BOISE -- We still have a few weeks to go to see the peak of fall colors. Fall doesn't officially arrive until September 23.
The mountains see the biggest change form late September to mid-October. The Treasure Valley follows you mid-October to early November.
JIM'S FAVORITE FALL FOLIAGE DAY TRIPS (SOUTHWEST IDAHO)
PAYETTE RIVER SCENIC BYWAY: ID 55 from Boise to McCall. Alongside the spectacular Payette River, watch for the yellows and golds of aspens, western larch, and tamaracks, against the dark green of the pines.
PONDEROSA PINE SCENIC BYWAY: ID 21 from Boise to Idaho City to Lowman to Stanley. Reds and golds of willows and shrubs give way to the yellows and golds of aspen through the forests along the South Fork of the Payette River, then on into Stanley Basin.
SAWTOOTH SCENIC BYWAY: ID 75 from Shoshone to Sun Valley to Stanley. Yellows and golds of cottonwoods along the Big Wood River mixed with reds and yellows of the willows. Be sure to check out Adam's Gulch north of Ketchum. Crossing Galena Summit, aspens mix with the pines on into the Stanley Basin.
OWYHEE UPLANDS BACKCOUNTRY BYWAY: This is a back country route, so it is mostly dirt roads with no services, so plan accordingly. But you'll be rewarded with spectacular scenery, and lots of gorgeous golden cottonwoods and aspens amidst the rugged beauty of the Owyhee canyon lands. Portals are at either Grandview (ID 78) or Jordan Valley, OR (US 95).
MURPHY TO SILVER CITY: Turn off ID 78 at Murphy. Again, it's a dirt road to Silver City in the Owyhees. You'll see brilliant yellows and golds of cottonwoods and Aspens with some pines.
KATHRYN ALBERTSON PARK/BOISE GREEENBELT/BOISE URBAN FOREST: You don't have to go very far to see spectacular fall foliage later in the year, right in the Treasure Valley. Trees and shrubs frame the Boise River in reds, oranges, yellows and browns. Kathryn Albertson Park is a photographer's dream in the Fall with gorgeous specimen trees, shrubs and grasses showing off their red, purple and gold hues, amidst ponds and streams and flanked by the Boise River. The geese and other birds love it, and you may even catch a glimpse of a fox or some deer. And the City of Trees puts on its own show in almost any neighborhood with tree-lined streets and parks.