Friday, October 1, 2010


Roadside aspen When I mentioned to our knowledgeable advisor in the Torrey visitors’ center that I was hoping to see aspen in their golden prime, he suggested a loop drive outside the park, one popular with the locals but usually not visited by the Capitol Reef tourists.  He warned that the leaves would only last until the next wind or rainstorm, so we decided to drive the Fish Lake loop before the warm, dry weather breaks this weekend.

Aspen at their best!  Yellows, golds and reds, some trees already bare, others still green.  The landscape was a complete change from the enormous red cliffs of Capitol Reef – I almost felt as though we were in Colorado.

We took a picnic lunch with us – chicken sandwiches, grapes, cookies.  We split our usual hike into two parts, a heart-pounding uphill climb (to 9,500 ft elevation), followed by a lunch break and an easy stroll along the shore of Fish Lake.  The colors were absolutely glorious, and we were frequently drenched in a rain of golden leaves, listening to the song of the quaking aspen in even the slightest breeze.

Golden Path Path through Aspens
Climbing the strenuous path uphill, I had plenty of time to closely examine the golden aspen leaves!

Walking the easy path along the shore of Fish Lake, I was able to look up to enjoy the view.

Finished with our hikes, we drove slowly along the lake shore in awe.  Odel stopped at all the marked “Scenic Overlooks”, and pulled over frequently when the colors of the aspen were particularly incredible, so that I could hop out and take another couple dozen photos. 

Many colors of aspen

Aspen still green, aspen golden, and aspen flaming orange… I was surprised to see such variety on one hillside.

Flaming aspen

This is the color that knocks me out – flaming golden red atop the tall, white trunk against a clear blue sky.  I wanted to pitch a tent and stay until the leaves rained down!

Today we have another driving tour planned, back into the rocks, this time south of Torrey.  I knew these pictures would be lost in the many hundreds of rock photos I’ll take if I didn’t get them posted!  It was a fabulous day, not to be forgotten – a completely different face of this beautiful area.


  1. Love em~Love em!!! It is my goal to someday be able to stay in the Rockies until all the quakies have fallen so that I'm able to see what you have just given me a beautiful glimpse of! Thank you so much!!!

  2. Those golds and greens with a touch of rosé are pretty spectacular in their own right.

  3. What a glorious way to spend the day! I am overcome by envy. Great photos!

  4. Absolutely gorgous!

    I'll be going to the Adirondack region (NY) next week, I hope the fall color there will be as pretty as in Aspen!

  5. WOW very very pretty! I can just imagine them floating down softly to the ground. LOVE your pics!

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

  6. What gorgeous colors ... and to be able to enjoy them without hordes of crowds around. Priceless.

  7. Hi Laurie and Odel!
    We are on the road again and have been staying in campsites on your list and some of our own. Yellowstone will be our port of call for the coming week. We are experiencing the same wonderful fall colors. We are so lucky.Your reviews are always right on. Thx!
    I am wondering if it is possible for you to add a map of the us, somehow, with 'pins' at places where you've stayed. It would be easy to plan our trips that way as well. Just a suggestion. I don't know if it is possible.

    Thanks again for your wonderful blog.
    Denise Delgado, El Dorado Hills, CA

  8. Hope there's still some color left when I finally get out of Boise! :) Great pics, and great tale.

  9. Autumn is my favorite time of year. Love the colors and the sounds of Aspens. Thanks for the treat!

  10. Great photos, Laurie! Our leaves here at the house are also in their prime color but starting to fall.

  11. No matter how often I see such a sight, I am awed all over again. Thank you.

  12. Denise, about a map... that would be cool, wouldn't it? I'm sure there is a way to do it, as I have seen in on other websites. TIME is the problem! I am always looking for ways to spend LESS time on the computer, instead of MORE. :) Between the learning curve and keeping such a map updated... it's pretty low on the priority list. I'll keep it in the back of my mind for "things to do when it has been raining for 3 days already". Enjoy Yellowstone, and don't forget Grand Teton N.P.!
    Thanks for your kind comments, and safe travels.