San Juan National Forest Fall Color Report 2020

Autumn in San Juan National Forest2020 Grand Landscape Winner by KBeyer Williams ReservoirWest Fork area 2020 Autumn Intimate Landscape Winner by CHooley


Updated: October 21, 2020

Estimated Percentage of Current Fall Foliage: 

  • Durango to Purgatory: 100% post peak
  • Purgatory to Coal Bank: 100% post peak
  • Coal Bank to Molas Pass: 100% post peak
  • Molas Pass to Silverton: 100% post peak
  • Silverton area: 100%  post peak
  • Silverton to Red Mtn Pass: 100% post peak
  • Red Mtn Pass to Ouray: 100% post peak

  • Dolores to Rico: 100% post peak
  • Rico to Telluride: ~100% post peak
  • Telluride to Ouray (Dallas Divide): 100% post peak

  • Missionary Ridge: 100% post peak
  • Mancos Area: 100% post peak 
  • La Plata Canyon: 100% post peak

  • Pagosa Springs: 100% post peak

Areas with Greatest Amount of Color / Recommended Viewing Areas:

The autumn colors are all but gone in the San Juan Mountains. The lower elevation towns of Durango and Pagosa still have brilliant colors along the rivers. And many trails are covered in fallen golden leaves.

West Dolores Autumn 10_11_20

West Dolores Region
Oct. 11, 2020


Estimated Peak Viewing Period:  

Generally, fall colors begin with golden yellow quaking aspen at the highest elevations and narrow leaf cottonwoods in low-lying cold areas as early as late August. But aspens, which put on fall’s brightest show and account for 20% of Colorado’s forests, usually peak near the end of September to early October, which is typically a few weeks later than trees in most of the rest of the state. - SJNF Forester, Matt Tuten

Species That Are Currently Turning Color:

  • Some low elevation cottonwoods and underbrush.

For More Information on Fall Colors Please Contact: