Besides the elk rut and their resonating bugles, another sure sign that fall is approaching in the Rockies is the aspen gold.
Throughout the summer, thin, emerald green leaves sprout on slender white birch trees, or aspens. Just as the toasty summer air brings a bit of chill, those leaves transform into golden yellow and orange and shimmer in the autumn breezes.
At some point, the leaves give up their fight against the increasingly stronger winds. Those lucky enough to hike through Rocky Mountain National Park during this time might feel like they’re at a confetti-strewn party when the aspen leaves fall from the branches. Some may even swirl around Estes Park lodging grounds.
Every aspen grove has a different time when its color is on display and when the leaves scatter. The primary aspen gold season occurs from late August in the upper elevations to mid-October in the foothills and valleys. Visitors will notice the golden patches of color on the mountainsides. Unless