THINGS TO DO IN FALL IN COLORADO: KEYSTONE FESTIVALS EDITION
Everyone loves autumn in Colorado because of the weather and colorful aspens, but there are tons of things to do in fall in Colorado! Leaf peeping isn’t the only thing (but it is a good thing!).
At Keystone Festivals, we specialize in events in the mountains. We are Colorado locals and know this state like the back of our hand, so we want to share the beauty of our state with you! Here are 8 of our favorite things to do in Fall in Colorado:
- Take a Scenic Drive
- Go Mountain Biking
- Attend the Oktoberfest Celebrations
- Partake in Some Good Old-Fashioned Leaf Peeping
- Take the Kiddos to a Pumpkin Patch & Corn Maze
- Do a Haunted House Tour
- Attend a local Football Game
- Check Out Elk Mating Season
Take Scenic Drives:
Our first recommendation for fall is to experience Colorado roads before they get snowy and to utilize the time to see the state (and the fall colors!). A scenic drive can be the perfect escape from the Front Range’s heat or just a fun activity for a slow Sunday. Here are our top 5 scenic drive locations:
- The Million Dollar Highway through the San Juan Mountains is a beautiful drive with some exposure and excitement. There are mountain views and lots of switchbacks, which is very typical for Colorado!
- Mt Evans Road is the highest paved road in the US. It starts in the city of Idaho Springs, which is full of beautiful aspens in the fall and takes you to the top of the mountain where there are often mountain goats!
- Top of the Rockies Scenic Byway is a way to see the Continental Divide and everything below it. You pass over two Colorado famous mountains, Mt. Elbert and Mt. Massive.
- Poudre Canyon is another great option with a winding road close to the college town of Fort Collins. Throughout the drive, you follow the river and can even see some bighorn sheep.
- We may be partial to this last one since it is just outside our back door, but Loveland Pass is a beautiful drive just out of Summit County with amazing views. There’s even a spot to get out at the top and hike to the Continental Divide
Go Mountain Biking:
There are many activities to do in Colorado, but a great activity for fall is mountain biking. The trails we love wind through fields and groves of aspen trees, and with the right timing, you can catch peak fall foliage. Our favorite mountain bike trails in fall across the state are:
- Aspen Alley in Breckenridge
- Ute Pass north of Silverthorne
- Monarch Crest Trail off Monarch Pass near Salida
- Sheep Creek Trail in Kremmling
- Kebler Pass in Crested Butte
Check out this excellent list of trails for details from Christy Sports.
Attend the Oktoberfest Celebrations:
Of course, fall wouldn’t be complete without attending a festival that celebrates Oktoberfest! As event managers, we know our events, and these are three of the best Oktoberfest Celebrations in CO:
- First up is our event Keystone Oktoberfest. We offer the Das Bier Burner 5k, a stein-hoisting contest, Kinderfest for kids of all ages, all in the perfect fall setting at the base of Keystone Resort. We are surrounded by aspen trees, mountain biking, scenic drives, and all the leaf-peeping you can imagine!
- Next is Denver Oktoberfest, which celebrates 50 years of the festival on Larimer Street in downtown Denver. This is a fun event with all the booze and food your heart desires.
- This is a unique one! We want to point out Pawtoberfest in Colorado Springs! This is the most Colorado event we can think of: dogs and beers, AND it benefits the Humane Society!
Some Good Old Fashioned Leaf Peeping:
The aspen leaves are an extraordinary sight here in Colorado during the fall. Either on one of your scenic drives, a mountain bike ride, or even a hike, you must make time for leaf-peeping in the fall. Be careful because the season can be short! Often only lasting two weeks (depending on elevation), keep an eye out for leaves starting in late September. Check out Crested Butte, Breckenridge, and Aspen for great fall leaves!
Take the Kiddos to a Pumpkin Patch & Corn Maze:
Who doesn’t love a pumpkin patch and corn maze? Colorado may be known for the mountains, but there is a lot of special farmland here. Check out these pumpkin patches in Colorado:
- Anderson Farms in Erie: Just a short drive from Denver, this farm has U-pick pumpkins, fantastic corn mazes, and even a zombie paintball hunt.
- Colon Orchards and Diana’s Pumpkin Patch Corn Maze, in Cañon City: This has it all with corn mazes, cocktail and music nights, and orchards to boot.
- Studts Pumpkin Patch in Grand Junction: If you are on the western slope, this is a great place! The mazes are open both day and night as well.
- Weathers Family Farms in Yuma: This corn maze offers new themes every year, and the pumpkin patch is loved by many!
- Fritzler’s Corn Maze in Greeley truly has it all with a mini roller coaster and a haunted maze at night!
Do a Haunted House Tour:
Fall is known for a lot of things, and Halloween is one of them! If you love being scared and exploring the state, we have the perfect list of haunted houses with a bonus hotel.
- The Frightmare Compound in Westminster has two haunted houses on sight onsite to terrify you!
- The City of Dead Asylum is an oldie but a goodie and has scary asylum patients waiting for you.
- The 13th Floor is a highly rated haunted house in the heart of downtown Denver.
- In true Colorado fashion, Field of Screams is outside in a field and a must-try if you like haunted houses.
- Last but certainly not least, the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park is a haunted house lover’s dream. It is a haunted hotel that the movie The Shining was inspired by!
Attend a Local Football Game:
The Denver Broncos are a tremendous football team (say the Colorado locals), but this suggestion is more about staying close by. It is always fun to support your local high school team and cheer them on, especially as the seasons change in the fall.
Check Out Elk Mating Season:
Elk mating season sounds more intimidating than it is. Elks create a very distinct mating sound called bugling that is amazing to witness. If you drive up to Rocky Mountain National Park in the fall, the likelihood of seeing this ritual increases, plus it is a beautiful place to visit.
Thank you for reading all about fall in Colorado! We are excited to offer the best summer festivals in Colorado and to live in this fantastic state. As the seasons change, there is more and more to explore! Let us know in the comments about your favorite things to do in fall in Colorado.