Unique ways for leaf peeping and viewing fall foliage
Every fall Mother Nature displays her finest colors when she paints the mountains and valleys with the gold, yellow and red hues of autumn. September and October are the months to plan your leaf peeping visit to Southwestern Colorado. There are so many ways to view the changing leaves and celebrate the arrival of fall; we’ve listed some of the unique venues for the best views. Grab your camera and an extra layer of clothing; step outside and enjoy the beautiful colors of the season. Plan your visit and gather more information: www.durango.org
22nd Annual Fall Photo Train--Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad
September 24 & 25, 2011
Transport yourself back to 1926 and experience the autumn splendor of the Animas Canyon on this historic re-creation of railroading during the glory years. The Durango & Silverton Railroad locomotive and all rolling stock are repainted and lettered to represent this bygone era. Join amateur and professional photographers as we take the train into the remote wilderness of the San Juan National Forest and drop you off to photograph the train steaming past. Passengers have the opportunity to photograph the train with a backdrop of high peaks, autumn color, and the Animas River. Experience the pure majesty of autumn in the San Juan Mountains. Be sure to have plenty of battery power, memory cards or film to capture the unique opportunities not available to passengers on the regularly scheduled trains. These special trains are scheduled for optimal autumn foliage colors!
Soaring Tree Top Adventures
Fall Foliage Ziplining – New Spans for Autumn 2011
Step off the ground and into the tree canopies; zip through Aspen groves while the crisp, autumn scenery soars past in a breathtaking mountain forest. Soaring’s zipline is open from May – October, and one of the best times to visit is during late September/early October when peak fall colors abound. Aspens are a range of golden yellows touched with orange, and guests soar straight through vast glens of them, inspiring awe and a new appreciation from above the ground. Soaring® Tree Top Adventures is the largest, safest zipline tour available anywhere in the world. With 27 unique spans over beautiful mountain scenery, across Aspen and Old-Growth Ponderosa forest and criss-crossing the mighty Animas River, Soaring Tree Top Adventures' zipline is a full day of family-friendly adventure.
Horseback ride a new color trail
The Forest Service created a new trail for the ultimate fall trail ride. Hailed as “truly the most beautiful trail in this area and elevation.” Enjoy a three-hour excursion along Little Elbert Creek and near old mining claims. The ride is at 8,200 feet in elevation in a mixed Aspen-Oak habitat with talus-covered slopes and old growth Ponderosa and Douglas Fir. Pack a snack and bottle of water for this ride along the creek; views of the Hermosa Cliffs painted in their fall splendor make this a ride to remember Reservations are required. Kids must be 12 years old; 210-weight limit on this ride.
Bike the painted landscape on a Pro's favorite trail
Fall in Durango is like no other season; cliff tops and aspen groves show breathtaking views of orange, yellow and red. An extensive trail system managed by Trails2000 offers the best access to the out-of-doors. From easy to extreme, these multi-use trails take you outside and into beauty. “My favorite places to sneak away are the Elbert Creek Trail, Needles, or Lower Hermosa trail,” say professional biker Travis Brown and his trail-blazing wife Mary Monroe of Trails 2000. “Head out on the trails, there are incredible views around each turn.”
Floating in Color
Take a raft and jeep tour for a full day of adventure and color. See the best of Colorado's spectacular fall colors of orange, red and yellow as you raft through Durango's Lower Animas River on a 1/2 day guided raft trip. Then explore Colorado's mountains in a custom tour vehicle and discover the sparkling gold hues of Aspens, cascading waterfalls, tumbling creeks, and remnants of ghost towns as you summit to 13,000 feet!
Motorcycle: Color around every curve on the Million Dollar Highway
San Juan Skyway to Silverton
Enjoy the turns en route to Silverton on the Million Dollar Highway and San Juan Skyway; continue on to Ouray over the majestic Red Mountain pass. Please remember to pull off to take photos and take in the beautiful fall colors. Check in with the local Harley Davidson Dealership for maps and rides; join the local club for their annual fall ride or discover the route on your own. Rain suit and jacket recommended. Allow at least a half day for the 96 mile round trip. http://www.durangoharley.com
Drive, Hike, Bike…into fall beauty of Southwestern Colorado
From the Colorado Trail to the Million Dollar Highway, take in the fall colors and Mother Nature's full palate of beauty. By car, on a bike, in the saddle, with a paddle or on foot, we invite you to visit Durango and experience fall at its finest.
About the Durango Area Tourism Office
The Durango Area Tourism Office is a not-for-profit organization operating with the mission to promote Durango and La Plata County's multitude of tourism attractions, events and services. For more information, visit www.durango.org