This fall, try some ‘secret’ Colo. hikes

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(Photo: Aspen Alley)It’s leaf-watching season in Colorado as the aspens turn from green to gold. And to the editors at 5280 magazine, if you’re driving to look at the splendor, you’re missing out. In the September issue, Deputy Editor Lindsey Koehler compiled what she and her correspondents say are the best 15 aspen-viewing hikes around the state.

“Fall in the Colorado Rockies is so spectacular, we wanted to give our readers a way to get inside the golden tunnels,” Koehler says. “We have editors who are driving across the state all the time as well as regular contributors who live in mountain towns. Over time, each finds secret hikes that they’re willing to share with our readers.”

On place to check out is the Bears Ears Trail, in the Steamboat Springs area, where you may spy carvings on the trees. The carvings, it turns out, are the work of shepherds who used to work in the area. The carvings include names and depictions of naked women.

“You can still see them, although the trees in that area are beginning to die," Koehler says.

There's also a great hike that starts in Aspen and crosses Maroon Pass to Crested Butte. In early fall, the snow dusts the striations on the Maroon Bells, making them that much more stunning, Koehler says. She did three of the hikes herself, and names her favorite the Cub Lake-Fern Lake circuit in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Click here for more information, and to read the full story at 5280 magazine.