DENVER (CBS4) – There is a lot happening in Colorado this weekend including the Broncos home opener and the final Rockies home stand. It should also be the best weekend of the season to view the fall foliage north of Interstate 70.
The annual eruption of orange and gold is mostly driven by shorter duration of daylight. Therefore it is generally easy to determine when the leaves will change color across the four primary high country regions in Colorado.
For this upcoming weekend (September 25-26), the best viewing will be along and north of Interstate 70 where color is reported to be between 80% and full peak. A drive along the Peak-to-Peak Highway will be crowded this weekend for good reason. The color should be good all around Black Hawk, Central City, Nederland, Ward, Allenspark, and Estes Park. Other surrounding drives in the northern mountains including sections of Highways 9, 14, 34, 36, 40, and 72 should also provide optimal views of the foliage.
Farther south, the percentage of deciduous trees in the central mountains that will have changed color this weekend will be less but still over 50%. Scenic drives in this this region include Highway 285 between Conifer and Kenosha Pass, Highway 9 between Breckenridge and Fairplay, Highway 91 between Copper Mountain and Leadville, and Highway 24 between Minturn and Buena Vista.
The southern mountains of Colorado are much farther behind with color change and won’t reach their peak until early or mid October. That said, there are patches of brilliant color along the Highway 50, 160, and 550 corridors.
The weather will also be beautiful in Colorado for drives virtually anywhere in the state. It’s possible there could be a very isolated showers in the southwest mountains but any moisture should not be able to north of Highway 50.
Temperatures will also be far above normal for the first weekend in fall with the Denver area reaching at least the lower 80s on Saturday and mid to upper 80s on Sunday. The record in Denver for Sunday (September 26) is 90 degrees which is likely safe from being broken but the Denver area will be close.