Experience the explosion of color in Winter Park this season! Autumn has arrived in the Rockies and most travel far and wide to witness the majestic views of Winter Park Colorado’s fall foliage. While the Centennial state may be known for it’s beautiful, wonderland winters, autumn is still a favorite season for many locals and visitors.
Summer is quickly coming to a close and with it, those summer activities. But there’s no shortage of things to do in Winter Park. If you’re fortunate enough to visit during the autumn season, we’ve selected a few places that will allow you to really experience the best of fall foliage in Winter Park, CO.
Fall Foliage Winter Park, CO
Fall is a fantastic time to hike in Winter Park, Colorado. With daytime temperatures ranging from 50°F to 75°F, limited afternoon storms, and reduced traffic on the trails, fall is the perfect time to get those last hikes on your bucket list checked off. With the anticipation of powder in the distance, it’s advisable to dress warmly. You should expect to see breathtaking 360° views of endless mountainscapes, aspens, and willows.
Be aware that hunting season has begun and for the safety of all, it is highly recommended that you and your four-legged hiking pals stay on hiking trails, use a bell, and wear blaze orange (hunters orange/neon orange) or other very bright colors like neon yellows or pinks.
Top Autumn Hikes near Winter Park Colorado:
Meadow Creek Reservoir
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Distance: 8.6 miles
Looking to do some fishing? Fall is the best time of year to explore the best fishing in the state. This beautiful lake holds brook, rainbow, and cutthroat trout and is a perfect fishing area for children, too. It’s also the best hike for exploring the changing aspens. A county road circles three-quarters of the lake, with a parking area for those arriving to hike the surrounding trails. There is no designated campground, but those with the appropriate permit are allowed to camp off the road as long as they don’t camp within 100 feet of the water.
The reservoir is about 10 miles from the town of Tabernash, CO. An Arapaho National Recreation Area pass is required.
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Distance: 3.64 miles (one-way)
This hike is best known for its 360° views of wildflowers, hillsides, aspens, and tundra. Many describe this trail as a great hike with awesome views and plenty of opportunities to witness wildlife. Additionally, the hike extends above timbre line, but while in the meadows/trees you’ll fully emerge in Colorado’s breathtaking foliage.
- Difficulty: Difficult
- Distance: 5 miles
There are several trails to select from although the one linked is our favorite. Rogers Pass hike is located near the Continental Divide and offers close-up views of James & Perry Peak. Given that the trails rise above the treeline, you can view the towns of Winter Park and Fraser from up high!
The trail begins on easy footing through the forest but quickly ascends. From the top of the hike, you can view Heart Lake and continue to the summit of James Peak, which towers at 13,300 ft. The trail is dog-friendly!
Though Colorado is not known for foliage, it certainly should be. The aspens, willows, and underbrush turn beautiful colors mid- to late September, making the mountains and trails glow for miles. From yellow, orange, and gold to a range of reds, fall foliage in Winter Park CO is truly a sight to behold.
Discover the beauty of fall foliage in Winter Park CO first-hand. There are literally hundreds of trails to explore and breathe in the fresh mountain air.
Top Fall Foliage Views:
Located in Fraser, CO. Trail is 5 miles and is considered easy to walk and provides a lookout spot of Byers Peak. The trail is well-groomed and offers 360° views of changing Aspens. The trail allows for dogs on-leash and is kid-friendly!
Located 20 minutes from Winter Park, it provides a free chairlift Wednesday through Sunday during the Fall Season. Not only does it offer breathtaking views of Colorado’s spectacular fall foliage, but there’s a lot of fun activities, too! Grandby Ranch resort has it’s own golf course, and the property is widely known for its events, weddings, plus hiking, biking, and fly-fishing.
This national park has a panoramic view of peaks that tower over 12,000 ft. The road up to Rocky Mountain’s summit is paved and well maintained. If you want to drive through the changing colors, this is a wonderful place to get a lookout directly from your car. In addition, there are dozens of hiking trails that are suitable for a wide variety of skill-levels. You’re likely to spot wildlife in this area!
Fall is the time the elk begin to rut. Bull elk gather “their” cows (females) into groups called harems and then guard them from other bulls. To attract the cows and threaten other bulls, bull elk will rub trees, wallow in mud, and of course bugle. A bugle is powerful and thrilling to witness. Some of the best opportunities to hear an elk bugle is just minutes away from Grand Park, in Rocky Mountain National Park.
This area of the Rockies is also home to mountain lions and black bears, although they are very rarely spotted. Autumn is the best season to spot wildlife roaming around near Winter Park, CO.
Grab your Season Ski Pass:
Fall is a great time to get ahead of the game and purchase your season ski passes to ensure you are getting the best deal! At Granby Ranch, you’ll save big on your season ski pass when you purchase it early! Buy online! At Winter Park Resort, the Rocky Mountain Super Pass+ and the Rocky Mountain Super Pass will both increase soon! Buy online!