• Activities:

    Chillin, Photography

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Autumn

Forest
Lake
River
Scenic
Wildlife

View Colorado's legendary aspen trees in full color without the crowds. It's great trip for the family and a photographer's dream. Peak fall color for the aspens on Cameron Pass are the last two weeks of September.  

From the front range, drive west of Fort Collins, Colo. on Highway 14 towards Walden, Colo. When you enter Highway 14 from Fort Collins, look for Ted's Place. Ted's is a gas station and convenient store, stop here to hit the bathroom, fill up on gas, and grab some snacks. There will be very few facilities once you enter Cache la Poudre Canyon. 

The first 60 miles or so will be at lower elevation and the mountains will be that of foothills. Feel free to get out and explore. Keep in mind the real beauty is still ahead. 

After about the 60 mile mark you will begin ascending into a more diverse terrain. As you climb up towards the Continental Divide and Cameron Pass, you will begin to see the aspens.

You can't miss the aspens, they will be on fire amongst the coniferous forest surrounding them. Bright yellow, orange and red patches will stand out against the dense pines. 

Continue your way up as you please, take a minute to pull over and photograph the color. 

Eventually you will reach the summit of Cameron Pass and the Continental Divide. From there you will see the mighty Nohku Crags, a very prominent mountain in the Never Summer Mountain Range. 

If you continue, you will begin to descend down the western side of Cameron Pass. The aspens are just as great on the west side as the east side. 

You will have entered State Forest State Park. If you wish to hike within the boundaries of the park, make sure to pay the small fee. This helps keep the park clean so everyone can enjoy it. 

You can continue west on Highway 14 as long as you choose, just remember to turn around after a while and head back towards the way you came!

If you choose, you may visit the Visitor's Center on the west side of Cameron Pass for more information about the area. There are also a few roads which give access to the national forest, look for those as they can lead you into other aspen groves. 

Pack List

  • Warm Clothes
  • Camera
  • Tripod
  • Filters
  • Snacks
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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