Fall is a great time to hit the road – the possibilities are endless! If Colorado is on your travel bucket list, the colours of autumn are certainly a draw. But the Centennial State has so much more to offer. The snow-covered Rocky Mountains, river canyons, and natural hot springs are a few of the scenic attractions.
Here are five reasons to visit Colorado in the fall.
The words “fall colour” really don’t do justice here. Even those who live here year-round make the annual drive to the high country to watch aspen trees change from green to yellow-gold and orange. With snow-covered peaks in the background, you know that ski season is near.
In Northern Colorado, take a drive on Trail Ridge Road through the alpine countryside in Rocky Mountain National Park. One end of the road is near Estes Park, where you'll spot some of the elk that gather for mating season. From mid-September until the end of October, you can listen to elk bugling to their intended mates. You'll see hundreds of elk in town and in the park.
Flat Tops Byway is a stretch of remote highway that runs through two national forests from Yampa to Meeker. There are a few lakes and a lot of deciduous trees to check out on the way.
In Central Colorado, check out Independence Pass before the snow flies. This area climbs to 12,095 feet – giving you a breathtaking view. It’s the second-highest pass in Colorado.
Kebler Pass is in the center of the Rockies; the best fall foliage is on the Paonia side. This pass is part of West Elk Loop, a 205-mile trek through the state.
There‘s nothing like a dip in the soothing mineral waters of a hot spring in Glenwood Springs. There are a couple of pools to choose from, and word has it that the Glenwood Hot Springs waters have special healing powers. The town is surrounded by the splendours of the Rocky Mountains and the White River National Forest. Other hot spots to check out include Strawberry Hot Springs in Steamboat, Springs Resort and Spa in Pagosa, and Waunita Hot Springs Ranch in Gunnison.
Crested Butte is a place for stunning peaks, dining, and shopping.
Grand Mesa is the largest flat-topped mountain in the world. The byway rises to about 11,000 feet above sea level, where you’ll see lakes and forests.
Head down to Denver to watch the Denver Broncos in action at Mile High Stadium – football at its finest! While you’re in the area, check out the Denver Zoo, Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum, Denver Botanic Gardens, American Museum of Western Art, Larimer Square, and the state capitol.
The U.S. Mint was built in 1897 and in full operation by 1906. The mint is still producing coins for circulation, as well as commemorative coins for sale. Take a tour and watch them minting the coins. Tours fill up quickly, so you’ll want to make a reservation.
A visit to Colorado in the fall lets you spend some quiet time relaxing and reflecting, especially if you enjoy traveling by yourself. With beautiful scenery, engaging activities, and those calming hot springs, Colorado is the place to go for your fall chill-out.
It’s also perfect for couples who enjoy hiking, followed by a romantic dinner. The Fort Restaurant near Red Rocks Park is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Make sure you try their venison. Looking for a weekend girls-getaway? The shopping opportunities in Estes Park and Larimer Square are plentiful.
Colorado has a lot to offer in all seasons of the year – fall is a special time. For vacations, business travel, and whenever you’re just feeling adventurous, the elk are calling!
About the Author:
Stacy Calderon is a health and fitness expert in Colorado. When she’s not working out at the gym, you might find her hiking one in Arizona, California and Colorado. She has a passion for photographing the fall and winter colours in the high country.