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  1. #1

    Default When do aspens reach peak fall color in the San Juans?

    When do aspens usually reach peak fall color in the San Juan Mountains? I know it will be in September, but I've heard it's earlier than most other CO mountain ranges due to the higher altitude.
    Also, does anyone think that this past year's severe drought will have an effect on the timing or intensity of the peak?

  2. #2
    Garlic
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    I've seen peak times in early October that far south. I think it's more a latitude issue than elevation. Down around Flagstaff it's later in October, even early November.

    Intensity due to drought is anyone's guess.

    I remember one year in northern NM a bagworm parasite came through and ate them all in the summer. You just never know.

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    “Peak” color can vary weeks depending on location. The impact of micro climates can create a spectrum of early to late stages within a 20 mile radius. It’s now monsoon season and it can rain .5” in an area and be sunny 10 miles away

  4. #4
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    Just my own experience and 2 cents in the San Juans: The peak is pretty much always in September, but can vary by a couple weeks from mid to late September. Some years some fantastic color carries over into early October. The BEST is when you have a fresh couple inches of snow during the color peak.

    The San Juans really aren't higher than other ranges in CO, by the way, and the largest groves of Aspen tend to cluster at particular altitudes anyway.

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