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.