Fall Drives Near Breckenridge for Leaf Peepers

IWednesday, September 21, 2011 by Mark Grattan_2t might still be warm and feel like summer in most parts of the country but here in Breckenridge and Colorado’s High Country fall is in the air. Each morning as I walk my dog I have felt frost crunching under my foot and a few times even had to scrape ice off of my car’s windshield! While mornings have been a little chilly recently by mid day the weather has been beautiful with plenty of sunshine and temperatures in the mid 60’s.

Fall is the season locals relish the most and not just because it reminds us that winter is coming. Fall in Breckenridge is the driest season of the year with monthly rainfall totals less than one inch. Breckenridge restaurants and shops are all open and generally offer the best deals of the year. Breckenridge slows down but local businesses staff up for the winter so service levels are excellent. Most of all the aspen and willow trees change color from green to yellow and red creating the most beautiful fall scenery in the Rocky Mountains. The trees have not peaked yet and there are a few good weeks left to get in some leaf peeping. Below are some of the best local drives for seeing fall colors around Breckenridge as contributed by Joell Folger, Activities Coordinator at Grand Timber Lodge.

Boreas Pass between Como and Breckenridge: From Main Street, Breckenridge, head south to the light of Boreas Pass Road (TIP: Look for ice rink signs). Turn Left onto Boreas Pass road and follow into Como; then turn Right onto Hwy 285 into Fairplay; at the light in Fairplay, turn Right onto Hwy 9. This will bring you back into Breckenridge.

Buena Vista through Leadville: Head South on Main St./Highway 9 through town, Blue River and over Hoosier Pass/the Continental Divide, through Alma and into Fairplay. At the “T” intersection after the town of Fairplay {junction of Hwy 285 & Hwy 9}, turn Right onto Hwy 285 & Hwy 9. Continue on Hwy 285 to Johnson Village. Go through Johnson Village to the “T” intersection of Hwy 285 and Hwy 24. Turn Right onto Hwy 24, towards Buena Vista. Stay on Highway 24 into Leadville. As you are leaving Leadville, take Highway 91 North to Copper Mountain and I-70 East home to the Frisco/Highway 9 Exit.

Guanella Pass, Georgetown to Grant: Take I-70 East to Georgetown, Exit #228. Turn right onto 15th St; Take the 1st right onto Argentine St/Co Rd 306; Take the 1st left onto 11th St; Take the 1st right onto Rose St;   Turn left onto 2nd St/Co Rd 381-this is Guanella Pass and this will take you to the town of Grant. In Grant take Hwy 285 south towards Fairplay. In Fairplay turn right at the light onto Hwy 9 to bring you back to Breckenridge.

Trail Ridge Road (US 34) through Rocky Mountain National Park: Take Main Street/Hwy 9 to I-70 East, exit at Silverthorne/hwy 9 North into the town of Kremmling. Take a right onto Hwy 40 East to Granby, in Granby take Hwy 34 towards Grand Lake and the West entrance into Rocky Mountain National Park. Trail Ridge Road goes through the park to Estes Park. From Estes Park take Hwy 7/72 to Central City and Hwy 119. Hwy 119 takes you to I-70 West to Frisco/ Hwy 9.

Independence Pass, Colorado 82, Between Twin Lakes and Aspen: Take I-70 to exit 195-Copper Mountain/Highway 91. You want to take Highway 91 towards Leadville. Hwy 91 merges with Hwy 24, stay on Hwy 24, this will take you to Twin Lakes, where you pick up Independence Pass/Highway 82 toward Aspen. This beautiful drive through the San Isabel National Forest will afford picturesque views of the Sawatch Range, which is home to several of Colorado’s 14ers. From Aspen you can continue on Highway 82 to Glenwood Springs where you will meet back up with I-70 East to the Frisco exit.

Maroon Bells Near Aspen: Take I-70 west to Glenwood Springs to Highway 82 east. Follow 82 to the Aspen Roundabout where you will pick up the Maroon Creek Road exit. A parking lot off the roundabout offers shuttle service to Maroon Bells Road. Nestled in the Gunnison and White River National Forests, this area varies from 7,500 to over 14,000 feet! (Or access from the Independence Pass trip.)

Take Highway 285 south to Buena Vista where you will meet up with Highway 306 at the only traffic light in BV. Head west/left over Cottonwood Pass. West of the pass you will go through Taylor Park and by the Taylor Park Reservoir on your way to Almont. Once in Almont, take Highway 135 south to Gunnison where Highway 50 east will bring you back to Highway 285 Salida.

If you would like to plan a trip to Breckenridge, contact Breckenridge Discount Lodging. We are your source for Breckenridge deals, Breckenridge discounts and Breckenridge recreation. Give us a call at toll free1-866-476-2311 or visit www.breckenridgediscountlodging.com.

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