Vibrant leaves, cool temps, wildlife abounding; fall in the Rockies is a fleeting and very special time of year. While you’ll encounter plenty of scenic stretches by car, we’ve found that one of the best ways to see the fall foliage is to hit the trail! If you’re planning a trip to the mountains to catch the fall color, keep reading to get our 5 favorite fall hikes below!
Fall Trip Tip: You’ll typically see peak fall colors in mid-September here in Grand County, Colorado. Timing can vary however—some years it may be slightly earlier or later, depending on precipitation and temperatures.
Not only is Marker Hill a great hike for spotting wildflowers in the summer, it also features a massive aspen grove that positively glows with vibrant oranges and yellows in the fall. Take in vistas of Byers Peak through the leaves, and make your way to the top for panoramic views of the valley dotted with aspen trees. This trail is located right here at the Ranch, so you don’t have to go far for the fall goods!
This scenic and relatively flat loop is located just west of the town of Fraser. The loop is 5 miles and great for a wide range of ability levels. Meander beside St. Louis Creek and you might even spot a moose, as the creek is lined with willows—one of their go-to snacks! You’ll also pass under towering aspen groves and get great views of Byers Peak.
Just minutes from downtown Winter Park, this hidden gem winds through aspen along Sunset Pink trail. Continue on to Sundog, where you’ll find fantastic views and foliage. Hike up to 3.8 miles on this point-to-point trek, or just hike to your heart’s content, then treat yourself to a cold drink in downtown Winter Park post-hike!
At about 8 miles round trip, Jim Creek trail is a bit more of a trek, but if you stick it out till the end, you’ll reach a rushing waterfall! If you’re just in it for a little foliage, you’ll only have to go about half way to find a beautiful meadow. Hop on this trail at Bonfils-Stanton trailhead, right across from Winter Park Resort.
Rocky Mountain National Park
Head into the park with your own guide! You’re likely to catch a glimpse of some wildlife—it is elk rut season, after all!—learn a little about the history of the area, and go for an easy hike. Get more info on our private Rocky Mountain National Park tours here.
Need a little help getting your fall plans off the ground? Check out our lodging packages and specials here or give us a call at 970-726-7000.