Rafting season may be coming to a close, but that doesn’t mean the fun has to end. These 10 adventures in Colorado will take your mind off the white water, and get you excited for fall.
1. Ride Your Bike from Aspen to Ashcroft
When the leaves start to change with the onset of fall, Castle Creek Road is the number one place to view the sweeping mountain vistas, snow-capped peaks, and aspen groves that are so quintessentially Colorado. Start at the mountain town of Aspen and enjoy the 13-mile ride to the small ghost town of Ashcroft.
2. Maroon Bells Mountain
Maroon Creek trail is an easy 6.4 mile out-and-back hike that weaves through aspen groves, alongside a mountain-fed creek, and offers excellent opportunities for wildlife sightings. Equally as beautiful is the Maroon Lake Scenic Trail, a 1-mile round-trip hike that hugs the shoreline of the lake.
3. 55-Mile Peak-to-Peak Byway
Named the first Historic Byway in Colorado, the Peak-to-Peak drive begins at Black Hawk, in Gregory Gulch, and ends in Estes Park, where visitors can enter Rocky Mountain National Park. The byway includes hiking trails, fly-fishing, and stunning fall colors.
4. Camping in Rocky Mountain National Park
Whether your want to hike Longs Peak, fly-fish in an alpine lake, or simply hang your hammock in the forest, Rocky Mountain National Park is a refreshing break from city life. With eight different campgrounds reviewed on The Dyrt, you could spend every weekend over the next two months exploring them all.
5. Mountain Biking in Telluride
From gentle grades to steep, technical terrain, Telluride has something for everyone on two heavily treaded wheels. Feel the wind through your hair as you navigate the 17-mile strenuous Wasatch Trail, or enjoy the views on the gentle, 19-mile ride of Galloping Goose.
Ever competed in an “I Love Beef Cook-Off?” Turn your campers west for the 7th annual OktoberWest which celebrates local food and festivities. With over 20 Colorado brewers present, and a beer garden, you’ll want to designate a driver to get you back to your campsite at Dry Lake Campground.
Though coming in close contact with Elk in the wild may leave you a little on edge (especially during mating season), the annual October Festival celebrates the thousands of Elk that live in and around Estes Park. There’s bugling contests, elk-viewing tours, and educational seminars for the student in us all.
Autumn means Halloween is right around the corner. Visit the state’s largest haunted attraction in Thornton, CO. With 16-foot tall cornstalks looming over you, and a madman at every turn, it’s so terrifying you’ll probably want to leave the kids at home.
9. Fly Fishing in Gunnison
The Gunnison and East Rivers boast the largest kokanee salmon run in the United States, and peak season is September and October. Spend your days on the lake and your nights at the Turtle Rock Boat-In Campsite.
As the temperature starts dropping in the Denver metro area, the desert cools to enjoyable weather. The ancient cave dwellings of Mesa Verde are fun for everyone. Plan a hike, visit the headquarters, and enjoy fall in the desert.