Gold Season: 5 Places for Fall Color Viewing
Gold season in Telluride is one of the best times of the year, with vibrant colors and beauty that never gets old (really, though). An occasional gold season treat occurs when early-season snow blankets the canyon in the midst of leaves changing to gold, orange and red. The snowstorm we got on Sunday and Monday came at a perfect time for this. The box canyon woke up to a valley covered in the perfect color combination. This is nature at its finest; there’s nothing more magical.
Plan on being here for Gold Season (lucky you!)? Here are some great spots to see the color.
The Gondola: Our beloved gondola- the first and only free public transportation system of its kind in the United States- offers 360 degree views of Telluride and Mountain Village. Look down on the valley of Telluride, or over towards the infamous Wilson range, and you are sure to see miles and miles of fall foliage. You can also use it as an access point to the many hiking and biking trails on the ski resort.
Sneffles Highline Trail: This trail, a 14 mile loop, is ranked as rather difficult. The beauty of the fall colors proves as an easy distraction while hiking, though! View Mt. Sneffles, a fourteener, and all the colors that surround it. This mountain is a photographer favorite during the fall season. To learn how to access the trial, click here.
Woods Lake: A great destination for taking a nice afternoon drive or as a starting point for a hike, Woods Lake is a great place to enjoy a fall afternoon! Pack a picnic and enjoy the crisp air around the lake. The scenery is literally jaw-dropping. Go for a leisurely stroll, or attempt the 8-mile loop around the lake. If you are feeling extra adventurous, hike Najavo Lake. For directions to Woods Lake, click here.
Trout Lake: Head south on Highway 145 for about 25 minutes, and you will see Trout Lake on your left. From here, you have sweeping views of the Blackface Ridge, Pilot Knob, Goldenhorn, Vermilion Peak and Sheep Mountain. Head up on the earlier side of Gold Season, as the colors turn faster.
Last Dollar Road/Pass: If you want a quick look of the valley holding Telluride, as well as the landscape of Mountain Village, drive up the Airport Road. Pull over at any point, and look behind you to see the stunning beauty that is Telluride. Keep going and drive over Last Dollar Road (stay to your right where the road forks), and experience breathtaking views of Wilson Peak, or the historic ranch from the original “True Grit” featuring John Wayne. Four-wheel drive is not required, but I would recommend it.
Photos by Ryan Bonneau. Property of the Telluride Tourism Board.