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When and where to see the leaves change in Colorado

A drought means that fall colors in Colorado might peak a few days earlier than normal in 2021. Here's what you need to know for your leaf-peeping season.

COLORADO, USA — Autumn is one of the most beautiful times to live in Colorado.

Hillsides turn stunning shades of gold, orange and red. Sometimes it seems to happen almost overnight.

Leaves change color each fall when they stop photosynthesis so they can rest for the winter when there isn't enough sunlight. The green chlorophyll fades, leaving behind the others colors that had been hidden the rest of the year.

Typically, colors peak in the Colorado's northern mountains throughout the month of September. The central mountains peak the last week of the month. For our southern mountains, it’s the first week of October.

RELATED: 9 hikes where you can see fall colors in Colorado

RELATED: 9 best drives to see fall colors in Colorado

In 2021, drought could cause many trees to lose their leaves four to eight days early. Northern Colorado typically peaks the soonest and this year, that could be during the first three weeks of September.

See a map of the expected peaks from the 9NEWS weather team below:

Credit: 9NEWS

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