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You Are Here:   Home  >  What Do You Want To Do?   >  Favorite Fall Things

ORIC's Favorite Fall Things to Do

On This Page:  Camping  |  Festivals  |  Fishing  |  Websites  |  Hiking  |  Hot Springs  |  Biking  |  Driving  |  Trains  |  Wildlife

This page lists great things to do all fall but with special emphasis on where to see golden views during aspen-changing season.

WHEN WILL THE ASPENS TURN?

The last two weeks of September are a safe bet. But it varies from north to south and from high to low. See
9NEWS' map of peak color dates.

Camping

Aspen Region

Buena Vista Region

  • Good dispersed camping along Halfmoon Creek Road (Forest Road 110) southwest of Leadville. Reached from US 24 via Colorado 300 and County Road 11.

Eagle Region

Granby Region

Grand Junction Region

  • McClure Campground. Colorado 133 southwest of McClure Pass. First come, first served. Open through end of October.

Gunnison Region

Summit County Region

  • Horseshoe Campground. Off County Road 3 southeast of Williams Fork Reservoir and northeast of Ute Pass. First come, first served. Open through mid-October.

Teluride Region

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Festivals

Estes Park Region

  • Elk Fest. Estes Park. Late September or early October.

Gunnison Region

Fishing

Aspen Region

  • Frying Pan River between Basalt and Ruedi Reservoir.

Gunnison Region

  • Taylor River at Almont north of Gunnison.

Helpful Websites

Guidance and Photos

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Maps

Photo Galleries

Near Trappers Lake in the Flat Tops Wilderness.

Near Trappers Lake in the Flat Tops Wilderness. Photo by Bryan Fons, USFS

Hiking

Safety tip: wear blaze orange when you’re out hiking during hunting seasons.

Aspen Region

Boulder Region

Denver Region

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Eagle Region

Estes Park Region

Granby Region

Gunnison Region (Kebler Pass Area)

Montrose Region

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Summit County Region

Hot-Springs Soaking

Multiple Regions

Aspen Region

Gunnison Region

Steamboat Springs Region

Telluride Region

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View to Holy Cross Wilderness from Crooked Creek Reservoir.

View to Holy Cross Wilderness from Crooked Creek Reservoir. Photo by Bryan Fons, USFS.

Mountain Biking

Denver Region

Eagle Region

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Scenic Driving

Alamosa Region

  • Alamosa River. Colorado 15 and Forest Road 250 between La Jara and Platoro via Stunner Pass. Can be combined with Conejos River Valley drive below.
  • Conejos River Valley. Colorado 17 west from Antonito to Cumbres Pass. Side trip north on Forest Road 250 from Orca to Platoro. Part of Los Caminos Antiguos Scenic and Historic Byway. Can be combined with Alamosa River drive above.
  • Medano Pass Primitive Road. 4WD road going northeast from Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. Car camping available along road.

Aspen Region

  • Top of the Rockies Scenic and Historic Byway. Especially  Colorado 82 between Twin Lakes and Aspen via Independence Pass. This leg has BEST ASPEN, closes in late fall.
  • Snowmass Creek and Capitol Creek Roads. County Roads 11 and 9 south off Colorado 82 east of Basalt.
  • West Elk Loop Scenic and Historic Byway. Three best sections:
    • County Road 12 over Kebler Pass between Crested Butte and Anthracite Campground. Closes in late fall. VERY BEST ASPEN
    • Colorado 92 from Blue Mesa Dam west along the north edge of Curecanti National Recreation Area and the south edge of Black Mesa.
    • Colorado 133 from McClure Pass to Paonia Reservoir. BEST ASPEN  

Boulder Region

Buena Vista Region

  • Cottonwood Pass Road. County Road 306 west from Buena Vista to the pass. Closes in late fall.
  • Top of the Rockies Scenic and Historic Byway. Especially  Colorado 82 between Twin Lakes and Aspen via Independence Pass. This leg has BEST ASPEN, closes in late fall.

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Colorado Springs Region

  • Divide to Cripple Creek. Colorado 67, west side of Pike's Peak.
  • Gold Camp Road. County Road 8 (AKA Forest Road 370) from Colorado Springs to Cripple Creek. Starts in Colorado Springs as Old Stage Road.
  • Phantom Canyon Road (northern part). County Road 67 south from Victor. Part of Gold Belt Tour Scenic Byway.

Craig Region

Creede Region 

  • Forest Road 510. Joins Colorado 149 at both ends with Bristol Head Camp Ground at the south end and North Clear Creek Falls at the north.
  • Rio Grande Reservoir Road. Forest Road 520 west from Colorado 149 to the reservoir.

Denver Region

Durango Region

  • Lime Creek Road. Forest Road 591. Twelve miles long, north of Durango Mountain Resort, connecting to US 550 at both ends: Cascade Creek at the south end and Lime Creek at the north. High clearance required.
  • San Juan Skyway. Two best sections:
    • Colorado 62 over the Dallas Divide between Ridgway and Placerville BEST ASPEN.
    • Colorado 145 along the Dolores River between Dolores and Lizard Head Pass. 
  • West Dolores River. Forest Road 535 from Colorado 145 west of Stoner back to Colorado 145 north of Rico.

Eagle Region

  • Crooked Creek Pass Road and Sylvan Lake State Park. Starts as Brush Creek Road south from Eagle. Follows County Roads 307 and 8 and Forest Road 400. BEST ASPEN
  • Flat Tops Trail Scenic Byway. County Roads 17, 132 and 8 via Dunkley Pass between Yampa and Oak Ridge State Wildlife Area near Meeker. Can be combined into a loop with the Williams Fork Yampa River drive under Steamboat Region below.
  • Top of the Rockies Scenic and Historic Byway. Especially  Colorado 82 between Twin Lakes and Aspen via Independence Pass. This leg has BEST ASPEN, closes in late fall.
  • Vail Valley. I-70 west from Vail Pass through the valley. BEST ASPEN

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Estes Park Region

Grandby Region

  • Rabbit Ears Range north of Kremmling. From US 40 at mile marker 169 take County Road 27 northeast to Forest Road 103 to Country Road 53 ending at Colorado 14.

Grand Junction Region

  • McClure Pass. Colorado 133 from McClure Pass to Paonia Reservoir. BEST ASPEN. Side trip: Forest Road 265 northwest across Grand Mesa.
  • West Elk Loop Scenic and Historic Byway. Three best sections:
    • County Road 12 over Kebler Pass between Crested Butte and Anthracite Campground. Closes in late fall. VERY BEST ASPEN
    • Colorado 92 from Blue Mesa Dam west along the north edge of Curecanti National Recreation Area and the south edge of Black Mesa.
    • Colorado 133 from McClure Pass to Paonia Reservoir. BEST ASPEN  

Gunnison Region

  • Ohio Creek Road. Forest Road 730 from Gunnison north to Ohio Pass and Kebler Pass.
  • West Elk Loop Scenic and Historic Byway. Three best sections:
    • County Road 12 over Kebler Pass between Crested Butte and Anthracite Campground. Closes in late fall. VERY BEST ASPEN
    • Colorado 92 from Blue Mesa Dam west along the north edge of Curecanti National Recreation Area and the south edge of Black Mesa.
    • Colorado 133 from McClure Pass to Paonia Reservoir. BEST ASPEN  

Montrose Region

  • Cimarron Road / Owl Creek Pass Road. Forest Road 858 and County Road 8 from Cimarron on US 50 to Silver Jack Reservoir to Owl Creek Pass to US 550. BEST ASPEN west of the pass.
  • Divide Road. Forest Road 402 along the top of the Uncompahgre Plateau between Colorado 141 near Whitewater and Colorado 90 west of Montrose.

North Park Region

  • Buffalo Pass Road -- lower elevations on either side of the Continental Divide. County Road 60 from Steamboat Springs northeast toward Walden.

South Park Region

  • Boreas Pass Road - South Half. County Road 33 from Como north toward Breckenridge.

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Steamboat Region

  • Any road near Steamboat Springs. BEST ASPEN everywhere. Especially:
    • Buffalo Pass Road -- lower elevations on either side of the Continental Divide. County Road 60 from Steamboat Springs northeast toward Walden.
    • Seedhouse Road. County Road 64 and Forest Road 400 from Glen Eden to the Mount Zirkel Wilderness.
  • Elkhead Mountains. County Road 11 to Freeman Reservoir from Colorado 13 north of Craig.
  • Flat Tops Trail Scenic Byway. County Roads 17, 132 and 8 via Dunkley Pass between Yampa and Oak Ridge State Wildlife Area near Meeker. Can be combined into a loop with the Williams Fork Yampa River drive below.
  • Gore Pass - west side. Colorado 134 east from Toponas.
  • Williams Fork Yampa River adjacent to the Flat Tops Wilderness. From Hamilton, south of Craig, take Colorado 317 to County Road 29 to County Road 27 to Colorado 131 at Oak Creek south of Steamboat Springs. Can be combined into a loop with the Flat Tops Scenic Byway above.

Summit County Region

Telluride Region

  • Cimarron Road / Owl Creek Pass Road. Forest Road 858 and County Road 8 from Cimarron on US 50 to Silver Jack Reservoir to Owl Creek Pass to US 550. BEST ASPEN west of the pass.
  • Dallas Creek East Fork Road. County Road 7 south from Colorado 62 west of Ridgway.
  • Dallas Creek West Fork Road. County Road 9 south from Colorado 62 west of Ridgway.
  • Girl Scout Camp Road. County Road 5 south from the southwest edge of Ridgway.
  • Illium Road. County Road 63L and Forest Road 625 south from Colorado 145 west of Telluride. Follows the South Forth of the San Miguel River until the road reconnects with Colorado 145. Has both aspens and cottonwoods.
  • Last Dollar Road. Forest Road 638 off Colorado145 just west of Telluride. Access road to Telluride's airport and beyond. BEST ASPEN
  • San Juan Skyway. Two best sections:
    • Colorado 62 over the Dallas Divide between Ridgway and Placerville. BEST ASPEN
    • Colorado 145 along the Dolores River between Dolores and Lizard Head Pass. 

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Train Riding

Alamosa Region

Denver Region

Durango Region

Wildlife Viewing

Alamosa Region

Estes Park and Granby Regions

  • Elk Rutting Season in Rocky Mountain National Park. East side: Horseshoe Park, Moraine Park. West side: Kawuneeche Valley. Park map. The preponderence of opinion seems to be that peak rutting season is 10 days centered on the autumnal equinox, Sept. 22. But non-peak rutting can go on before and after that period. Phone the park -- 970-586-1206 -- for current rutting conditions.

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