Colorado Color Sunday and full of vibrant gold and amber leaves shimmered in the sunlight as I drove through the Colorado mountains.

The Drive up the Mountain

I saw working coal mines in Bowie, Colorado, with stacks of black coal piled high as I entered Kebler Pass through the Gunnison National Forest, near Paionia. The two-lane gravel packed road  is closed during the winter, but fall leaves are joyously celebrated in September by tourists and Coloradans. Hundreds of cars amble along the pass for the spectacular views of the multicolored aspens and occasional wildlife sightings.

Switchbacks and slow drivers make this scenic 30-mile drive enjoyable and beautiful.  Along the mountain are turnouts to photograph cascades of aspen groves and towering mountain peaks.

The peak of the mountain

The peak is 9,980 feet, with views of West Elk Mountain and Ruby Range with sculptured canyons below. Clusters of aspen trees with slender white trunks hold glistening yellow and orange leaves.  Each gracefully sway in the cool breeze, just waiting for a photograph.

The pass ends in Crested Butte where quaint shops and homey bed-and-breakfasts await the fall road excursion.

This article was revised from the original article.

San Diego ReaderPublished November 2010:
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