Posted by: Sandy Steinman | October 16, 2019

San Juan National Forest Fall Color 10/15/19

San Juan National Forest  reports on Oct. 15 2019

  • Durango to Purgatory:  ~60%
  • Purgatory to Coal Bank:  ~75%
  • Coal Bank to Molas Pass: ~95% Post Peak
  • Molas Pass to Silverton: ~95%  Post Peak
  • Silverton to Red Mtn Pass:  ~95% Post Peak
  • Red Mtn Pass to Ouray: ~95%  Post Peak
  • Ouray to Telluride (Dallas Divide): ~Post Peak 95%
  • Dolores: North of Dolores – 95% Post Peak
  • Dolores to Rico: ~95% Post Peak
  • Rico to Telluride:  ~95% Post Peak
  • Missionary Ridge:  ~95%  Post Peak
  • Mancos: ~85%
  • La Plata Canyon: ~85%
  • Pagosa:  ~75%

Areas with Greatest Amount of Color / Recommended Viewing Areas:

  • This week, the mountains had freezing temps, wind, and even a little snow. The trees close to peak now have a combo of golden and green and bare leaves. They are dropping fast…which creates its own beauty of floating leaves and trails lined with gold. There are still plenty of colors out there, but in the high country, there are more bare trees than green. Past peak in most areas.

Estimated Peak Viewing Period:  

  • Pagosa area will most likely peak this weekend, as well as Mancos and Purgatory. Most other areas are slightly post peak with more bare trees than green from Coal Bank Pass to Ouray to Telluride to Dolores.
  • Estimate peak 9/30-10/14. One of the first areas to hit peak is Silverton. Please remember that it varies greatly based on elevation, moisture, temperatures. Areas like Pagosa and Durango to Purgatory will peak at the later estimated dates.

Trees That Are Currently Turning Color:

  • Aspens
  • Scrub Oak, brilliant reds and oranges in many areas
  • Narrow leaf cottonwood

For More Information on Fall Colors Please Contact:


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