It’s the best time of year in Colorado! Fall Colors are just starting to change and soon leaf peepers will be out in full swing.
Fall colors in Colorado peak (on average) in the last few weeks of September and linger into early October the farther south you go.
This is a very busy time in the mountains in Colorado so go on weekdays and early to avoid crowds, practice Trail Etiquette and Leave No Trace. Let’s keep our trails in great shape! If you’re new to hiking start here before you hit the trails for the first time.
6.2 Miles / 941 ft. Elevation Gain
Buena Vista, CO
This is absolutely worth the drive down near Buena Vista & Salida! The first mile or so is a little steep and rocky but then it levels out through a forest to the waterfall.
8 Miles / 300 ft. Elevation Gain
A choose-your-own-adventure just off of one of the most impressive spots for fall colors – Kenosha Pass! This is great for beginners, just turn around when you’ve had enough.
11. Abyss Trail
11.7 Miles / 2,404 ft. Elevation Gain
Don’t be put off by the mileage – I only did about 3-4 miles in and then back out for the incredible views. It’s not too steep, but the fall colors that make this hike so amazing don’t start until about 2.5 miles in.
3.3 Miles / 2,224 ft. Elevation Gain
Up a ski hill, through Aspen trees – Berry Picker Trail is steep and difficult at times but totally worth it for the views. Plus, you can take the gondola down for free if you don’t want to hike back down.
I love that this hike has you walking through Aspens to start, then at the peak you have incredible views where you see the deep greens from the pines & then the golden Aspens peak through!
Head anywhere in Staunton State Park for some of the most incredible views and a few fields of Aspens along the way! Mason Creek trail is a favorite, but definitely a bit steep at times. If you want a real challenge, make your way over to Elk Falls!
Only 45 minutes from Denver, Conifer is one of my favorite spots for fall colors. Eagle’s View Trail is one that’s a little less busy, has beautiful colorado and a gorgeous view at the top too!
Frisco is the place to be for fall colors! This hike is beautiful with plenty of Aspens and a lake at the end. Then grab a drink on a rooftop downtown and take in all the beautiful colors of fall.
One of my favorite trails overlooking Lake Dillon! I hiked this during peak wildflower season, but took note of all the Aspens to come back and hike in the fall.
Golden Gate Canyon State Park
There’s not much I love more than a trail completely lined with Aspens! Golden Gate Canyon State Park is perfect for fall hikes and Raccoon Trail offers plenty of color and views.
Estes Park, CO
Gem Lake is one of my all-time favorites in one of my favorite towns! The views themself are incredible year-round, but the amount of Aspens makes this hike perfect for September! If you want to stay a few days, check out my recomendations for a weekend in Estes Park.
2. Meadow Creek to Lily Pad Lake
Frisco is one of my favorite spots for fall colors in general! I missed the fall colors when I hiked Meadow Creek last fall but made a note to come back and wander through the golden Aspens when they’re at their peak this time around.
I hiked Upper Piney just after the colors peaked last year so I can’t wait to go back and see the colors in their full glory! Aspens line the trail for most of the way and it’s absolutely stunning. It makes the 40 minute drive on the dirt road totally worth it.