Fall Colors on the Dallas Divide – AWESOME!!

Dallas Creek Road Colorado Fall Colors

Vibrant colors on Dallas Creek Road

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.

Owl Creek Pass 281

Owl Creek Pass – Stunning!

Views from Owl Creek Pass

Views from Owl Creek Pass

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!).


Craggy mountains and aspens in Colorado

We were awestruck by the views in every direction — on every road!

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!!


Mountain silhouette Dallas Divide autumn leaves

Brilliant fall colors against a mountain silhouette.

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.

Autumn Color in Telluride Colorado

Autumn in the Rockies.

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.

Road from Telluride 531

You just can’t beat autumn colors AND craggy mountains.


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.

Trailer on Road from Telluride 281

What a place to take your trailer!




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).

South of Telluride - autumn color

A tapestry of color south of Telluride

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.

Colorado Autumn

A shimmering golden aspen grove arches over Lost Dollar Road

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!!!

Ridgway and Telluride are in the southwestern part of Colorado

Ridgway and Telluride are in the southwestern part of Colorado

For more beautiful photos and tips about this area, visit these links: