Fall is an incredible time to get outside and enjoy Nature’s majesty. Last year, Mark and I had the incredible good fortune to attend a photography workshop in Ridgway, Colorado, when the fall colors peaked at the end of September.
This year, reminiscing about all the fun we had, I decided to write a guest blog post on the cool and informative travel site traveldudes.org about the gorgeous scenery that awaits anyone and everyone who takes a trip to Colorado’s Dallas Divide near Telluride (more pics at that link!).
As a New England native, I always thought the autumn colors in the rural parts of the northeastern states had to be the best of the best. Boy, was I in for a shock when we arrived in the midst of the golden aspen covered Rocky Mountains!!
We had been to the Telluride area twice before, both times in July. It is an enchanting place that grabbed our hearts instantly. Towering, craggy mountains soar into the sky and adorable little towns fill the valleys in between.
But Telluride is transformed in September (more pics at that link too!). Now the jagged grey mountain peaks jutted up through gold, red and green carpeted valleys. We were in awe as we prowled around the back roads between Ridgway and Telluride.
Owl Creek Pass, Dallas Creek Road, West Dallas Creek Road and Lost Dollar Road kept us coming back day after day. These dirt roads are easy to drive with a passenger car, and the views at every turn took our breath away.
Three of the scenic drives start from State Route 62 on the west side of Ridgway. The first left turn from Route 62 (onto County Route 7) is Dallas Creek Road. The next left turn from Route 62 (onto County Route 9) is West Dallas Creek Road. Both of these are dead ends: drive in, soak in the views, take lots of photos, and drive out. Ralph Lauren’s Double-L Ranch can be seen on these drives too. (This link has a tale about that ranch).
The third left turn off State Route 62 doesn’t have a number but is called Lost Dollar Road. Follow this all the way until it intersects with State Route 145 where you turn left and head east into Telluride (or turn right and return to Ridgway on the highway).
The fourth scenic drive, Owl Creek Pass, is County Route 8, and it heads east from State Route 550 at Ridgway State Park, north of Ridgway. John Wayne filmed the movie True Grit in this area. (This link has a tale about that movie!).
For a final treat, head south from Telluride on State Route 145.
We did not find much boondocking in the area, but Ridgway State Park is just a few miles from each of these stunning scenic drives, and they have full hookups as well as dry camping sites.
If you can take a road trip to southwestern Colorado in the next few weeks, go do some leaf peeping in this gorgeous part of the country. Last year’s peak was September 22nd! Allow a few days if you can, and let us know how your trip goes!!!
For more beautiful photos and tips about this area, visit these links:
- Fields of gold between Ridgway and Telluride Colorado
(great pics plus a cute story about John Wayne’s movie True Grit)
- A Photography workshop on Colorado’s Dallas Divide
(more great pics plus a cute story about Ralph Lauren’s ranch)
- Where is the BEST PLACE to see Fall Colors?
a guest post I wrote for traveldudes.org