Set Your Sights on the Beauty of the Changing Leaves

Colorado puts on a dramatic show in the fall with colors at their peak
Web Toc Fall

Steamboat Colors. | Photo by Laura Sheets

Fall is magnificent in Colorado. The beauty of the seasonal transition is most evident in the brilliant reds, golds, and oranges of the changing leaves. In the mountains, a well-timed day trip or camping excursion lets leaf peepers feast their eyes on the once-a-year seasonal show.

The color landscape generally changes according to timing. Trees at elevations at about 8,500 feet are usually the first to change in mid-September. Trees at lower elevations will take a few extra weeks to begin their transformation, with their beauty at a peak in October through early November. 

Eagles Nest Wilderness Vail

Eagles Nest Wilderness Vail. | Photo by Laura Sheets

Some of the best places to see the changing leaves can be found an hour and a half west of Denver in Rocky Mountain National Park. Whether you choose to visit Bear Lake, drive over Trail Ridge Road, or hike in the park, you’re sure to see nature at its most colorful. These are high elevation spots—so keep in mind that the ideal time to visit is in mid-September.

Early October is when leaf watchers can begin to see beautiful colors closer to the metro area. Hiking, trail biking and camping trips will afford dazzling, colorful scenery along the Peak-to-Peak Byway, Golden Gate Canyon State Park, and Evergreen. A ride aboard the historic Georgetown Loop Railroad is a fun way to see the colorful trees by traveling right through them on the elevated track. 

Aspen Leaves

Aspen Leaves. | Photo by Laura Sheets

Mid-October is a perfect time to visit lower elevation spots like the wooded areas near Colorado Springs, Woodland Park, and Cañon City. Pikes Peak is a must-see for long-time residents and visitors to Colorado. 

Tackle the colors from the water by tubing in Clear Creek in the heart of Golden. The trees lining the banks of the creek will put on a colorful show. The water has the summer to warm and is pleasant in September and early October. The Royal Gorge Bridge and Park is another not-to-be-missed Colorado destination. The fall colors are outstanding here, and don’t forget the opportunity to take in the views from the historic bridge 956 feet over a stretch of the Arkansas River.

Columbine Co Overlook

Columbine, CO Overlook. | Photo by Laura Sheets

Don’t forget, the metro area parks are also great places to spot the majesty of fall leaves. Make a fall weekend a staycation and visit Denver’s City Park, Washington Park, Sloan’s Lake, or Cherry Creek State Park to meander and enjoy the views along the walking and biking trails.

Whether you choose to travel the state, or stay closer to home, there are almost endless chances to see the hues of the fall season. Explore the options with Colorado Tourism.

Bear Lake Rmnp

Bear Lake. | Photo by Laura Sheets

Categories: Colorado Destinations