Going for the Gold

It's true, autumn has graced us with its presence. While colder temperatures bring dreams of hibernation to some, other folks are pulling out their cameras, binoculars and hiking boots to enjoy the best time of year. The high country is blossoming with changing colors right now, and while the Million Dollar Highway offers plenty of gold to passersby, there are some lesser-known gems where one can peep without having to fight the lines of cars and the pull-out crowds. Northeast of Durango, the enclave of Vallecito hovers around 8,000 feet and has the mountains, water and aspen to please even the most discerning leaf connoisseurs. It might not have the towering peaks of its neighbors to the north, but it does offer plenty of uncrowded trails and dirt roads from which to peep in peace. 


The sun's rays keep everything warm – for now

Going for the gold
A 4-mile hike round trip, Lake Eileen offers a place to rest and enjoy the view after 1,140 feet of climbing.
If an aspen quakes in the forest .... ?
That warm fall glow.
All kinds of foliage are changing color.