Brad Charlesworth takes a bike ride up Buffalo Pass to Summit Lake on Friday. The aspens several miles up Buffalo Pass Road are already golden.

Photo by Scott Franz

Brad Charlesworth takes a bike ride up Buffalo Pass to Summit Lake on Friday. The aspens several miles up Buffalo Pass Road are already golden.

Chasing Color: Get out there and explore

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Chasing Color

The beauty of autumn in Northwest Colorado won't last forever. The Steamboat Pilot & Today is providing readers with a roadmap to some area drives and hikes to take before the color is gone.

It’s about this time of year when I vividly recall a family from Tennessee huddled together in the glass bus shelter on Lincoln Avenue, shaking uncontrollably as they tried to withstand another 15 minutes of subzero temperatures in Steamboat Springs.

I don’t bring up this memory to detract from the love I have for winter, skiing or the slower pace of life.

I bring it up because watching that family is one of those frigid moments that summon up memories of summer and fall and make me long for epic hikes, mountain summits, fly-fishing and camping trips.

In that January moment on Lincoln, these things all seemed so desperately far away.

So here we are, in the season that makes photographers giddy and adventurers savor every moment of color and daylight.

The drives up Seedhouse Road often reveal blankets of fog skirting around stacks of colorful aspen trees.

A hike to the summit of Hahn’s Peak gives you a bird’s-eye view of seemingly endless oranges and yellows.

The drive to the top of Dunckley Pass is less traveled and full of solitude.

You are surrounded by adventures.

Soon, when the snow starts to fly, our world will become a little less colorful and exploring it will become a little more tedious and daring.

Roads into the wilderness will close when they’re full of snow.

Photographs will lose much of their color.

It’s time to take advantage of the fleeting explosion of color.

Sure, there will be distractions. But I hope this guide entices you to take even one hike, drive or adventure this fall.

If you don’t, you might be kicking yourself at a frigid bus stop in January.

Autumn in Every Direction

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