Colorado Leaf Changing Will Start Hitting Peaks This Weekend

September 26, 2019

It might be in the 80s along the Front Range this week, but peak fall colors are getting closer and closer in the mountains.

While patchy fall colors have been spotted across the higher terrain over the last few days, “near peak” conditions are expected this weekend, based on a new and detailed fall foliage prediction website’s forecast.

The website’s hyper-local fall color map shows Colorado’s peak mountain colors arriving over the next two weekends, with peak colors perhaps likeliest around the weekend of Oct. 5. The website uses 40,000 visual data points based on past weather and official government-issued weather forecasts to produce the foliage maps.

“Although the scientific concept of how leaves change colors is fairly simple, predicting the precise moment the event will occur is extremely challenging,” data scientist and CTO Wes Melton said. “The major factors impacting peak fall are sunlight, precipitation, soil moisture and temperature. Although we cannot control Mother Nature and ensure 100 percent accuracy, our data sources are top-tier and each year we refine our algorithmic model achieving higher accuracy over time.”

The same website predicts eastern Colorado’s peak colors to bloom between Oct. 19 and 26.

If recent weather is anything to go off of, then this year’s fall color show could be an especially bright one. Cool nights and warm days, coupled with a wet growing season and dry end to summer make extra colorful fall leaves more likely. In general, Colorado has experienced all of those weather criteria, helping fuel extra anticipation for this season’s fall foliage show.

It’ll also feel a bit more fall-like this weekend, with temperatures statewide expected to cool to more typical late September levels behind a cold front later this week.

The Know put together this great list of the best places to see the colorful trees while they last:

U.S. 285 over Kenosha Pass

This is one of Colorado’s favorite road trips for aspen-viewing, although it can be difficult to score a parking spot on the pass. In fact, “It gets kind of ugly up there,” U.S. Forest Service district ranger Josh Voorhis says. If you do find a parking spot, there are trails to hike through spectacular aspen stands. For a more extended trip, continue driving west from the pass on 285 to Como, then take the gravel Boreas Pass Road over to Breckenridge. You can return to Denver by way of Interstate 70.

Peak to Peak Highway

Otherwise known as Colorado Highway 72, the stretch between Nederland on the south and Allenspark on the north is a great place for aspen-gazing by car or bike ride. You might want to consider a side trip to Brainard Lake, too, which you’ll find at a turnoff to the west about halfway between Nederland and Allenspark.

Endovalley in Rocky Mountain National Park

You’ll find this by taking U.S. 34 (also known as Fall River Road) west from Estes Park. About 2.5 miles past the Fall River Visitor Center, turn right (west) at Endovalley Road. About two miles up Endovalley Road, there is a loop with a picnic area. You can take this loop and then head east back to U.S. 34 or continue west on the Old Fall River Road. This is a gravel road that is one-way westbound until it dead-ends at the Alpine Visitor Center high on Trail Ridge Road. From there, you can take Trail Ridge to the park’s Grand Lake Entrance to view the Kawunechee Valley (see below) or return to Estes Park via Trail Ridge.

Kawunechee Valley in Rocky Mountain National Park

This valley on the west side of the park runs north and south along U.S. 34 (Trail Ridge Road), paralleling the upper reaches of the Colorado River.

Poudre Canyon/Laramie River valley

Take Colorado Highway 14 west from Fort Collins into Poudre Canyon to see colorful cottonwoods. About 50 miles up the canyon, turn north at County Road 103 and head into the Laramie River valley for gorgeous aspens and willows.

Poudre River Trail in Fort Collins

Here you will find cottonwoods turning yellow, which can turn a simple evening stroll in town into a special autumn treat.

Vail/Eagle area

There are great aspen stands all over this area, including slopes that rise above Interstate 70 east of Vail Village. One great option is to drive south on U.S. 24 from Minturn to Leadville over Tennessee Pass. Another goes north from Vail on Red Sandstone Road to Forest Service roads 700 and 701, terminating at Piney Lake, which is simply one of the most beautiful spots in Colorado. Here, rugged peaks of the Gore Range serve as a stunning backdrop for an idyllic lake where you can see their reflections — along with changing aspens, too. “Oh my goodness, it’s gorgeous up there,” said Marcia Gilles, deputy district ranger for the Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District. Yet another good drive goes west from Vail Pass over Shrine Pass to Red Cliff via Forest Road 709.

Flat Tops Trail Scenic Byway

Get away from the crowds and experience this beautiful 82-mile drive between Yampa and Meeker, much of which traverses open rangeland and about half of which is paved. It traverses the White River Plateau to the north of the Flat Tops Wilderness Area. Dunckley Pass (9,763 feet) and Ripple Creek Pass (10,343) offer panoramic views. Visitors are advised to check their fuel gauges before making the drive because there are no gas stations between Yampa and Meeker.

La Veta Pass

This drive on U.S. 160 west of Walsenburg crosses the Sangre de Cristo Range between the eastern plains and the San Luis Valley. At the pass (9,413 feet), there is a panoramic vista overlooking an open bowl.

Crested Butte area

There are very scenic routes out of Crested Butte, but most are out-and-back dirt roads with slow speed limits, and they can be crowded in leaf-peeping season. One great drive that might prove less challenging heads up and over Kebler Pass, through one of the most renowned aspen stands in the state, and continues another 25 miles to Colorado Highway 133 at Paonia State Park. From there, you can go north to McClure Pass and Carbondale or west to Grand Mesa. Both are great for aspen-viewing.

Grand Mesa

The world’s largest flat-top mountain,15 miles east of Grand Junction, is a great destination for fall colors. Cross the mesa on the Grand Mesa Scenic Byway, a 50-mile drive from the town of Mesa on the north to Cedaredge on the south, and you’ll see fall colors pretty much the whole way. Stop at the Grand Mesa Visitor Center at the top of the mesa for more information. There are many beautiful lakes on the top of the mesa, and don’t miss the Lands End Overlook, about 10 miles west of the scenic byway via Lands End Road on the western rim of the mesa, which offers soaring views of the Grand Valley.

A view of Mount Sneffels

Finally, here’s one from a reader: “About 6 miles west of Ridgway on Highway 62, there is a pull-off where photographers assemble to photograph Mount Sneffels with magnificent color. A great panorama photograph.” Mount Sneffels is a beautiful fourteener.

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Festivals, foliage, and plenty of beer: Here’s how to enjoy autumn in the Mile High City.

There are so many ways to enjoy Fall in the Mile High, from pumpkin picking to leaf-peeking…and of course dozens of Octoberfest celebrations! They are kicking off this weekend, so mark your calendars and join the fun!

Punkin Chunkin Colorado
 | September 21–22
More than 25 teams will compete at the highly anticipated pumpkin-smashing bash to see whose cannons, catapults, and contraptions can launch a gourd to world-record lengths. Beyond the joys of watching pumpkins fly overhead, spectators can also count on a pumpkin patch, car show, carving contest, beer garden, and much more to round out the celebrations. New this year is a carved pumpkin display, in which hundreds of pumpkins will be brought together to form one gigantic work of harvest art. Arapahoe Park Racetrack, 26000 E. Quincy Ave., Aurora. Tickets are $5 for single entry, $15 for a family of four and can be purchased in advance online

Water Lantern Festival | September 21
Send off summer and welcome the start of fall with this floating spectacle of light. Write a personal message of hope or reflection on one of the provided lanterns and send it off with hundreds of others as the sun sets over Boyd Lake, and watch as the lanterns illuminate the Colorado landscape. The Water Lantern Festival provides 100 percent eco-friendly lanterns made of wood and rice paper that are collected from the water after the festivities conclude. Festival-goers can also count on food, games, music, and more to accompany the main event. 4–9:30 p.m., 3720 N. County Rd. 1C, Loveland. Tickets are $35 until September 20, and $40 the day of the event

See more events.

In other news…

Find out where to watchother NFL teams besides the Broncos in + around Denver!

+ These are 5 essential questionsto ask your mortgage lender before refinancing your home.

Home building activityhas risen 12%. 

Heads up:6 miles of I-70 is going to be closed this weekend

+  1842 new listingshit the market this week, less new inventory than we have seen hit the market in the last few weeks.

Let me know if you have questions about anything home or Real Estate related, if you’d like to get out and see some of the homes that are for sale, or if you are wondering what your home might be worth today. (720) 436-1123.

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See some beautiful homes across Denver and the Front Range this weekend!
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3 Ways You Can Help with Rescue + Recovery Efforts in the Bahamas

From donating water filters + hot meals, to opening up your airbnb or home, every little bit helps!

More than a week after Hurricane Dorian devastated the Bahamas, thousands of people are without shelter and food.

 2,500 are still missing, and Bahamas prime minister says he expects the death toll of 50 to “significantly increase.”

Some 15,000 people are still in need of shelter or food, according to the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency.

Officials also note that the list of 2,500 missinghasn’t been checked against records of evacuees or the thousands of people staying in shelters, making it difficult to draw up casualty lists.

Thousands are scattered across the islands, with more than 5,000 people ending up on New Providence, the island where Nassau, the capital, is located. Authorities plan to put up tent cities in Nassau and as well as on Abaco, one of the hardest hitislands, where shelter for some 4,000 is planned.

Hurricane Dorian struck parts of the archipelago with 185 mph winds on Sept. 1, then settled in for almost two days of death and destruction before moving back into the Atlantic. 

As the country tries to emerge from the devastating storm, limited commercial flights have resumed on Abaco, but the electrical infrastructure around Marsh Harbour, the island’s largest city, has been destroyed.

Wondering what you might be able to do to assist in recovery efforts? Here are three ways that you can help.

+ Here are 8 essential itemsthat will spruce up every entryway

This new grant programencourages Denver homeowners to plant more trees

+ These are the fastest shrinking markets in the United States

+  2091 new listingshit the market this week, significantly more new inventory than we have been seeing hit the market each week lately.

Let me know if you have questions about anything home or Real Estate related, if you’d like to get out and see some of the homes that are for sale, or if you are wondering what your home might be worth today.

Join me for an Open House in Golden, Colorado this Sunday from 1-3pm!

Join West + Main Homes for this fun family event Saturday October 26th 1-3pm!!

10 Questions to Help You Decide Which Ski Pass is Right for You


Not sure which season ski pass to buy? Here are 10 questions to help guide your decision.

Resort operators punish poor planners with staggering walk-up ticket prices. But there’s no reason to get burned in Colorado, ground zero for the ski-pass war.

It’s the time of year to ponder passes. 

Season ski pass prices start climbing around Labor Day and today’s resort operators offer discounts for skiers who commit early. Remember: resorts punish poor planners with exorbitant prices for day lift tickets. 

Here’s a guide for the 2019-20 ski season in Colorado, which is ground zero for the raging resort industry battle pitting behemoth Vail Resorts against Alterra Mountain Co. in the Epic vs. Ikon fight for skier loyalty. 

The season-pass war has spread coast-to-coast and across the world, with each company gathering more and more resorts into their fold as they entice season-pass buyers. The clash has trickled down to even the smallest resorts that have slashed prices for season passes in an attempt to compete in the new dynamic. 

Peruse these 10 queries to help decide on your best pass options. 

(These are pretty much focused on Front Rangers who drive to skiing. If you live in a ski town, you don’t likely need help choosing a pass, right?)

1. Do you have a favorite hill you want to ski all season?

Check the resort rosters for the Epic Pass ($939 for adults) and the Ikon Pass ($1,049 for adults) and pick the one that has your hill. Take advantage of all the access to other resorts, if you want. The Epic offers access to more than 50 ski areas and the Ikon has 41 destinations on its roster. 

Or buy an individual resort pass. Some of the Ikon-operated resorts are offering their own, less-expensive passes and Ikon partner resorts often have access-sharing deals with other ski areas. Independent resorts have all kinds of deals for pass shoppers looking beyond the Epic and Ikon shelves. More on that below…

2. Do you plan to ski a lot? 

Don’t even think about day tickets. Just buy a pass. If you buy a pass at Loveland ($439) or Monarch ($479), they are part of the Powder Alliancethat delivers three, holiday-restricted access at 19 other independent resorts.

3. Do you ski only now and then? 

Then maybe you don’t really need a season pass. There are many good alternatives. 

The Epic Day Pass has whittled day tickets down to as low as $106 if you don’t ski on holidays.  

Colorado Ski Country’s $30 Gems Card offers two-for-one passes and lift-ticket discounts at 11 of the trade-group’s smaller member resorts.

Pick packages from two to five days at Arapahoe Basin for $139 to $229. A transferable A-Basin four-pack is $239.

The $71 Loveland Pass card offers lift tickets for $63 to $71 with one free lift ticket and a free ticket every fifth day. A Loveland four-pack is $169

4. Planning a vacation week at a destination resort in addition to weekend skiing?

It’s often cheaper to buy a pass to your vacation spot than pay daily rates. Here is which pass you should buy based on your destination:

  • Telluride? Epic.
  • Aspen? Ikon.
  • Sun Valley? Snowbasin? Epic.
  • Alta-Snowbird? Big Sky? Ikon.
  • Canada? Epic has Canada’s Fernie and Kicking Horse. Ikon has Revelstoke and SkiBig3.
  • Japan? Epic has Hakuba Valley. Ikon has Niseko United.
  • Europe? Epic has deals with 19 resorts in France, Italy and Switzerland. Ikon just landed Zermatt, Switzerland, its first European resort partner.

5. Want to ski all season but not drop $1,000? 

The Epic Local ($699) and Ikon Base ($749) are somewhat more affordable, with unrestricted access to some of the state’s top resorts and more restricted access to crown jewel resorts, including like Vail and Steamboat. 

6. Are you willing to avoid skiing holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas-New Year’s, MLK Day and President’s Day? 

The Epic’s Summit Value Pass is $569 and good for holiday-restricted access at Breckenridge and Keystone. The Keystone Plus Pass is $369 for access outside holidays. 

7. Saving money and only skiing weekdays? (Which is pretty smart.)

A midweek pass to Loveland is $329, midweek to Arapahoe Basin is $349and midweek access at Eldora is $399.

8. Budget-minded with kids? 

The Epic’s Keystone, Crested Butte four-pack is $249

Colorado Ski Country’s 5th and 6th Grade Passport Program gives each Colorado fifth grader three free days at the trade group’s 22 member resorts. Sixth graders get four days for $125.

Eldora Mountain Resort is selling a family pass for two adults and two kids for $1,199

Purgatory’s Power Pass is free for kids 10 and under.

Ski Cooper charges only $159 for a pass for kids 6 to 14. (Adults are $389)

Monarch’s pass for kids ages 7 to 12 is $209.

The free Epic Schoolkids Pack gives Colorado students from kindergarten through fifth grade four, holiday-restricted days of skiing at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Crested Butte, plus one free first-timer lesson and equipment rental. Students must sign-up for the pass at local Epic Mountain Gear stores. 

9. Love the indies and want to avoid the all-Epic and all-Ikon crowds?

The resorts in the shadow of the Epic vs. Ikon throwdown are getting creative with a host of affordable deals. 

The independents may be partnering with the big boys for limited access, but they are hoping the pass-toting crowds at the major resorts will turn more skiers toward their own less-expensive passes.

Copper Mountain’s adult pass is $549, $409 for college students and teens, and $269 for kids. Copper offers $399 and $499 add-ons for skiers who want to skip lines, load up early, park close to the lifts for free and hang in the Copper Athletic Club. 

Arapahoe Basin’s unrestricted pass is $449; $309 for ages 15-18; $99-$199 ages 6-14. It includes three days at Taos and three days at Monarch. A “Double Down” pass for Arapahoe Basin’s 2019-20 and 2020-21 season is $798. 

Loveland Pass has unrestricted access for $439; $309 for ages 15-22; and $189 for ages 6-14, The pass also provides three days at Purgatory, Monarch, Powderhorn, Ski Cooper, Sunlight and Ski Granby.

Silverton Mountain is the most shrewd of the indies maneuvering under the clash-of-titans pass war. The ski area this summer cut its season pass price to $199 from $499, offering unlimited skiing during the expanded, five-day-a-week unguided season from March 18 April 19. The early-season pricing also includes a “private mountain day” on March 16, before the unguided season starts; a $39 heliskiing run if booked early; $89 stand-by access during the guided season; and a discount on Silverton Mountain Guides heli-skiing in Alaska. Silverton Mountain also offers 27 free days at nine partner resorts across the country. 

Purgatory’s Power Pass, with prices ranging from $129 for Super Seniors (age 80 and up) to $699 for ages 37 to 64, provides unlimited access to Purgatory and Hesperus; Snowbowl in Arizona;  Sipapu and Pajarito in New Mexico; and Utah’s Nordic Valley. The Power Pass includes three free days at 18 resorts around the world, including Copper, Loveland, Eldora, Sunlight, Powderhorn, Monarch and Ski Cooper. 

10. Only want to chase powder and ski top resorts on their best days without spending $1,000 on a pass? 

The Mountain Collective ($489 and $199 for ages 12 and under) is still around and offers two unrestricted days each and 50% off additional days at Arapahoe Basin, Aspen Snowmass and 16 other destinations, including Alta and Snowbird in Utah; Montana’s Big Sky; Wyoming’s Jackson Hole; Taos in New Mexico; and Squaw-Alpine and Mammoth in California. 

For more info, go to the Colorado Sun.

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Market Reports

Colorado Real Estate Market Report – August 2019

September 6, 2019


While Denver-area homebuyers have a number of market conditions in their favor, home sales were down overall last month

Download the report

In August, new listings, homes under contract, and days on market were up for Denver-area’s entire residential market. The number of homes sold, average and median sold prices, and sales volume were down, as were interest rates.

“In 2019, homebuyers and sellers are not having the same experience their neighbors did last year,” said Jill Schafer, Chair of the DMAR Market Trends Committee and Metro Denver REALTOR®. “In the first half of 2018, home sellers were taking offers over the weekend and selecting the best one in the stack on Monday. This year, sellers are making price adjustments as they try and find the right price point to entice buyers to make an offer.”

Furthermore, median days on market has jumped up 27.27 percent from July to August and up a significant 57.14 percent year to date. While the percentage is significant, it reflects an increase of seven days to 11 year over year. 

According to Schafer, buyers have appreciated this slightly slower paced real estate market. They have an option to compare a number of homes on the same day, instead of one home at a time as they trickle onto the market throughout the month. Homebuyers have even been able to do some negotiating as the close-to-list-price ratio dropped to 99.36 percent year to date compared to above 100 percent at this point in the past few years. The lower interest rates also improved their buying power allowing some to move up in price.

While homebuyers have a number of market conditions in their favor, the number of homes sold in August was down 10.91 percent month over month and 0.72 percent year to date compared to last year.

Schafer comments, “Sellers should still be skipping happily on the real estate playground. Even though they aren’t selling their homes as quickly, they are still getting more money than they would have last year.” Average and median sold prices dropped a bit month over month but were up 2.22 percent and 1.45 percent respectively year to date compared to 2018.

Our monthly report also includes statistics and analyses in its supplemental “Luxury Market Report” (properties sold for $1 million or greater), “Signature Market Report” (properties sold between $750,000 and $999,999), “Premier Market Report” (properties sold between $500,000 and $749,999), and “Classic Market” (properties sold between $300,000 and $499,999). In August 2019, 222 homes sold and closed for $1 million or greater – down 11.20 percent from July and up 5.71 percent year over year. The closed dollar volume in the luxury segment year to date was $2.578 billion, up 28.80 percent from last year.

The highest-priced single-family home that sold in August was $7,200,000 representing five bedrooms, six bathrooms and 7,295 above ground square feet in Niwot, just outside of Boulder. The highest-priced condo sale was $5,525,000 representing three bedrooms, four bathrooms and 5,092 above ground square feet in Denver. The listing and selling Realtors® for the condo transaction are DMAR members.

The luxury segment continues to grow with 1,671 sold homes thus far in 2019, which is significantly up from 1,231 in 2017 and 773 in 2015. Notably, while the number of sold homes priced $1 million and up has continued to grow, the average price has held strong at around $1.5 million since 2015. However, the single-family segment is showing a slight decline with 194 homes sold in August versus 225 in July, but it is still on track with stats from this time last year.

Average days on market in the luxury segment remain strong at 59 days, up just one day from July’s 58 average days on market and down four days from 62 at this time last year. 

“The Luxury Market has been holding strong this year,” states Libby Levinson, DMAR Market Trends Committee member and Metro Denver Realtor®. “While sales in the luxury segment of the market remain steady, home sellers are rejoicing because close-price-to-list price is at 97.4 percent versus 97.01 this time last year.”

According to Levinson, the luxury condo market is “buzzing” with 28 sold properties in August, which is a noticeable jump from 13 this time last year, resulting in 189 total units sold year to date in 2019. This is a big jump from 127 units sold at this time in 2018 and just 58 units in 2015. Due to the number of sales coupled with increasing prices, the sales volume in August almost doubled year over year with over $45.4 million.

Thank you to our partners at the Denver Metro Association of Realtors for compiling this information. Download the report

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