SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. — Colorado’s “leaf peeping” season kicks into high gear with the arrival of autumn.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) is asking that when you head out on the search for the state’s autumn gold, keep trail etiquette and caring for Colorado top of mind.
“As we head into peak leaf-peeping season, it’s one of the busiest times of the year at our park,” said Todd Farrow, Park Manager at Golden Gate Canyon State Park. “We ask that people plan ahead, watch out for people and wildlife crossing slowly on roads and park in designated parking areas to avoid damaging vegetation.”
“We want everyone to have a great time experiencing the colors and the natural resources our whole state has to offer,” said Farrow. “No matter where you plan to peep, be respectful of those resources, the staff helping you have a great experience, and your fellow recreationists out searching for Colorado gold."
CPW said Coloradoans should follow these Care for Colorado and Leave No Trace principles before they venture to the mountains:
Know before you go
CPW asks leaf hunters to plan their your trip ahead of time to avoid any potential disappointment.
- Are the colors at their prime?
- Where is the best spot for your abilities and available timeframes for viewing?
- What is the best route to take?
- Where will you park?
- What will you do if the parking lot is full?
- Use the CPW Park Finder to explore Colorado’s 42 state parks.
Stick to trails
It can be tempting to find a new spot to photograph, but it’s important for Colorado's plants, trails and visitors that you stay the trail.
- Help natural areas stay natural by sticking to designated trails.
- Respect trails closed for maintenance, vegetation projects or wildlife reasons.
- Don’t take shortcuts.
Trash your trash
You might get hungry and thirsty while hunting for leaves, but don’t bring anything with you that you can’t pack out.
- Pack out wrappers, bottles and trash.
- Clean up and pack out dog waste.
- Take crumbs, peels and cores to the nearest waste/recycling bin.
- Bring an extra bag or two to help leave the area better than you found it.
Leave it as you find it
- Parking in undesignated parking destroys vegetation and encourages those coming up behind you to continue the trend.
- Leave plants, rocks and historical items as you find them.
- Carving or hacking plants and trees may kill or disfigure them.
Keep wildlife wild
You may see wildlife in their homes. Enjoy the moment by keeping your distance, using your zoom and letting Colorado's wildlife be wild.
- Never feed wild animals.
- Harassing wild animals may also increase the chance of a poor interaction including charges or attacks, feeding wildlife may expose animals to predators and may lead to euthanasia.
Share our trails and parks
Be patient with other visitors and the staff working during the busy season.
- Try a new or lesser-known paths and sites found on the COTREX app.
- Be considerate when passing others on the trails and yield to uphill hikers and bikers.
For additional tips on planning for fall’s color changes in Colorado, visit cpw.state.co.us.
Colorado fall colors 2021
There's nothing like fall in Colorado and we want to highlight your photos. To submit a photo or video, share with the 9NEWS app's Near Me feature.
- Open the 9NEWS app on your smartphone.
- On the bottom right, you'll see a button called 'Near Me'—click it.
- Click the orange button in the top left part that says "Share with Us."
- Upload your photo or video directly from your device.
- Fill out the fields: give it a title, a credit, your email, and tell us where it was taken.
- It will then be reviewed and could be used on 9NEWS and 9NEWS.com!
> Top stories curated daily just for you! Sign up for the 9NEWSLETTER to get can’t-miss stories, Next and Broncos content, weather and more delivered right to your inbox.
SUGGESTED VIDEOS: Colorado Guide
MORE WAYS TO GET 9NEWS
Subscribe to our daily 9NEWSLETTER
HOW TO ADD THE 9NEWS APP TO YOUR STREAMING DEVICE
ROKU: add the channel from the ROKU store or by searching for KUSA.
For both Apple TV and Fire TV, search for "9news" to find the free app to add to your account. Another option for Fire TV is to have the app delivered directly to your Fire TV through Amazon.