South-Central Wyoming Fall Colors Road Trip

The western slopes of the Sierra Madre range offer an explosion of color each fall. Pack a lunch and spend your day listening to the rustle of leaves and smelling the promise of snow, just over the mountain top. Located in south-central Wyoming’s Carbon County, this fall colors day trip takes you along the 57-mile stretch of the Battle Pass Scenic Byway, where aspen trees provide all the entertainment you need on a sunny, fall day. 

Encampment to Aspen Alley

Start your fall road trip in Encampment, a town built on copper-mining, the history of which can still be found at the Grand Encampment Museum. From here, drive east along Battle Pass Scenic Byway (Wyoming Highway 70) toward one of the most unique aspen groves in Wyoming: Aspen Alley.

Located on the Deep Creek Road (Forest Service Road 801) off Wyoming Highway 70, this stand of aspen trees is unusual. Often aspens are short, with twisted trunks and branches, but here they are tall, stately, and upward of 50 feet tall. Their branches bush at the top of the trees interlocking over the narrow dirt road to form a canopy. In early summer sunlight glints through the green leaves, but in September it shimmers with a golden-red glow as it filters through a sunshade formed by the quaker leaves.

Aspen Alley to the Continental Divide Trail

Aspen Alley is just one of the spectacular displays of quaking aspen in this area of the Sierra Madre and the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest. Driving west from Encampment, you will see the first aspen groves just before you reach the forest boundary, five miles west of town. They intermingle with ponderosa pine and spruce trees as the highway winds its way to the Continental Divide, where there is trail access to the Continental Divide Trail and Huston Park Wilderness area, along with spectacular views of both the Pacific and Atlantic watersheds.

Nearly 12 miles west of Encampment, you’ll reach a pullout for Red Mountain Trailhead, from which you can access the Continental Divide Trail and the Huston Park Wilderness for an up-close and personal view of the area’s beautiful aspen trees.