On the hill: Golden corridors | AspenTimes.com

On the hill: Golden corridors

It’s time for leaf rides, folks.

The colors are getting good, and the next couple of weeks should be prime time to coast through the woods via golden corridors of aspen.

Over the past few days I’ve dragged my bootie out of the office on a couple of occasions and enjoyed the onset of autumn from the saddle ” once on a mountain bike tour of Snowmass and the other on a beautiful afternoon road ride up to Ashcroft.

On both excursions there was more than a hint of fall in the air, with temperatures cool and the odor of decaying leaves on the breeze. And on both rides the sky was bright blue, with cottonball clouds casting shadows on the nearby mountains ” some of which still wear a dusting of snow from that Monday storm.

The leaf-peeping hasn’t hit its peak, by any means, but there are now enough groves of bright yellow and fallen leaves on the trails to confirm that it’s definitely fall in the mountains.

Plus, the trailhead parking lots are uncrowded again and you’re as likely to run into hunters in the woods as you are riders. Don’t forget to wear bright colors.

As temperatures drop, trails get muddy and the trees lose their leaves, talk among riders often turns to Fruita and Moab. But don’t forget the joys of fall riding in the mountains. Think Hay Park, Boy Scout Trail, Government, Sunnyside and Cattle Creek, or any road ride that takes you above 8,000 feet.

And while you’re at it, bid farewell to another great summer in the Rockies.

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