Scenic USA - Colorado

Autumn in the Sneffels

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Autumn in the Sneffels - Mount Sneffels Wilderness Area, Colorado

Photos by Jack Brauer
Jack Brauer Mountain Photography

   In a a child's mind their days and months seems to drag on forever between major events, but to the busy parents time constantly feels to be slipping away. Here in the Colorado Rockies this fleeting passage of time is most apparent. Just a few months ago, mountain passes were cleared of snow, wildflowers began to sprout on mountain meadows and snow began to thin on the blue-gray mountain peaks. Now in late September a chill is back in the air and the aspen groves begin to don their golden autumn overcoats.
   An ideal time of year for a scenic drive, Colorado's Rockies are among some of the best for a fall foliage run. Southwest Colorado's autumn-color drives include Dallas Divide and Lizard Head Pass, Mount Sneffels Crested Butte and Kebler Pass and the most dramatic Sneffels Range.
   Often compared to Wyoming's Grand Tetons, the Sneffels Range offers a line of similar looking peaks with a most apparent vertical rise. Home to some of the most challenging alpine mountaineering in all of Colorado, the Sneffels are found just to the north and west from the town of Ouray. Mount Sneffels is the highest peak in the range, topping 14,000 feet in elevation. One of the most coveted ascents among Rocky Mountain climbers, Mount Sneffels will test even the most advanced climbers.
   Although not recognized by the U.S. Board on Geographical Names, locals still referred to Mount Sneffels and its adjacent peaks as the Sneffels Range. Some of the best Sneffels Mountain views are found along Colorado routes 62 and 145. For the ultimate backcountry drive near the Sneffels, test your driving skills on the Last Dollar Road.

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