Autumn paints Colorado in a palette of colors…perfect for a bed and breakfast leaf peeping stay!!!

Autumn paints Colorado in a Palette of Colors
By Linda DuVal (Special Travel Writer to Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers of Colorado

Autumn creeps across Colorado, swiping at stands of aspens, cottonwoods and scrub oak with its bright brush, starting at high altitudes and working its way down to the river valleys and foothills.

Fall is the perfect time to visit
Sometimes it lingers; sometimes, it’s
gone in a flash. No one can predict when and how long it will put on its
brilliant show. But while it lasts, it’s glorious.
It’s time to book a few nights at a
Colorado bed-and-breakfast inn which has been inspected and approved by high standards through Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers of Colorado and take your chances on catching the annual
display of spectacular fall foliage. 
Conejos River Ranch – The Conejos River Ranch was homesteaded by a Frenchman in 1894, says
manager Shorty Fry. In 1913, local records called it Jacob’s Ranch and listed

Conejos River Ranch near Antonito

as a fishermen’s lodge. It has had several owners over the years, mostly
taking in guests, and gradually morphed into a full-fledged bed-and-breakfast
inn after Leonard and Kathy Romero bought it in 2002. 

Situated about 14 miles west of the
tiny Southern Colorado town of Antonito, it’s far enough from anywhere that
guests get breakfast with their lodging and can buy dinner, too – there aren’t
a lot of other options in the area. It also opens its restaurant doors to the
public, which happily takes advantage of it.  
Aspens are the hallmark of Colorado
Fall is a great time to visit because
“the colors are absolutely gorgeous, usually. And this year, with all the rain,
they promise to be even better,” Fry says.  Normally, the aspens start turning gold by
mid-September and finish by mid-October, and the cottonwoods linger even
longer, and with brighter and more varied hues – orange, gold and scarlet. 
Much of that color flames along the
banks of the Conejos River, where fishing is the main draw. Few fishermen go
away without a batch of rainbow or brown trout.
Other visitors go hiking, or drive
into Antonito to catch the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, which also does fall color rides
until mid-October, usually.  “It always
depends on the weather,” Fry says. “We can get our first snow in mid-October,
sometimes.”  The lodge has eight rooms and
an on-site rerstaurant. To find out about rates or make a reservation, call
719-376-2464 or go online to the Conejos River Guest Ranch
Frisco Inn on Galena- Up in the high country – at 9,000 feet in Summit County – fall can come
earlier.  And leave earlier.
Dining Room at Frisco Inn on Galena
Aspens burst into gold almost
overnight, surrounded by the reds and oranges of scrub oak and other shrubs,
then the flame is out. You don’t want to miss it.
Bruce Knoepfel, co-owner of the
Frisco Inn on Galena in Frisco (near Breckenridge), has seen it come and go
quite a few seasons. Before purchasing the inn with a partner in 2012, he owned
another inn in the area. 
“Frisco is a great town in the fall,
surrounded by aspen forests in all directions,” he says. “The colors are
magnified by the cobalt skies at this altitude. Frisco’s quaint, historic Main
Street with its variety of wonderful shops and restaurants complement all of
the fall activities available, whether it’s a hike in the forest, a bike ride
on the 80-mile network of paved bike paths or unlimited mountain bike trails.”
It doesn’t hurt that there’s a huge
lake nearby.  “Lake Dillon is just down
the street, (and)

Beautiful guest rooms

offers a unique perspective of the colors from a sailboat,
canoe or kayak (all available to rent). The inn has free bikes available for
guests to ride around town. (Some) also enjoy a scenic drive on one of the many
scenic byways in the area.”

Or catch an autumn celebration – the
Frisco Fall Spectacular or Oktoberfest, both local favorites. 
Frisco Inn on Galena near Breckenridge
This spacious, comfy contemporary
mountain inn has lots of room options, with 15 rooms ranging from two doubles
to queens and kings, with flat-screen TVs in every room. They serve wine, cheese
and other appetizers every afternoon, along with hearty gourmet breakfasts.
There are also lots of great restaurants in the area. The inn also has spa
services available, and fitness classes. 
After the leaves are gone and the
snow flies, they’re near great skiing and other winter sports, making the inn a
terrific base camp all year round.
For fall splecials, to make a
reservation or see pictures of rooms, visit the Frisco Inn on Galena.

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