Fall foliage favorites in the Western U.S.

Fall in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains

Fall in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains

It’s fall foliage time. From the golden aspens of Colorado and northern New Mexico to the stunning displays of maples and oaks in Oregon, you’ll find that now is the time for fall foliage touring in the West.

Santa Fe, NM
When you visit Santa Fe it is easy to determine if the aspens have turned. Just look up into the Sangre de Cristo mountains. But what is amazing is that the drive up the mountain to the Ski Basin is only 15 miles from downtown Santa Fe. And along the way, you can explore the beauty of those golden hills.

While 15 miles seems like a mighty quick trip, it isn’t. The road is winding and full of pull-outs where you can stop and look at the scenery and, if you’d like, take a hike. I would allow at least two hours for your trip up and down the mountain to the Santa Fe Ski Basin. More on the Aspens in Santa Fe.

Chama Train Excursion (New Mexico and Colorado)
Anyone in search of the rich and vibrant colors of autumn should hop aboard the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad for the best viewing of the fall foliage in the Rocky Mountains. The colors are bursting and peak foliage season is starting now. More on the Cumbres & Toltec excursions.

The Cottonwoods of Northern New Mexico in Fall

The Cottonwoods of Northern New Mexico in Fall

Northern New Mexico’s Cottonwoods
After the aspens have dropped their leaves, you can still enjoy the brilliance of the cottonwoods as you drive the High Road to Taos. Along the High Road to Taos, you’ll encounter majestic cottonwood trees decked out in their golden halos of light. Fall is the time when the riverbeds are easy to spot. Just follow the gold. More about the beautiful cottonwoods.

Silver Falls, Oregon

Silver Falls, Oregon

Oregon Waterfalls and Fall Color
In northern Oregon you can combine trips to see the waterfalls with fall leaf peeping. Whether it is the majestic Columbia River Gorge or Silver Falls State Park where you can hike to 10 waterfalls, the combination of gushing waterfalls and brilliant fall color will amaze you. Silver Falls State Park, just an hour and a half south of Portland, is a beautiful place to visit in any season, but especially right now to see the contrast of the bright yellow leaves against the dark evergreens. More on Fall Foliage at Silver Falls State Park.

More Fall in the West
Fall Foliage in Washington State
Oregon Fall Foliage Updates
Finding Fall Foliage in Arizona
Utah Fall Colors

 

Photography copyright: Elizabeth Rose Photography

 

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