Watching the leaves turn beautiful colors of red, orange and gold as the weather whisps a cool breeze across the tip of your nose is part of the fall splendor. While it’s true you can experience the magic of fall foliage in most areas of the United States, nothing is as mystical as the views of Butterfly Mountain!
Sadly, not everyone can take a plane tour to see this unique phenomenon from the sky. But we can certainly take a jeep ride up Bobcat Pass and enjoy this fabulous fall scenery from the highway. It’s truly a sight to be seen!
How Was Butterfly Mountain Formed
Butterfly mountain is made up of a well-formed group of Aspens. Aspens are dioecious trees, meaning that they produce both male and female flowers in the spring. During the summer, the female flowers also produce small fruits that release lots of tiny, cottony seeds, which can travel hundreds of miles.
As the weather gets cooler, the Aspens begin to bloom, and the butterfly begins to form on the face of the mountain. If you ask some local folks about the forming of the butterfly, you will learn about many theories of how the “butterfly phenomenon” became to be.
During my first summer in Red River, I was told about this amazing view of Butterfly mountain. As it was explained to me a short story naturally formed during the conversation. I was told by this particular local that the trees were actually planted this way on purpose to remind visitors and locals that a time for new beauty is coming…it’s called snow.
I also heard from a wise local that it’s just a natural phenomenon like Old Faithful in Yellowstone. All I can tell you is that I don’t discount their theories, and Google has nothing to say about it.
Staying in the Upper Valley During The Magical Time of Fall
No matter where you stay in Red River during the fall months, you will be sure to see the Aspens change colors. However, the Upper Valley is one of the best places, as it’s full of colorful leaves this time of year. If you are visiting because you want to immerse yourself in a beautiful and unique natural setting, then we highly recommend staying at one of our properties in the Upper Valley. They have views you could only dream about and will allow you to take in all the pops of color from the blooming Aspens. Some say when the wind blows it looks like a colorful display of magical dancers as the leaves blow in the wind.
When to Visit Red River to See Butterfly Mountain
The leaves usually begin to change starting the first week of September and end around late October. Remember the leaves change as cooler temperatures approach and once we get our fist taste of snow, the leaves drop quickly. There’s only a short period of time to experience the mystical feeling the Aspens give to our guests and locals alike. If you miss fall this year, there’s always next year.