STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The fall colors are just starting to show on the mountain slopes surrounding Steamboat Springs, but the phones at the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association started ringing several months ago.
“I think it’s huge,” said Maren McCutchan, public relations manager at the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association, said of visitors coming the valley to explore in the fall. “The colors are a big portion of our fall visitation, and the unique thing here it that you can wrap in different activities with leaf peeping.
“Even when you are just driving up to Strawberry Park, you can get a spectacular view of the fall colors looking back at the valley,” McCutchan continued. “If you are biking, you can ride your bike down the trail right among the aspen trees on Flash of Gold. If you go hiking, you can get up to a really great spot and then see a huge range of colors from a number of different places close to Steamboat.”
Traditionally, leaves start changing about mid- to late-September and the colors can last for several weeks. Prime viewing spots include Rabbit Ears Pass, Buffalo Pass, the Zirkel Wilderness Area, the Flat Tops Wilderness Area, Rabbit Ears and just about everywhere in the Yampa Valley.
But this year, that fall window may be short lived.
Matt Makens, metrologist with Channel 2 KDVR in Denver, is encouraging folks to get out this weekend and enjoy the color while it lasts. He warns that the longterm forecast may put an end to those colors.
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Makens predicts color will peak in the Steamboat Springs area sometime next week.
“I’ve been encouraging people to go this weekend to find…
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