Hillsides on the way were full color and breathtaking!

This past weekend was peak colors for the Steamboat Springs area.  The multitude of colors on aspen alone was dramatic enough to catch anyone’s breath.  To add the reds of oaks and yellow of cottonwoods made things even more amazing.

On Wednesday, I knew that the peak was near, if not happening now.  K and I were working on what fun thing we might do on the weekend.  Many ideas came to mind, including a quick shopping trip.  I brought up going to north Routt County to the Hahn’s Peak area and check out the trees.  Nothing more was said.

On Friday, we made the decision to leave later in the morning and travel up to see what we could see.

Once we were heading up north on Elk River Road, K got pessimistic about the leaves.  The area we were going through was dull and many leaves had fallen already.  I wasn’t deterred.  I figured this area got an early frost.  My optimism was based on the colors I could see on the tops of the Zirkels near town.

The drive along Elk River did get better.  Many people were already out hiking and fishing.  And once we got to Clark, the hills lit up!

We turned left on County Road 60, just north of the Clark Store.  This road winds around the west side of Steamboat Lake and eventually turns east on the north side.  The neighborhoods here are small and large ranches, many of which are set in epic Colorado scenes.  All along the way, it was bright sunny rays of light on fall colors, leaves moving gently in the late morning breeze.

Hahn’s Peak Roadhouse is a favorite stop for us.  By now, after stopping at the beach for a walk and checking out the marina, it was time to eat.

Hahn’s Peak Roadhouse is a fantastic western stop commonly visited by cowboys, hunters, and tourists.  It isn’t super-special.  It’s just really darn cool!  We sat outside to get more views.  We could see mountains all around us in various stages of Autumn color.  Big slopes of gold aspen next to slopes of evergreens kept us entertained through our meal.

Being time to head back home, we started south and decided to take a quick detour to see Pearl Lake.

Pearl Lake is a bit bigger than I expect every time I visit it.  It has a beautiful landscape of evergreens and aspen.  Its shoreline is an easy walk and makes for a great moment to catch a breeze while enjoying persons on paddleboards glide out and about on the blue water.

Satiated with beautiful nature, we drove back home the way we came- south on Elk River Road.  We waved at the Clark Store and enjoyed watching fishermen along the way.  It was a perfect Colorado day and we are glad we didn’t miss it!