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The Best Places to go Leaf-Peeping in Colorado This Fall

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CU Boulder chapter.

What’s on YOUR fall to-do list? Whether it’s making cookies, going to a pumpkin patch, or scoping out the best haunted houses, you can’t miss the unbe-LEAF-able fall scenery that Colorado has to offer!

From the Western slopes to one of the most famous and beautiful destinations in the country, Colorado is home to some amazing fall colors. Starting in late September out West and continuing through mid October in the East, there’s plenty of time to get out there and see the colors Colorado has to offer. Here are some of the best places to escape the city and get lost in the trees this fall.


There’s nothing quite like taking a weekend to watch the aspen leaves turn in Aspen! A Colorado-favorite and one of the most popular places visited by locals especially during the leaf-peeping season is Aspen, Colorado. About 3 and a half hours west of Denver, you can find some amazing fall colors, a historic downtown, and incredible hiking trails. Getting close to the leaves is no problem in this well-known getaway, highly recommended by both tourists and locals alike for the fall foliage. 

Steamboat Springs

Traveling a bit further west, you’ll find Steamboat Springs, a historic mountain town whose name originates from the mineral spring inhabitants once believed to be the sound of a Steamboat. From sights such as the Yampa River to the countless hiking trails which Steamboat Springs offers, there’s no shortage of trees to enjoy there. The primary colors for leaves in Steamboat Springs are gold and orange, though red makes an appearance every once in a while. Seeing a gorgeous mountainside popping with that once-a-year golden color should be on everyone’s to-do list this fall!


If you head down to the Southwest corner of the state for any reason this fall, Durango is a must-see. 20 miles north of the New Mexico border, some beautiful colors can be found swinging throughout the town. A sort of hidden gem, Durango is home to the San Juan mountains, which boast a rainbow of colors each fall, proven to not disappoint even the most avid leaf-peeper. Check out Durango on a weekend road trip or while you’re just passing through, and be sure to stop and admire the foliage if you get the chance!


Not far from Durango, you’ll find another Colorado-favorite. A former mining town, Telluride is now home to incredible skiing in the winter, and gorgeous trees in the fall. From hiking trails ending in breathtaking views and waterfalls to the town of Mountain Village settled on the mountainside, the fall colors are sure to captivate. At their peak for around 3 weeks, there’s plenty of time for everyone to get out there and see the wondrous fall colors Southwestern Colorado has to offer.

Crested Butte

Also located on the Southwest side of the state is the ski-resort and mountain town of Crested Butte. Full of campgrounds, hiking, and roads such as Kebler Pass and the road to Gothic, the sight of fall colors on the side of the distinctive Crested Butte Mountain is one that cannot be missed. Stroll into town for a bite to eat at some of the favorite local spots, then explore the roads, passes, and trails around Crested Butte for a day of seeing the charming colors. Welcoming to everyone and very pet-friendly, this town is the perfect place to spend a weekend away from the city while admiring the fall foliage.

Pikes Peak

Known for being the highest summit in the Southern Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, Pikes Peak is a fan-favorite destination year-round in Colorado. In the fall, Pikes Peak boasts unmatched fall colors which can be seen from the Pikes Peak Greenway, a trail running through Colorado Springs, and from the Pikes Peak highway if driving through the colors sounds more appealing. Both offering miles of spectacular mountain views and fall colors to compliment some of the most gorgeous mountains in the world, Pikes Peak is another stop that you can’t miss this fall.

Fall in Colorado is one of the most enchanting and beautiful times of the year. This fall, be sure to relax, take some time away from school and work, and visit one of these destinations to remind you of the natural beauty this state has to offer!

Ashlie Polvogt

CU Boulder '25

Ashlie is a sophomore at CU Boulder from Golden, CO, studying Psychology and Sociology. She loves dogs, spending time with her friends, going to concerts, and meeting new people!