Fall Color in WY not to miss?
September 20, 2011 9:51 AM   Subscribe

I've got a week or so to drive around Wyoming, and northern Utah. (Coming back via I70, spending a day in Crested Butte.) Leaving Friday afternoon. What fall color should I absolutely not miss?

I pretty much figure on skipping Yellowstone and merely skirting the Tetons so my wife doesn't kill me in a jealous rage when i get back ;) I sleep in my car, and like to take as many pictures as possible. Any secret spots? I'm not set up for anything longer than a dayhike.

(And I know most previous AskMe questions around the area had at least one answer from me, but I'm kinda doubting the hell out of myself regarding anything that isn't the obvious National Park stuff.)
posted by notsnot to Travel & Transportation around Wyoming (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
There's a map.
posted by Ideefixe at 10:07 AM on September 20, 2011

If you're going to come FROM Northern Utah (blah) and end at Crested Butte, Colorado (beautiful), consider driving over Kebler Pass from Paonia, CO to Crested Butte. That's some of the most incredible scenery you'll ever see, and if you're going to be taking this trip soon, the quaking aspen in Colorado will knock your socks off. Do not take that pass once the snow starts flying in the Colorado mountains, though, and be sure you have your car supplied with blankets, food and water, and a cell phone no matter when you take backroads in Colorado or Wyoming or anywhere else in that part of the world. It's just a simple precaution, but it pays. If you want the most incredible photos, Kebler is a winner.

If you aren't open to a fairly long backroads pass like Kebler, then at the very least, head South out of Grand Junction, CO just a short way and take the cutoff to Grand Mesa. You'll climb a bit to the top of the Mesa, but the road is excellent and well maintained and Grand Mesa is spectacular, just covered with lakes and rivers, deciduous trees and conifers - and incredible views off the side of the mesa over the valley. When you come down off the Mesa, you can go on to Montrose CO and then cut left to Gunnison and Crested Butte - all very pretty.

When I first drove into Colorado from the South, through Cortez and on to Telluride, I was so overwhelmed by the beauty I just sat and cried. Hope you find all the beauty you can handle on your trip, but I promise that the Colorado Rockies are at least as pretty as the Grand Tetons. Most of Northern Utah is blah, though the Wasatch Range has some pretty stuff and Bryce Canyon on the Eastern border of Utah is magical. Also the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Forest in Colorado near Crested Butte. If you DO take Kebler Pass, be sure to stop at the cemetery at Ruby.

Hope you're not still using film. Have fun.
posted by aryma at 9:38 PM on September 20, 2011

Oh, I've done Ohio and Kebler, fer shure - I've got a couple "summer-fall" comparison shots I want to do (I was up there over the summer). I'm trying to concentrate on Wyoming just for the novelty.
posted by notsnot at 9:08 AM on September 21, 2011

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