Best Leaf Peeping in Durango
Frost is showing up on windshields in Silverton in the mornings, and if you walk/bike to work in the morning, you might have already brought out the puffy. While winter and it’s bitterness are still a ways away, fall is here, and we are patiently awaiting the leaf change. As we’re gearing up to watch our mountains turn that beautiful shade of gold, you might be wondering, “what’s the best way to enjoy some leaf peeping?” Look no further - we’ve got you covered.
Catch a Glimpse from the Clouds
Private helicopter guides of Durango and the southern San Juans? Count me in. The crew at Alpine Heli Tours offers three distinct tours including the Premier Mountain Tour, the Mountain Lake Tour, and the Animas City Tour, each of which offers unique views of our southwestern slice of Coloradan heaven. Leaf peeping here in the Durango area is already one of the best sights in the world (yes, we love it that much), but how about from above the mountaintops from a helicopter? Grab whoever you want and book it now.
Take a Hike
Or take several. Last year, we highlighted five of the best scenic hikes for viewing the fall colors in the San Juans. Put some hot chocolate in a thermos, grab a beanie, and head for the mountains for the best fall viewing party! This list covers both in-town afternoon strolls and classic trails spanning the San Juans. Check it out, and take a hike.
Feelin’ a touch more extreme? Would a dose of adrenaline help with the leaf peeping? Thanks to the insane amount of off-road trails and mountain passes in Southwest Colorado, there’s plenty of ways to experience fall scenery from a rugged four wheel drive machine. For accessing the Weminuche and Middle Mountain Road, check out Altitude ATV Rentals to get up high in the alpines. Durango Adventure Rentals also offers ATVs and UTVs and will help set up a custom pick up and return time for you to get the most out of your experience!
Drive (or take a train!) to Silverton and on the Million Dollar Highway
If you’re looking to skip the thrill of a helicopter and the cold of the mountains, consider taking a drive or riding the train to Silverton! Driving over Molas Pass provides spectacular views of the San Juan Mountains, including Engineer Mountain, Potato Mountain, the Twilight Peaks, and more. This drive has plenty of pull-offs (always use proper driving safety when parking in a marked pull-off) for you to take a moment to soak in the color and grab as many pictures as you’d like. For a more old-fashioned experience, ride the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad System to Silverton and enjoy unbeatable views of aspens surrounding the mountains and the Animas River.