On so many occasions since moving to Colorado, Pat and I have been sitting at a lake gazing up at the surrounding mountains, pointed, and said “whoa look, there’s a person up there!" Well... this time I was the person up there, gazing down on half a dozen lakes from a 13,596 foot (4144 m) summit in the Tenmile Range.
Autumn in Colorado is never going to be the same as autumn on the east coast. We just don’t have as many trees that turn so many vibrant shades of color. But we do have cottonwoods and aspens and willows, all of which turn yellow… usually some time around mid-September. As we probably should have expected, given the utter chaos that was 2020, the status of Colorado’s fall colors was thrown into question when the mountains got a dusting of snow at the end of August. And then another storm rolled in immediately after Labor Day weekend and dumped up to 14 inches of snow. The cold and snow – coupled with the previous two months of drought – meant we were now at risk of the trees turning from green straight to brown. But all hope was not lost.
This might actually be my favorite winter hike of all time.
My first trip to Mayflower Gulch was with a friend in early 2019; the second visit was actually just this last weekend with Pat. Mayflower Gulch is a beautiful winter destination. The only downfall is that to get there from Denver one must brave the ski traffic on I-70. And boy does it suck.