Missed it by thaaaat much.

We’d never been to Breckenridge in the fall. Five years of visiting Colorado took us there in the winter to ski and in the summer to hike. Those paintings and photos of luminous golden aspen leaves glistening in the sunshine we so greatly admired – and in some cases purchased – remained stuck only in our imagination.

When we finally committed to visiting in September, we carefully did so as to closely align with peak leaf color as possible. We missed it by about a week.

We arrived on September 20th, one day before the official first day of fall, and due to an early crescendo of color found most of the aspens already barren of their leaves.

Most. Not all.

View from Aspen Alley Trail in fall. (Photo Credit Chadd Scott/TRAVELING WITHOUT KIDS)

The remaining aspens we did find still at the peak of their color more than made the trip worthwhile and have only whetted our appetite to once again spin that fall foliage roulette wheel in the hopes of striking it rich.

The pictures shown here were all taken on my iPhone on a perfect day along the Aspen Alley Trail which begins at the Breckenridge Ice Rink (park by the railroad park) and concludes at Boreas Pass road. “Aspen Alley” is not specifically marked on the signposts we saw on this end of the trail system so do please use the lifesaving AllTrails app like we do to head in the right direction.

Start at the ice rink in order hike the uphill section first while you’re fresh. The trail is well maintained and not particularly strenuous, but it’s still almost four miles in length in both directions at an elevation well over 9000 feet with enough incline to let you know you’re working.

RELATED: Our favorite Breckenridge.

View from Aspen Alley Trail in fall. (Photo Credit Chadd Scott/TRAVELING WITHOUT KIDS)

 

View from Aspen Alley Trail in fall. (Photo Credit Chadd Scott/TRAVELING WITHOUT KIDS)