Best Fall Hiking in Colorado

Posted by Client Care on Friday, August 23rd, 2013 at 1:28pm.

Best Fall Hikes Colorado

Just because the school year has started for most kids in Colorado, doesn’t mean that all the outdoor fun has to be over! In fact, weekends during the fall in Colorado are oftentimes viewed by many families as the perfect opportunity to take a little nature vacation!  For many, our state’s most beloved pastimes like camping, mountain biking, bird watching, and hiking, are even more popular as the weather begins cool off.  Known for our gorgeous climate and landscapes, Colorado boasts tons of amazing fall opportunities for colorful hikes and outdoor adventures.  The best time of the year to witness the color change across the state is typically the last few weeks of September, which means there is plenty of time to plan a daytrip or weekend journey to one of Colorado’s picture perfect fall settings.  Here is our list of the best places to experience fall in Colorado.

1. Maroon Bells - Aspen, Colorado - As the most photographed mountain range in the Northern United States, Maroon Bells is an experience to be had!  Offering perfect sightseeing for hikers, bikers, and bus tour adventurers.  The area is surrounded by an absolutely pristine National Forest, 14ers, Maroon Lake and tons of wildflowers.  From the main parking area, where there is a $10 fee per car, you will find several different trailheads, but according to local experts, the hike to Crater Lake is the best for fall.

2. Piney Lake - Eagle, Colorado - Piney Lake is one of the highest elevated lakes in the state and located just a few miles west of Vail.  Popular with tourists, this hike is fairly easy and offers amazing views as you travel directly towards brilliantly jutting mountain ranges through pine and aspen forests. You can hike along both upper and lower Piney Lake, and can even make your way to Piney Lake Falls for a bit more challenging hike.  In this same area you will also have the opportunity to travel to Lost Lake, which is one of the most popular places in the area for backpacking and fall mountain biking.  

3. Bear Lake - Estes Park, Colorado - You can access the wonderful trailheads of Bear Lake through the Rocky Mountain National Park entrance in Estes Park, which will cost $20 per vehicle.  Here you will find a gem colored lake surrounded by brilliant aspens and a half mile of shorelines to explore. Insanely popular during the summer with tourists, locals love these trails during the fall for their golden colors, crisp air and somewhat less populated surroundings.  This spot is perfect for families with limited hiking abilities and is not far off the beaten path from restroom facilities and city amenities.

4. Abyss Lake - Jefferson, Colorado - Located in the Mount Evans Wilderness Area only 50 miles from Denver, the trails around Abyss Lake offer outstanding views of  Mt. Bierstadt and Mt. Evans during the fall.  The hike starts out fairly easy and increases in difficulty as you gain altitude and climb out of the woods and aspen groves.  If you are an experienced hiker, we highly suggest going all the way to Abyss Lake so you can see the amazing panoramic views down the glacial cirque.

5. Rifle Falls - Rifle, Colorado - There are three popular hiking trails that go through Rifle Falls State Park, all of which are considered easy to moderate.  Leading you over the falls, along East Rifle Creek and to the fish hatchery, you will travel through a lush somewhat-tropical setting that seems to be impervious to the changing colors of the surrounding boxelder trees, cottonwood forests and grassy meadows.  A very popular place for winter hikes and ice climbers as well, this spot is an absolute treasure that offers some of the best hiking in Colorado during all four seasons!

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