If you live in Colorado, chances are at least part of the reason you do is because of its fall beauty. Colorado is home to some of the most refreshing fall getaways and is a popular destination for unwinding before hunkering down for the winter.
Be it a breathtaking drive through the aspen-covered mountains, hiking the top of the nearest peak to feel a bit smaller, or accomplishing some preseason backcountry skiing, there is respite for everyone. Here are five of the most refreshing fall getaways you can find in the mountains of Colorado.
Estes Park in the Fall
Estes Park acts as the eastern gateway to the Rocky Mountains and is truly beautiful in the fall. Explore the Continental Divide with a variety of scenic drives and hikes, or hire a fly fishing guide to lead you through the Rocky Mountain backcountry. There’s sure to be plenty of wildlife and aspen beauty to experience in Estes Park, and if you time it right, you can catch the elk rut season — a real treat for the ears.
The Peak to Peak Scenic Byway was established over one hundred years ago and stretches from Estes Park to I-70 and clocks in at about a three-and-a-half-hour drive roundtrip. Along this route, you’ll pass through mining ghost towns and aspen forests. There’s plenty more Estes Park has to offer, learn more here.
Aspen in the Fall
The Colorado mountains have a theme for their fall beauty; Aspens. There is no better place than Aspen to experience the wonder of an array of autumn aspen trees. A fantastic display of a golden-bronze-and-yellow-green speckled mountainside is sure to leave any bystander speechless.
The resort in Aspen, Aspen Snowmass, is made up of four unique mountains and each offers its own take on the aspen beauty. Bike or hike the trails to take it all in or catch a guided tour to Maroon Lake for its iconic view of the Maroon Bells. Bottom line, Aspen is as beautiful as you’ve heard, and it’s worth the visit. Learn more about the beauty of Aspen here.
Telluride in the Fall
Telluride is well known for its snow-cover slopes, but its beauty is available year-round. Composed of two towns, Mountain Village sits at 9,500 feet and offers incredible views of the surrounding Uncompahgre National Forest. If you’re feeling adventurous, grab your bike and explore the Telluride Bike Park.
Don’t worry, you won’t have to bike back up the mountain from the bottom. Connecting the two towns is Telluride’s unique, year-round, 13-mile gondola. You can hop in with your bike and go again, or break in those new boots on any of the many hiking trails. Learn more about beautiful Telluride here.
Silverton in the Fall
This old Colorado mining town in the San Juan Mountains is the perfect little town for experiencing some of Colorado’s most beautiful features. Take a drive up the “Million Dollar Highway,” a section of the San Juan Skyway, in late September for the changing aspens and windy mountain cliffside roads that are sure to take your breath away.
On account of Silverton being an old mining town, be sure to visit the abandoned gold mines and ghost towns that serve as an ode to eras of old. If you prefer exploration of the great outdoors, there are plenty of hikes to choose from that will expose you to the local mountain beauty. Learn more about what this little town has to offer here.
Durango in the Fall
Another old mining town, Durango is the perfect spot to disengage from reality and rest. Take the Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad through the mountains and enjoy beautiful views of the fall foliage. This railway has been operational for a century and a half and is the perfect guide through the autumn mountains.
A short drive west will bring you to Mesa Verde National Park, and the fall offers the most enjoyable weather to explore. If you’re in the area, be sure to set aside a few hours to explore the incredible cliff dwellings of the ancient Anasazi people. Learn more about the quaint town of Durango here.
Travel Tips for those Fall Getaways
If you’re new to Colorado, or if you’ve lived here for years, we’re excited for your getaway to the Colorado mountains this fall. Here are a few things to remember to keep you safe and help you get the most out of your fall getaway in Colorado.
Dress in layers. Fall in the Colorado mountains can offer unpredictable weather. We suggest dressing in layers so when you go from the 70-degree heat of the day to a 35-degree chill in the evening, you’ll be comfortable.
Just bring your hiking boots. Whether you’re on the trail or at a restaurant, your boots will fit the occasion. You’ll find Colorado’s culture to be very relaxed.
Take it slow. Not only is there a ton of beauty you don’t want to miss, but many of the mountain roads can also be dangerous if driven carelessly. Take it slow while you’re taking in all the beauty.
Ready for the Fall Hustle
After your Colorado fall getaway, you’ll be ready to hit the ground running. Whether you’re beginning fall classes, wrapping up those annual projects, or preparing for next year’s work. Colorado’s fall beauty is the perfect respite. If you’re interested in learning more about what Colorado has to offer, check out our blog — we’ve done all the research for you.