This weekend we are heading up to our family cabin in Leadville Colorado. Usually around this time of the year we can start seeing the changing of the fall colors in Colorado. It is one of my favorite things to see. I love fall and I am so ready for it this year. Fall has always been my favorite season of the year – sweatshirts, fall boots, fall activities and fall flavors and here in Colorado, Fall Colors!
If you are lucky enough to live in Colorado or might be visiting this fall I highly suggest you take some time to escape to the mountains to see these beautiful colors. The sweet spot seems to be in late September or early to mid-October and Colorado offers some of the best fall foliage around.
Where To See The Fall Colors In Colorado
The Million Dollar Highway
The Million Dollar Highway follows the 25-mile stretch of US 550 between Silverton and Ouray in southwestern Colorado. This drive is filled with amazing views and some heart dropping experiences as you wind through twists and turns right at the edge of sheer cliffs. But during fall you will also see some of the most spectacular colors.
The Free Telluride Gondola experience lets you see the colors from above. This area offers beautiful changing Aspen. The aerial views include the town of Telluride, its box canyon and colorful valleys lined with aspens and evergreens. While you can also hike in Telluride, this might be a good way for young kids to experience the beauty.
The amazing Maroon Bells, two towering 14,000-foot mountains nestled in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, are the most photographed peaks in North America. Maroon Bells is located in the 2.3-million-acre White River National Forest, the Maroon Bells tower over numerous hiking trails that offer unbeatable views of golden aspen trees. The area is accessible by car, however buses run daily mid-June through Labor Day and on weekends Labor Day through early October from the Aspen Highlands. Another great option for family trips to see the changing colors.
Not a coincidence that you would visit Aspen to see the changing colors of the Aspen, right? This mountain town is surrounded by impressive hues of golden bronze and dazzling yellows. On your way into Aspen, crossing Independence Pass, the highest paved pass in North America peaking at more than 12,000 feet above sea level, you’ll find one of the best fall foliage shows on Earth.
Golden Gate Canyon State Park
We featured this area in our Family Friendly Hikes In Colorado post and my husband has also taken our kids camping in this area. It is perfect because it is so close to town but you feel like you can still escape the city. Golden Gate Canyon State Park is only a 45-minute drive west of Denver, and offers 12,000 acres of aspen and pine forest, meadows and trails. It’s an ideal place for camping, fishing, hiking, biking and horseback riding, as well as a perfect place to see the beautiful fall colors. The canyon is lined with aspens, and from the Panorama Point Scenic Overlook, you’ll be able to see more than 100 miles of aspen trees along the Continental Divide.
Trail Ridge Road
The highest continuous paved road in North America winds through Rocky Mountain National Park from Estes Park in the east to Grand Lake in the west. With more than eight miles above 11,000 feet and a maximum elevation of 12,183 feet, Trail Ridge Road is an amazing vantage point for changing leaves experiences.
Leadville and Twin Lakes
Leadville and Twin Lakes are some of the best places to view fall colors in Colorado. On the way to Leadville you can enjoy the colors on Independence Pass and once you are in Leadville you can plan a drive out to Twin Lakes. This is the area we always head to with the kids if we are in town at the right time. The lakes are gorgeous but the beautiful golden aspens make the scenery breathtaking.
While these 7 places to see the fall colors in Colorado are not the only areas they are a great starting point for those that are new to this beauty.
Have you experienced the changing colors in Colorado during the fall? I would love to hear where your favorite spot is to see the best colors.