Colorado Activities September 23, 2023

Fall Colors In Colorado – Leaf Peeping

Sunlight hits the golden aspen trees along East Dallas Creek below Cirque Mountain and Mount Sneffels in the San Juan Mountains near Ridgway, Colorado.

Colorado is known for its stunning fall foliage, and leaf peeping is a popular activity during the autumn months. The state’s diverse landscapes offer a wide range of opportunities to enjoy the vibrant colors of fall. Here are (just) some of the best places for fall leaf peeping in Colorado:

  1. Rocky Mountain National Park: This iconic park offers some of the most breathtaking fall foliage in the state. The aspen trees turn vibrant shades of yellow and gold in late September and early October. Some of the best spots for leaf peeping in the park include Bear Lake, Bierstadt Lake, and the drive along Trail Ridge Road.  LINK:  Rocky Mountain National Park – Fall


  1. Maroon Bells: Located near Aspen, the Maroon Bells are two of the most photographed peaks in Colorado. The aspen trees surrounding the Maroon Lake turn a brilliant gold in the fall, making it a popular spot for leaf peeping and photography.  LINK:  Maroon Bells
  1. Guanella Pass: Just a short drive from Denver, Guanella Pass is a popular destination for fall colors. The scenic byway offers stunning views of aspen groves, and there are many hiking trails in the area to explore. LINK:  Guanella Pass and Bierstadt
  1. Kebler Pass: Known for having one of the largest aspen groves in North America, Kebler Pass is a must-visit during the fall. LINK: Keebler Pass  The area offers numerous hiking and biking trails to immerse yourself in the colorful scenery.  LINK:  Crested Butte
  1. San Juan Skyway: This 236-mile loop takes you through some of the most picturesque parts of southwestern Colorado. You’ll pass through charming towns like Durango, Telluride, and Ouray, with plenty of opportunities for leaf peeping along the way.  LINK: San Juan Skyway
  1. Cottonwood Pass: Situated between Buena Vista and Crested Butte, Cottonwood Pass offers breathtaking views of the Saguache Range and the Elk Mountains. The drive along this pass is particularly scenic in the fall.  LINKS: West Elk Mountains Buena Vista  Saguache Mountain Range Crested Butte
  1. Steamboat Springs: Steamboat Springs is not only famous for its ski slopes but also for its stunning fall foliage. You can take a gondola ride for panoramic views of the colorful landscape.  LINK:  Steamboat Springs State Park
  1. Poudre Canyon: Located northwest of Fort Collins, Poudre Canyon is a hidden gem for fall leaf peeping. The Cache la Poudre River runs through the canyon, and the surrounding hillsides are ablaze with fall colors in September and October.  LINK:  Fort Collins – Poudre Canyon

Remember that the timing of peak fall foliage varies from year to year and depends on factors like temperature and elevation. It’s a good idea to check local foliage reports and plan your visit accordingly. Additionally, be sure to respect the environment and follow Leave No Trace principles while enjoying the beauty of Colorado’s fall foliage.

9NEWS – Best Leaf Peeping


Series. Pre-sunset light illuminates the slopes of mountains covered with mixed forest on an autumn evening

Autumn colors at the Dallas Divide in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains.