Colorado — Elk Mountains
The impetus for my visit to Colorado was seeing photographs of the Maroon Bells. The bells are an extraordinarily photogenic pair of peaks near Aspen. In the fall, the color from the changing aspens makes an already scenic location even more beautiful. The beauty of the Bells is well known and in the summer and fall, the road is shutdown to prevent gridlock and during most of day and the only access is by bus.
Beyond the Maroon Bells, I didn't have much of a plan. I'd read a few articles on fall foliage in Colorado but hadn't mapped out an intinerary. I've found when looking for fall colors, it's best to keep one's itinerary flexible as it's impossible to predict where the colors will be at peak in advance. After the Maroon Bells, I headed down Colorado Highway 133 towards the San Juan mountains. Highway 133 in the fall is an absolute treat. There's beautiful colors between Carbondale and Paonia.