Schomp MINI’S Top Five Places to View Colorado’s Fall Foliage
With fall in full swing, there’s no better time to ride along Colorado’s scenic mountain byways. Fall colors, crisp air and tasty seasonal harvests flood our state with hints of frostier times ahead. While you still can, get your MINI Cooper up into the hills and experience these five perfect drives for viewing Colorado’s fall foliage.
- Denver Metro: Peak-To-Peak Scenic and Historic Byway
Conveniently located between Boulder and the Central City/Blackhawk area, Colorado’s oldest byway is a perfect, close-to-home place for viewing Colorado’s fall foliage. Travel through Rocky Mountain National Park, Golden Gate Canyon State Park, the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and more, with plenty of places to stop and take photos.
Drive Length: 55 miles; appx. 2 hours
Perfect Car: 2016 MINI Cooper 2-Door Hardtop. The drive is close enough to home that temperatures should remain moderate, and traction will be plentiful. The Cooper 2-Door Hardtop’s expansive panoramic moonroof lets you see everything above, too!
- Southwest: The San Juan Skyway
If you’re feeling more adventurous, head to southwestern Colorado and take this 236-mile loop for some of the most beautiful sights in our state, fall foliage aside. Amidst the route is a 70-mile stretch known as the “Million Dollar Highway,” alongside the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad.
Drive Length: 236 miles; appx. 7 hours
Perfect Car: 2017 MINI Cooper S Clubman ALL4. It’ll be a long trip, so you’ll want space and comfort – and the Clubbie has it in spades! Bring along a few friends and their photo gear, too. There’s room for everyone aboard.
- Rocky Mountains: Trail Ridge Road
Known as the highest continuous paved road in North America, Trail Ridge Road (while it’s open!) is part of Rocky Mountain National Park – leading from Estes Park to Grand Lake. Much of the road is above 11,000 feet in elevation, so be sure to bring plenty of water and stay prepared for rapid weather changes and road closures.
Drive Length: 48 miles; appx. 2-3 hours
Perfect Car: 2016 MINI Cooper S Countryman ALL4. The Countryman’s rugged mountain persona and turbocharged engine confidently tackle unexpected weather, road imperfections and whatever Mother Nature has in store.
- Southern: La Veta Pass
Heading south in our state brings you to La Veta Pass – one of the most amazingly picturesque ways to capture fall foliage in Colorado. Plenty of aspens and pines line the pass as you travel alongside Spanish Peaks and the Sangre de Cristo range. Break off and head further south to Taos, Santa Fe or Albuquerque and catch the end of Hatch Chile season, or beginning of the Pinon harvest.
Drive Length: Varies; allow 3-4 hours
Perfect Car: 2016 MINI Cooper 4-Door Hardtop. Its additional rear-seat room, large windows and peppy turbocharged engines lend well to extended Colorado drives with friends and family. If you head to New Mexico, there’s plenty of space in the boot for chiles and Pinon, too!
- Western: Grand Mesa and Wine Country
Drivers heading past Glenwood Springs on I-70 notice the gradient of mountain colors changing from browns and grays to oranges and reds. The same holds true for fall foliage, as Colorado’s wine country, including Grand Junction and Palisade, brings with it shimmering aspen trees, vibrant scrub oaks and more; especially along the Grand Mesa Scenic and Historic Byway.
Drive Length: Varies; allow 3-4 hours, or make it a weekend!
Perfect Car: 2016 MINI Cooper Convertible. Temperatures stay moderate in western Colorado, and there’s no better way to soak it all in than with a new MINI Convertible. If it gets chilly, its top also doubles as a large sunroof, allowing for panoramic views without the volume of cold air.
Visit Schompmini.com for a full selection of leaf- and winter-exploring cars today!