This year’s venture to the mountains to find the changing aspen leaves took us back to the traditional promised land of Kenosha Pass. It’s our default location to visit, and although we have found great success in other spots, this one is a sure thing….and sure things are important with kids. We have been going to Kenosha to find the trees on and off for a bunch of years, and this time around the timing of our schedules worked out to full advantage. The other thing that apparently works to our full advantage is having a kid that rises early – and therefore allows us to hit the road early, and therefore arrive at our destination before the masses get moving. Kenosha is a popular spot because of the amount of aspen trees, and it’s accessibility – right off of 285 about an hour from Denver, so it fills quickly on weekends.
Our trip up into the mountains was actually just before the ‘peak’ time for the leaf changing, but that’s our current favorite time to see them. The leaves change from green, to yellow, to orange, and to red before finally falling off – all within about a three week time frame. So when we started into the mountains and got our first glimpse of the changing leaves, we knew that we were in for a good showing. We arrived at the parking lot, and took off on our hike into the woods. Every single time that we have gone up to see the trees at Kenosha Pass, we have left the parking lot and gone right to the hike. We even found a ‘secret’ trail that leads out the back of one of the campgrounds and down into a valley where no other trail ends. For the longest time, we thought that we had the perfect viewing spots for the trees….until a random request from Ezra to hike to the left this time around. We embarked down the road, then found a trail that took us through a stunning meadow framed by aspen trees, and finally ended at a running stream with amazing views. The wisdom of a three year old is serendipitous sometimes. We enjoyed a nice long hike – even though it was a touch on the warm side – before heading back to the car. On the way home, we found a nice spot on the side of the road, and backed up to a river, for a tailgate lunch.