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Leaves turning colors later this fall in Southern Colorado

Fall leaves changing later this year
Posted at 7:01 AM, Oct 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-07 09:44:48-04

SOUTHERN COLORADO — It's that time of year for Coloradans and out-of-staters to enjoy the changing leaves and scenery we have here in Southern Colorado.

After extended summer heat, the timeline for fall colors is a bit different this year. Linda Groat, the program coordinator for Mueller State Park said this year is unusual for the changing colors because of the lingering warm weather through September.

"We didn't get any sudden or deep cold snaps, so we just had a lingering warm, late summer, which was really nice. That's allowing the colors to change slowly and they'll continue for another couple of weeks slowly," Groat said.

The leaves in Colorado Springs are starting to turn, but the farther south you go, the more vibrant those colors are right now. Groat said this weekend and possibly next weekend will be primetime for leaf-peeping, as the park reaches its busiest time of the year.

Colleen Fillion and her husband make the trip from Monument every year to camp at the park. Like many others, this is one of their last trips before stowing away for the winter.

"I love the color of the leaves. I love the feel of the air. Just the lighting when the sun comes in this time of year. Yeah, it's my favorite. Fall is my favorite time of year," Fillion said.

Park officials also said now is primetime for seeing wildlife in the park, but to make sure to keep your space if they cross your path.

"The deer and elk are getting ready for their breeding season, the bears are eating like crazy trying to get ready for their long winter sleep. So the animals are really active," Groat said.

Groat said the leaves will continue to turn on trees until the first wave of really cold temperatures, snow, or rain.

"That can shut it off really quickly and make the leaves just quit and fall off and be done. And then we have winter," she said.

If you have plans to go leaf peeping this weekend, Colorado Parks and Wildlife ask visitors to stick to trails and only park in designated parking areas to avoid damaging vegetation.

Peak Fall Color Dates for Colorado
The average dates for peak fall color viewing in Colorado.

For more information on the best places to enjoy the changing fall colors, you can check out Meteorologist Sam Schreier's Fall Color Guide.

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