Denver, CO

Why This Year's Fall Colors Were Especially Great in Colorado

Dave Chung

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The colors of fall have been on full display this year.Steamboat Chamber / Shannon Lukens

Noticed that this fall's colors were especially bright and well, colorful this year in Colorado? You're not alone.

While we're now seeing leaves fall off trees to fill driveways, streets, and walkways below them, our weather this year in Colorado created just the right set of circumstances to create a colorful fall canvas for leaf-peeping all over the state.

According to The Denver Post, this year's fall palette was largely thanks to good moisture when leaves were sprouting in the spring (including our cooler, wet June), and the warmer temperatures we've seen in October.

Last year, a memorable September 8 included temperatures in Denver dropping 50 degrees overnight, plus some September snow. That intense drop in temperature made last fall's color show "ok" at best and short lived, but this year's colors have largely made up for it across the state.

Kendra Boot, the city forester for Fort Collins told the Post, "We’ve lucked out this year with no early freezes...We’ve had some normal drops in temperature, but they’ve been very gradual. In previous years when we’ve had less of a nice fall color season, we’ve had some pretty extreme temperature fluctuations, which shortened the amount of time the leaves stay on the trees."

If you've noticed that this has been an uncharacteristically smooth transition into fall weather-wise, you're right. Extreme cold causes leaves to freeze, and the wind that often accompanies it makes leaves fall earlier than many of us would like.

While some areas of the state still have plenty of fall color to enjoy, everyone in Colorado knows that our often-extended winter is just around the corner.

But if you've been marveling at the show that nature has provided this year and been wondering if you're seeing things in an exaggerated light because of the effects of 2020 and 2021 on our collective lives, this has been unusually great year for fall colors in Colorado. And with the years we've had, maybe many of us needed it.

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Dave writes about health and wellness, things happening in Denver, and more.

Denver, CO
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