Fall brings clear blue skies and crisp air punctuated with occasional snows, bugling elk and bighorn sheep butting contests. Aspen start turning in late August at higher elevations and the golden leaves work their way down to lower elevations in October. The peak of the gold rush in our mountains is usually in late September. Daylight and elevation set the timing of the color season. Rain, snow, cold and wind affect the intensity of color.
Elk bugling runs from mid-September to mid-October, although some bugles may be heard in late August and late October.
Bighorn sheep stage their head-butting contests in October and November.
For more pictures and information, link to the Wildlife Watching page.
Check on the fall events and festivals held in Rocky Mountain National Park and Estes Park at this wonderful time of the year. Also see the Fall Specials offered by Estes Park businesses.
These averages are from the Colorado Climate Center over a period from 2001 to 2015. What the averages don't reveal is the variance.
High variance is the only constant about our weather. There is not a single month of the year which is historically snow-free. On the other hand, there is not a single month in which we do not have picnic lunches on sunny decks.
What to wear at this time of year? Layers, layers, layers. Sunny days, you could be in shirt sleeves. Mornings and late afternoons, you'll add a sweatshirt or jacket. Enthusiastic elk watchers may want a coat, hat, gloves for dusk and evening bugle concerts.