Forbes: 10 Must-See Fall Foliage Destinations

The editors of Forbes magazine “leafed” through the top fall foliage destinations to come up with 10 that they think are worth a look. Making the list was our own Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway; an 85-mile loop through the Southwest’s mountains, valleys and national forests that are currently covered in gorgeous fall foliage:

It’s not your run-of-the-mill autumn scene, but a trip on the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway will change your perspective of what fall foliage looks like. Aspen trees explode in bold yellows; cottonwoods transform into gold and red; and purple cinquefoil adds a little flavor. September and October are the best months to roam this 85-mile trail around Taos, Red River and Eagle Nest, and the valleys, mountains and mesas make this the quintessential Southwestern drive.

I happened to take a leisurely Sunday drive today and snapped a few pictures of Taos Ski Valley’s autumn in all its glory (click on the pictures to enlarge).  It’s no wonder so many folks drive up here to experience this heaven on earth.  I have to say, until recently, autumn had been my least favorite season.  But moving here can change a man’s mind.  Poet Paul Laurence Dunbar explains why fall has never been about death and dying, but the highest time of living!


Merry Autumn by Paul Laurence Dunbar

It’s all a farce,—these tales they tell
About the breezes sighing,
And moans astir o’er field and dell,
Because the year is dying.

Such principles are most absurd,—
I care not who first taught ’em;
There’s nothing known to beast or bird
To make a solemn autumn.

In solemn times, when grief holds sway
With countenance distressing,
You’ll note the more of black and gray
Will then be used in dressing.

Now purple tints are all around;
The sky is blue and mellow;
And e’en the grasses turn the ground
From modest green to yellow.

The seed burs all with laughter crack
On featherweed and jimson;
And leaves that should be dressed in black
Are all decked out in crimson.

A butterfly goes winging by;
A singing bird comes after;
And Nature, all from earth to sky,
Is bubbling o’er with laughter.

The ripples wimple on the rills,
Like sparkling little lasses;
The sunlight runs along the hills,
Looking over AspensAnd laughs among the grasses.

The earth is just so full of fun
It really can’t contain it;
And streams of mirth so freely run
The heavens seem to rain it.

Don’t talk to me of solemn days
In autumn’s time of splendor,
Because the sun shows fewer rays,
And these grow slant and slender.

Why, it’s the climax of the year,—
The highest time of living!—
Till naturally its bursting cheer
Just melts into thanksgiving.