Every fall, “Colorful” Colorado reminds us how it earned its moniker when stunning displays of seasonal change crescendo in its aspen-blanketed hillsides and cottonwood-lined rivers, igniting the state’s diverse mountain landscapes with explosions of color.
A quick science lesson behind the fall color: trees produce less chlorophyll as the days grow shorter. As a result, the leaves begin to lose their green hue. The vibrant shades of yellow, red, and orange that follow are actually the “true” pigment of the leaves (the color they would be without the presence of this biomolecule).
Nature’s eye-popping fireworks first take hold at high elevations – the upper reaches of areas like Buffalo Pass, Emerald Mountain and the Elk River Valley – before gradually creeping down to the valley floor as chilly fall air returns to Northwest Colorado. If you explore any of these places this fall, it’s likely you will gaze upon (and maybe even photograph) YVLT-conserved lands at some point in your journey!
This year, arborists believe the Yampa Valley will experience its peak fall colors sometime between September 23rd and the first week of October. With temperatures dropping and abundant sunshine in the forecast, there is arguably no better time to get outdoors and marvel at this jaw-dropping annual phenomenon!
YVLT conservation projects have protected huge swaths of forest and open land that contribute immeasurably to the fall experience in this area. To date, YVLT has preserved over 55,290 acres across Northwest Colorado – protecting the photogenic mountain landscapes that burst with color every autumn.
If you enjoy the Yampa Valley’s glowing fall foliage, support the only locally-based organization dedicated to preserving its open lands and forest resources.