Ouray Colorado Vacation Guide and Trip Planning Information for SW Colorado

Fall Foliage Update for Southwest Colorado, September 2013

Posted by Maria Ziemba on Mon, Sep 30, 2013 @12:49 PM

The Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs is Your Home Base for Fall Colors!

fall.colorsFall has arrived, and the aspens are beginning to change. Just a short drive from Ouray to Ridgway is already a display of golds and reds, still with quite a bit of green, but every day is a little more colorful.

Every day, we at the Box Canyon Lodge try to get the most up to date information regarding where the leaves are at their best, and pass that information on to our guests. We also try to take drives ourselves, in order to have first hand knowledge to share with you, not to mention that we enjoy this time of year as well!

fall bcl2It is always a pleasure to hear from guests as they arrive at our doorstep as to what the colors are doing on that particular day. As we approach the peak colors, different areas transform daily, and our guests provide a constant source of foliage updates.

The US forest Service is also a great resource, which we definitely refer to as well.

fallcolorsDate: 9/27/13

Estimated Percentage of Current Fall Foliage:
Durango – 15% 
Molas Pass - 25%
Silverton/Red Mountain Pass – 55% aspens
Pagosa – 15
Dolores/Rico – 10% aspens, 50% cottonwoods
Mancos – 5%

Areas with Greatest Amount of Color / Recommended Viewing Areas:
The best area right now would be Red Mountain Pass, north side into Ouray, and the alpine loop on the Lake City side. 

This weekend (Sept. 28-29) should be good on Hwy 550.

10,000 to 12,000 feet should be changing fast, especially north aspects.
Dolores River valley improving quickly.

Estimated Peak Viewing Period:
High country this week and next weekend (Sept 21-22).
Other passes/ high elevation aspen groves.

fallcolors2Viewing Suggestions / Tips:
4WD in Silverton and the alpine loop. Lake City to Creede.  North side of Red Mountain Pass

Trees That Are Currently Turning Color:
Aspens, grasses, willows and low scrub oak.

For More Information on Fall Colors Please Contact:
San Juan Public Lands Center, Durango (970) 247-4874

Rocky Mountain Region Fall Color page link
National Forest Service Color Finder page link


The weather has a strong effect on the changing of the leaves in Colorado, and with the recent rains, we are still seeing quite a bit of green. In Ouray itself, there are definite patches of color, and the drive from Montrose to Ouray is quite stunning. As the season of colors proceeds, be sure to check with us first!

bcl rainbowAll of us at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs are looking forward to helping you plan the perfect Fall retreat. This time of year I like to refer to as the Rainbow season: every afternoon, the sun displays a rainbow over the town, often a double rainbow, the stark red, yellow and green acting as a contrast to the deep blue of the sky. There is no other place to experience so much beauty!


Ouray, southwest colorado


Tags: fall foliage, photography in ouray, scenic drives, fall colors, box canyon lodge & hot springs