Best Hikes For Fall Colors in Colorado

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
Approachable

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
Jefferson, CO
Approachable

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.

11.7 Miles / 2,404 ft. Elevation Gain
Grant, CO
Approachable

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
Vail, CO
Not-So-Approachable

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.

5.2 Miles / 994 ft. Elevation Gain
Conifer, CO
Approachable

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!

6.8 Miles / 1,200 ft. Elevation Gain
Conifer, Colorado
Not-So-Approachable

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!

4.0 Miles / 1,082 ft. Elevation Gain
Conifer
Approachable

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!

 

4.8 Miles / 596 ft. Elevation Gain
Frisco, Colorado
Approachable

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.

 

2.6 Miles / 574 ft. Elevation Gain
Frisco
Approachable

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.

 

3.4 Miles 754 ft. Elevation Gain
Golden Gate Canyon State Park
Approachable

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.

 

3.4 Miles / 990 ft. Elevation Gain
Estes Park, CO
Approachable

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

3.4 Miles / 770 ft Elevation Gain
Frisco, Colorado
Approachable

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.

 

6.0 Miles / 730 ft. Elevation Gain
Vail, CO
Approachable

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.

 

The Black Hills of South Dakota are only a 5 hour drive from Denver and I was blown away at the beauty up there. Plenty of incredible hikes, lots of fall colors – perfect for a quick weekend getaway with the family!

 

Kylie Bearse

Kylie Bearse

When I’m not exploring the trails, I’m a Meteorologist! You can see me every weekday morning on Fox31 KDVR from 4:30-10am! Have a weather question? Don’t hesitate to ask!

Kylie Bearse

Kylie Bearse

When I’m not exploring the trails, I’m a Meteorologist! You can see me every weekday morning on Fox31 KDVR from 4:30-10am! Have a weather question? Don’t hesitate to ask!

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Kylie Bearse

Kylie Bearse

When I’m not exploring the trails, I’m a Meteorologist! You can see me every weekday morning on Fox31 KDVR from 4:30-10am! Have a weather question? Don’t hesitate to ask!

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