While fall officially doesn’t start until September 21, many fall-lovers are ready to get into the season as early as September 1. But nature’s way of signaling that fall has begun is the changing of the leaves. When the leaves change depends on the state, with states farther north predicted to turn as early as the first week of September. But if you live in the South, you might be out of luck until early October. Up at 9,600 feet altitude, Breckenridge, Colorado, is one of the regions where you can see fall colors early. In this case, the bright yellow of aspen trees.

gondolas over aspen trees in the fall in breckenridge colorado

Photo: Breckenridge Tourism Office

This Colorado ski town is just as amazing to visit in the summer and fall when the leaves start to change (especially if you typically travel with your dog, as the town is one of the most dog-friendly mountain town destinations out there). Head to the French Gulch area of Breckenridge and take advantage of all of the hiking and biking trails, with remains of the town’s mining days that you can find scattered in the aspen groves. The Minnie Mine Loop and X10U8 trails are excellent for seeing the golden forests, and the B&B Trail is full of leaves changing colors.

mountain biking in breckenridge colorado with fall aspen leaves

Photo: Breckenridge Tourism Office / Liam Doran

Make your way to downtown Breckenridge for a stroll down Main Street for stunning mountain views, and go for a walk down the Blue River Recreation Path for fall foliage without leaving downtown. A short hike along the Pence Miller Trail offers even more chances to see changing leaves.

downtown breckenridge with aspen trees in the fall

Photo: Breckenridge Tourism Office

Boreas Pass Road is surrounded by a grove of aspen trees, making it the perfect place to hike, bike or drive through an autumn wonderland. On the Aspen Alley trail, you’ll find some of the brightest aspen groves in Breckenridge.

boreas pass in the fall with aspens breckenridge colorado

Photo: Breckenridge Tourism Office

Of course, you can find fall foliage all across the United States. But you might need to look a little further and wait a bit longer.