Sunday, October 11, 2015

Autumn on Guanella Pass


One of my readers from Australia, Diane, commented to me on my last blog post that Colorado must be the most beautiful state in the United States. I agree that it certainly is among the most beautiful, especially in autumn when the plentiful aspen trees here light up in shades of yellow and orange.  I took the following photos on a drive through Guanella Pass from Grant, Colorado to Georgetown, Colorado at the end of September. A former wagon road, this pass has been traveled since the gold rush days in the 1800's.You may remember I showed this beautiful drive last autumn on this post, but since every autumn is a little different I thought it would be nice to show some new areas this year.


This 23 mile long high mountain pass is one of our favorite drives and we were pleasantly surprised to find that there has been quite a bit of road work done this year, where parts of the road that were gravel have been replaced by black top. Guanella Pass is still closed after the first heavy winter snow, however, as it is not fully plowed by the Colorado Department of Traffic. 

Some of the aspen trees along the road near Grant were just beginning to turn gold, while others were in full color.
(All photos, and photo collages, will enlarge for easier viewing if clicked on)


The weather was overcast but the trees glowed brighter the higher we drove.


The summit of Guanella Pass is above the tree line at 11,669 feet.  There are many trails in this area, one of which leads up to the 14,060 summit of Mount Beirstadt. and also the 14,270 foot Mount Evans, along with other trails that lead to campgrounds and lakes. 

The tundra plants in this area have taken up to 30 years to grow in the extreme winter cold and intense sunlight. It is interesting to see the differences that altitude has on what can grow in such a short growing season. This area can even get snow in July!


Mount Beirstadt.

The jagged Sawtooth Ridge connects Mount Beirstadt to Mount Evans.

There are beautiful views in all directions from the summit of Guanella Pass.


Portions of both the Pike and the Arapaho National Forests can be seen along the pass.


As we approached the Silverdale area of Guanella Pass the autumn colors were spectacular!


The aspens were really in top color in this area. If you'd like to see a short video of the sight and sound of a quaking aspen tree you can see it on my blog's facebook page here

The Colorado Blue Spruce is the state tree of Colorado, but Aspen trees could share that title. As a member of the Poplar tree family, aspen trees grow in all of Colorado's national Forests at the altitude between 6,000 feet and 11,500 feet


Inter-spaced between the pine trees they make a beautiful stripes of autumn color on the slopes.


We parked at the Silverdale pull off and took a walk.  It's so peaceful here. As we walked we listened to the creek passing by the trail, and we were showered with the falling aspen leaves when a breeze blew many of them off the tree limbs.


My favorite spot on this walk as it always makes me think of Robert Frost's poem "The Road Not Taken." What do you think? On this walk I took the trail on the left, next time I'll follow the one on the right.



Guanella Pass ends or begins in Georgetown, Colorado, depending on what direction you are driving. We stopped for lunch and strolled main street to shop. On a future blog post I'll show you more about the history of this charming mining era town and its buildings

My husband and I recently celebrated our 41 wedding anniversary  and we celebrated in two wonderful places in Colorado--one very luxurious and one very rustic and amazingly beautiful. Come back soon to see those posts!

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49 comments:

happywonderer.com said...

Such a wonderful drive. The colors and scenery are wonderful Pat!

ladyfi said...

Those autumn colours are delicious!

Deanies Stash said...

Pat, your photos are beautiful!

Dianne

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

You've certainly convinced me of Colorado's beauty Pat. Now I'm trying to imagine driving a wagon through that pass.....you have to give a lot of credit to the early pioneers who chose to settle there.
Sam

From the Kitchen said...

Lovely! All of your photos have beautifully captured fall. Love the Frost quote and photo. Also the beautiful little town. I'm with Sam on the early pioneers.

Best,
Bonnie

Nellie's Cozy place said...

Sure enjoyed all your lovely scenic pictures. Colorado is indeed beautiful in
the Fall.......and I am sure at other times as well.

Also congratulations on 41 years of marriage......that is so nice to hear in
this day and age.........we will be celebrating 45 yrs. soon too.
Nice yall got away to celebrate, and hope I get to see your future posts on
your trip.
Blessings for another 41 years,
Nellie

SmilingSally said...

Hi Pat,

No doubt about it: Colorado is beautiful. Thanks for sharing. I especially like "th road not taken." Isn’t it fun finding blues to share?

Happy Blue Monday!

eileeninmd said...

Hello Pat, happy Anniversary to you and your hubby! I love the gorgeous views of the mountains, Trail and the beautiful Aspen trees. Lovely colors and photos. Happy Monday, have a great new week!

Linda Kay said...

Pat, I love the mountains, and the color in your photos is fabulous. I've always found that it just isn't the same as seeing it in person.

AdriBarr said...

Ciao Pat,


These drives you share with us are absolutely spectacular. I am in the San Fernando Valley in Southern California, a suburb of Los Angeles. Here the terrain is flat as a pancake, and this summer has been extraordinarily hot and dry. We have nothing as beautiful a what you have shared with us here. How I envy you! Thanks for giving us a peek into paradise.

Betsy Adams said...

Hi, I agree with Diane from Australia that Colorado in FALL is one of the prettiest places in our country... I love the Aspens --and I also love the elevation there.

Our Smoky Mountains are equally as pretty though in Fall with ALL of the many many colors... Diane needs to visit here in Autumn. She was here in Winter --but Fall is much prettier.

Thanks for sharing such beauty with us... I love love love seeing it.

Hugs,
Betsy

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Those aspens really are gorgeous when the leaves change to golden. But I love hearing the rustling sound they make in the wind too. Colorado certainly gives Vermont a run for its money in the leaf peeping department.

Fun60 said...

The colours are unbelievable. I can't think of anywhere here that can compare to those scenes of Autumn colours.

Lorrie said...

Happy Anniversary, Pat! Those aspen trees mingled among the pines make for such striking photos. Such a gorgeous time of year in Colorado.

Sylvia K said...

Glorious colors and superb captures!! Really breathtaking!! It is such a beautiful, colorful time of year and I do love it!! Thanks for sharing the beauty!!

carol l mckenna said...

Happy Anniversary! Gorgeous foliage shots! Better than we have in New England right now ~ I was glad to come here and see your beautiful vistas and photos!

Happy Week to you,
artmusedog and carol

Holly Myers said...

The hills are alive!! Great shots!

Barb said...

I think you had more color coming from Grant. I found that coming from Georgetown, many groves were past prime. Greeat photos of our fabulous CO fall, Pat! I can't believe that there is no snow on the ground at my house. We're on a little trip to Glenwood Springs and Aspen this week - it's time for our annual eye checkup in Hotchkiss. We biked through Glenwood Canyon today.

Kim ,USA said...

Wow so beautiful! So that beautiful tall yellow tree is Aspen. Love it and I might look at that tree here in my neck of woods.

Kim,USA


NC Sue said...

Stunning, beautiful fall photos!
Thanks for linking up at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2015/10/a-little-bit-squirrelly.html

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

So beautiful! Colorado looks lovely through your lens!!!

Marie C said...

I fell in love with Colorado when we lived there when our daughter was born, and loved my visits both when she was 6 and then last summer to take our grandson. It was a must-see for him, and I knew he'd love it, which he did. It truly is one of the most beautiful states, though there are many others. Still, when you see such gorgeous views like these wonderful photos, you just know how blessed we are to have these mountains to love! Wonderful post!

Joy H said...

Awesome scenery and photos! Have a great week :)
Joy @ Books and Life

Ida said...

Totally Stunning! Congats on your anniversary.

The Gathering Place said...

Fall is quite spectacular in the mountains! Love your pictures of the different trees contrasted together.

jandi said...

happy anniversary! and lovely autumn scenery!

Margaret Adamson said...

Thanks for taking us along for the drive. the views are wonderful adn colours fabulous

Gracie said...

I just love fall colors....thanks for another beautiful trip. Happy anniversary to both of you and best wishes for so many more happy years...

Kate said...

Gorgeous photos! Beautiful fall colors.

Donna said...

Oh my...HAppy Anniversary and many congrats and blessings for many more years to come. I agree with Diane and you...one of the most beautiful States especially in autumn....your pictures are fabulous once again!

Cathy Keller said...

Simply beautiful as always!!! Georgetown is a wonderful place to visit! My great grandfather helped build the Georgetown Loop and so it makes it just that much more special!! Thank you!

Snap said...

You make me homesick each time I visit! I do miss the aspens in New Mexico ... and they sound they make in the mountain breeze! Gorgeous post.

chai-and-chardonnay.blogspot.com said...

I love the vastness of the countryside and the colours are magnificent. Beautiful pictures.

Pamela Gordon said...

The golds and dark greens are so beautiful. What a wonderful visit to this area and your photos are beautiful.

EG CameraGirl said...

The colours are magnificent!

bettyl-NZ said...

Congrats on your anniversary! This is some very wonderful scenery. I love seeing autumn colors.

Kaye Swain said...

Such gorgeous autumn colors. Thank you :)

Kaye
KayeSwain.com

DrillerAA09 said...

Great color and a beautiful set of images. I don't understand why fall isn't everyone's favorite season.

LV said...

I have not seen all the states, but those I have, definitely Colorado is the most gorgeous in the fall. My niece has a cabin near Hartsel, CO. However, have not been in a few years. Hope someday to go back.

Kelleyn Rothaermel said...

Georgeous! Thanks for sharing!

diane b said...

Thanks for the mention and just to qualify my statement you show us more of your beautiful state. The colours are stunning. It must be beautiful to walk those trails and be showered with gold.

Susie said...

Pat, Happy anniversary to you and your hubby. I love the aspens. I saw them all yellow last year in Sept. when my grandson got married in SLC , Utah. I love the views and scenery in the mountain states...but I could never love the winters. Blessings,. xoxo,Susie

Travelogue for the Universe said...

Beautiful!

Steffi said...

Wonderful photos!I love autumn!

Molly said...

The autumn colours are so beautiful

mollyxxx

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

What gorgeous photos, Pat! I'd love to see the Aspen trees in full color there one day. It's good to see the pine trees in such good shape there also. On our last visit to Colorado we saw some of the pine beetle devastation.

corners of my life said...

Ah - the yellows of Colorado.
Brings back fond memories.

Grace H said...

Wow Silvia which amazing trip! I love the American landscapes... but I have never been in Colorado!! :(
I added myself into your blog cause I love it. Mine is about italian food and I really hope you will enjoy adding yourself too! Thanks........ :)
Grace
That’s amore

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Some of the best Aspen photos I've ever seen ... Love this drive ... Thanks for the beauty and the memories!