler weather. Don't miss Picketwire Canyon and Bent's Old Fort.
The town that never met a festival it didn't like just finished up another successful Blues & Brews, but it's even better when it's not overrun with people, which it might be now for a little while. Dogs are always welcome, and there are hikes to be had right from town. Take the free gondola for killer views.
The cowboy way is still evident in this laid-back town, which finds horseback riding alongside mountain bikes and hot springs galore. Get up into Routt National Forest to find trails that go on forever.
Set up a base camp here and start exploring. Without the sun beating down, this is an ideal time to hike, bike or just hang out, especially on the deck of one of the many restaurants set up near the mountains.