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Old 09-09-2013, 03:56 PM
Location: Littleton, CO
2,395 posts, read 3,912,605 times
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Hello -- It's that time of the year again to start thinking about fall drives, hikes, etc.. My gf and I are taking a long weekend trip out on 9/20 - 9/23, going to the Palisade wine festival and camping off Maroon Creek in Aspen for one night. I'm trying to figure out the best use of my time, the best hike, etc..

on Sunday we're planning to hike the Thomas Lakes trail in Carbondale. I've heard this is a good fall hike, and it's around 7 miles round trip. Has anyone done this hike or know of any other good or better fall viewing hikes from Carbondale to Aspen? Looking for something like 5-8 miles round trip.

On Monday since we're staying off of Maroon Creek road we're going to check out Maroon Lake of course, I moved this to Monday hoping it wouldn't be as busy as the weekend. After some pictures at Maroon Lake, we're planning to drive to Marble and take the 4x4 road to Crystal Mill/Crystal. I've seen some really good fall pictures in this area, is this a good area for fall viewing in general? Would it be really busy on a Monday?

I'm not even sure how many people make it to Crystal Mill given the 4x4 road and/or 10 mile hike?

Any other ideas or suggestions would be appreciated --

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Old 09-10-2013, 01:53 AM
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Wink Then possibly this

From Marble and Crystal you might try Schofield Pass to Gothic and then Crested Butte. I can't speak for it personally, but it is definitely a 4x4 road and apparently challenging. Scenic as well by accounts.

Once in beautiful Crested Butte you'll have a far easier time of it looping back via Kebler Pass, that intersects CO 133 near Paonia State Park. This is a good dirt road that any automobile might easily traverse. In the autumn it is spectacular as passing through a number of large aspen groves.

Kebler is simple enough. But if wishing to remain on pavement one might traverse Independence Pass from Aspen to its eastern end at Twin Lakes. A memorable and beautiful drive.
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Old 09-10-2013, 09:01 AM
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I've done Schofield Pass, it's NOT for the faint of heart. The most fatalities in CO have been on that trail / road.
If you do it come down from Gothic to Marble.
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Old 09-10-2013, 10:55 AM
Location: Western Colorado
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Redstone, Marble. Drive up to the Grand Mesa.
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Old 09-10-2013, 02:41 PM
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
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For perhaps the best Aspen color display in Colorado, a drive over Kebler Pass ( CO highway 12 ) would be a real treat. Kebler pass road connects highway 133 with Crested Butte. It is a well maintained gravel road for most of its 31 miles, with short sections of pavement along the way.

One of the world's best places to see golden aspens in the fall. Mid September is the usual peak of color. Kebler is not as scary as some reviewers mention, though taking the Ohio Pass fork can be a bit scary. The Aspen Grove is supposed to be the largest living organism on the planet, all sharing the same root system. Scenic side trips to Irwin Lake and Lost Lake provide opportunities for picnicking and photography.

Last edited by CosmicWizard; 09-10-2013 at 02:53 PM..
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Old 09-10-2013, 05:10 PM
Location: Littleton, CO
2,395 posts, read 3,912,605 times
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Just a couple of notes, I'm not going to be heading into Crested Butte or doing Kebler Pass as I've done that before, and looking to stay a little closer since I'll be driving back to Denver that Monday night.

Jim -- We'll be around Redstone and Marble, and I think may even stop at the Avalanche Ranch Hot springs in that area. Can you suggest anything else or possibly even any hikes off McClure that would be nice?

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