Leaf-peeping has started in Colorado, and it’s turning out to be an unusual year | AspenTimes.com

Leaf-peeping has started in Colorado, and it’s turning out to be an unusual year

High country residents report surprising “crazy red” colors in underbrush as aspen begin to turn

John Meyer
The Denver Post
People enjoy the peace of the John Denver Sanctuary in Aspen on Monday, Sept. 21, 2020.
Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times

The annual autumnal extravaganza of outrageous forest colors has commenced in the high country, but this being 2020, there has to be something unusual about it, right?

There is, as lifelong Aspen resident Mike Marolt discovered when he went on bike rides there this past weekend. While the aspen haven’t really started changing there yet, he got a show he wasn’t expecting.

“Here’s the thing that’s really weird: I don’t know what’s causing it, but I’ve never seen the underbrush like this,” said Marolt, a fourth-generation Aspenite. “It’s blood red. It’s just incredible. I’ve never seen underbrush — primarily the oak brush and stuff like that — turn this red. It was so brilliant yesterday on the trail between the airport and Snowmass — where there’s no aspen, it’s all underbrush — that I had to slow down and take a look. It was crazy cool.”

The fall color change typically begins in the northern part of the state, and some areas near the Front Range are already seeing dramatic color change, according to Reid Armstrong, public affairs specialist for the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests.

Read the full story from The Denver Post.

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