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Fall Color Update
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09-22-2009, 07:53 AM Ronald Eberhart
I was up to Saratoga over the weekend and had a chance to come back via 14 along the Poudre.
1. The colors around Saratoga are mixed and some areas are still green while others have turned and fallen. In general the trees still have a week or so to go. Toward Baggs and areas around 9000 trees were pretty nice except for LARGE areas of pine and spruce beetles.
2. Color up the west side of the medicine bows was about the same and many green areas, but around 9000 good colors.
3. Areas south to Walden along the river are turning and Riverside trees were getting close to peak.
4. Areas east to Cameron pass got increasingly better with elevation gain and just east of the top is at peak now. Shooting will be a bit tough unless you are able to get large patches of aspen or smaller scenes because of the beetle kill. The forest from Walden to 40 miles west of Ft Collins is devastated from the kill and large areas are being cut.

I will be headed out this weekend for a week long trip and I will send more reports.
09-29-2009, 10:08 PM Ronald Eberhart
Here is a summary of my travels this week.
Sat - Mount Sopris still a bit green may be good by the weekend. Marble area is mixed with many good trees, but large areas already fallen. Crystal mill was good, but still a bit green and may be peak this weekend. Marble area is very difficult to read because of the sudden aspen decline that hit the area. McClure pass is all down already so don’t bother with the east side at least. The west side had a mix of green and good yellos. Scrub oak was very nice toward the cutoff for Keebler pass.
Sun – Keebler pass was nice and some areas were at peak or close to it. Other areas were about a week away so this weekend may be good for lower areas. The top of Keebler was mostly off due again to sudden aspen decline. Trees at the Dyke were pretty good and mostly intact. The east side was still a ways to go, but down. The valley from Crested butte to Gunnison looked dry but pockets of nice cottonwoods and likely last till this weekend.
Mon – Ohio pass was very nice and mostly peak today. They may last to the weekend if the wind is not too bad. Areas west of Gunnison had nice cottonwoods and also very nice scrub oaks nearly to Montrose. The trees looking toward the Owl pass road looked good, but I did not go. From Ridgeway east toward Owl pass was very nice and has lots of fabulous scrub oak and great cottonwoods at lower elevations.
Tues – Ironton is mostly down and not worth the trip unless you know of some pockets. The shot from Crystal lake is not good now. Dallas divide is good and has fabulous scrub oak and mix of aspen. The top of the divide is at peak now, but may last till the weekend. The trip up County 5 was filled with red, orange, and yellow scrub oaks and nice aspen. The top was at peak and the wind was striping those leaves rapidly so I doubt they will last much. Last Dollar road was very nice and mostly peak now, but the wind was not stripping leaves off there so they may last. The leaves were great all the way to Teluride and the hills west of Teluride were mostly peak but some green.
I will see what tomorrow and Thurs brings as far as weather and let folks know what happens here in Ouray. I plan to stay put here till the weekend and shoot.
Good hunting.
10-02-2009, 12:22 PM Ronald Eberhart
Here is an update from the Ouray/Ridgeway/Telluride area.
The wind on Wed did a lot of damage and the cold along with it did some more, but there are a few areas that are nice. The large landscapes with several peaks are pretty much done, but smaller ones with single peaks can still be done. Large areas are down, but some VERY nice pockets remain. The scrub oak continues to amaze me in how colorful it is and reminds me of New England colors. Today is nice and things may last thru the weekend, but it is fading very fast. Owl pass was pretty blown off last night, but I did not go too high on the west side. East portions and protected areas could be better. The best places here are County Road 5 out of Ridgeway, and the rivers near Ouray and Telluride. I hope everyone has a great weekend. I would look for the best opportunities near the cottonwoods and lower areas now.

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