Wow, do aspen trees change color quickly. We drove north and south on Boulder Mountain 3 times in 3 days and the color change was striking. I thought that the unseasonably warm weather might retard the change, but they just kept getting noticeably more golden over the course of two days. I’d like to put a time-lapse camera on a leaf and see how much it changed color over 2 days. The other aspect of the aspen groves that interested me was how they grow. Usually, it appears as though an older taller row of trees are fronted by smaller aspens. Sometimes instead of a line of trees, the taller trees are in a circle, surrounded by a row of shorter trees. And they are all changing color at different rates. Another oddity is how they just stop propagating at some point. There are many meadows or smaller glens, totally surrounded by aspen, but there are no seedlings nearby.
We went out early Saturday morning and the light was so beautiful. Besides the aspens, the views from Boulder Mountain are astounding. It truly is one of the most beautiful areas we know of.
For all our trips across Boulder Mountain, we have never stayed at the forest service campgrounds there, usually because they’re closed for the winter. This time, we found Singletree Campground, a sunny open space, surrounded by pine trees. I’m getting my fill of that wonderful, summer, dusty-pine smell this year. Although the weather was warm in the middle of the day, there was usually a light, cool breeze, and the nights were very cool, making it easy to sleep. And even though we were there on Friday and Saturday nights, the campground had very few campers. They probably were all struggling to get into Capitol Reef National Park, about 20 miles away. It has a lovely campground, but this is a “get in the national parks free” weekend, plus it sits at a lower elevation and would thus be much hotter. So we skipped Capitol Reef this trip.
Singletree Campground had one short little trail to Singletree Falls. So we set off, expecting an easy trail and an uninspiring waterfall. Wrong on both counts. The trail, while not long, was all downhill on the way to the falls, getting very steep, sprinkled with enough loose rocks and gravel to make me nervous. But the falls were so worth it. We hit them at the exact right time of afternoon, when the sun was sparkling and the water was shooting in all directions, like fireworks. They were so good, we went back the next day with tripods.