Throughout Colorado's 14 million square miles of forest lands, only one leaf-bearing tree makes a real presence in the fall among the dozens of pines, spruces, and cedars. About mid-September, the leaves of the small, white-barked aspens turn a deep, luminescent yellow. Framed by the dark green pines and the rugged snow-capped peaks, this is one of the most beautiful sights in the world.
A single grove of aspens will often offer a spectrum of hues, changing from pale yellow at the bottom to a brilliant deep red at higher elevations with all variations of orange, yellow, brown, and green in between.
Perhaps the favorite aspen viewing spot for most Coloradoans is around the old resort town of Estes Park, located at the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. Inside the park, Trail Ridge Road snakes its way across mountain tops with views that take in most of central Colorado. The park is only 71 miles northwest of Denver, and it is possible to tour it in a day trip from Denver.
For further information on fall events in Colorado, write Aspen Color Tours, Denver and Colorado Convention and Visitors Bureau, 225 W. Colfax, Denver, Colo. 80202.