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Old 05-06-2012, 02:01 PM
 
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I have planned vacation for the first week of June. The plan is to drive across the state to Moab for 2 days and then backtrack to Cortez, Ouray, Alamosa and then home. I am thinking of delaying until the first week of October so I can enjoy the leaf change but I'm concerned about winter driving and early snowfall. Looking for advice from locals.
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Old 05-06-2012, 02:43 PM
 
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Given the choice, I'd pick October. Some of those spots can be very hot in the afternoon. While Oct snow is possible, it's not likely and won't hang around long if there is snow.
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Old 05-06-2012, 06:43 PM
 
Location: New Zealand
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Peak fall colors in the mountains are usually ~3rd week of September -- October may be too late for that. And June will be VERY hot in Moab.
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Old 05-06-2012, 07:42 PM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
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Fuzz wrote:
And June will be VERY hot in Moab
And the way things are going....probably hotter than usual.
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Old 05-06-2012, 09:38 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuckem View Post
I have planned vacation for the first week of June. The plan is to drive across the state to Moab for 2 days and then backtrack to Cortez, Ouray, Alamosa and then home. I am thinking of delaying until the first week of October so I can enjoy the leaf change but I'm concerned about winter driving and early snowfall. Looking for advice from locals.
It kinda depends on what is important to you. Moab for instance will be nicer than in June.

Aspen leaves are hard to pin down, but once you get into first week of October you are definitely past the best and brightest of the leaves across the state. Also once they turn they can be very erratic as a good day or night of wind or some early winter weather can strip them bare very quickly. I would say 3rd week of September is prime time.

In early October, in the mountains, I have had many beautiful, if cool days, and I've had some that are miserable. Above 7000 ft elevation you can count on summer is over and fall doesn't have long to live either.
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Old 05-07-2012, 08:34 AM
 
Location: Littleton, CO
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I would pick the last week of September if you want to see the fall colors. Moab will be much nicer too out of peak tourist season, it's a mess in June - August
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Old 05-07-2012, 04:13 PM
 
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Wink Travel in June versus October

As everyone has mentioned, the later part of September is probably ideal for autumn color.

The prime period varies from year to year, so if this is a priority—and one has the flexibility—keep an eye on the situation as autumn nears, and then travel accordingly. Naturally, the leafs will change first at the highest elevations, and only later lower down; so by the time the aspen and all other deciduous trees are in full color along the front range, already past prime and leaving bare branches in the high country. It can be truly beautiful when some aspen have just begun to turn, others not, so a lovely juxtaposition between the still green and golden. Whereas a bit after peak lovely as well, but then what can be vivid golds in contrast to the stark limbs of trees now bare.

Moab will of course be hotter in June than in October. But this illustrates other aspects of such a trip you may wish to consider. Basically, June through August is prime tourist season. If wanting to soak up both the warmth and fuller activity of summer, then that is the time to visit. Some tradeoffs are that everything is more crowded; fuel prices possibly higher; and lodging will be both more scarce and expensive. With so many vacation plans having come and gone by September, one reason travel in autumn can be so pleasant. But also—if the evenings a bit cooler, and maybe a dusting of new snow on the higher peaks—fall with often very pleasant weather.

By the end of September that isn't as certain in the high country (with the first decided advances of winter in the high country by Halloween). There can be snow anytime (witness the winter wonderland of Nederland with new snow today), but in early October the most one is likely to encounter would be snow squalls at the highest elevations, and that probably only making the road wet.

Each season has its attractions, and each different.
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Old 05-07-2012, 04:25 PM
 
Location: Western Colorado
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One year pick summer, the next pick fall. Once you visit the western slope, you'll want to return. Personally for the first time I would pick June, yeah there's LOTS of tourists and crowds, but the weather is warm in the daytime, cool at night, not much thunderstorms to worry about. Then come back next year in the fall to see the colors and breathe in the crisp cool air..
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Old 05-07-2012, 09:45 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
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I'd go with June. Don't know where you're coming from, but the changing of the leaves really isn't that great, especially compared to the eastern US. Hard to predict when that happens exactly... I'd say it's usually mid-September, by October it's too late. And if you're a week too early or a week too late, or it snows early... you end up missing it entirely. I would just go whenever it's convenient for you to go on vacation. June will be better weather in the mountains, but Moab will be very hot (it's a heat you can deal with, not intolerably hot like Phoenix). In October Moab will be about perfect, but the mountains will probably be too cold. Plus June the days are longer, more time to sightsee.
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Old 05-08-2012, 07:33 AM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
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vegaspilgrim wrote:
In October Moab will be about perfect
Agreed! October is the best month of the year for a Moab visit!
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