Enjoy the fall foliage with Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Though summer doesn’t officially end until Sept. 22, fall colors are already beginning to appear across the state of Colorado. Colorado Parks and Wildlife invites you to plan your fall excursions, making the most of those fleeting fall colors. Whether you are looking for wildlife viewing, picturesque hiking trails or a scenic foliage drives, Colorado has got it all.

If you are interested in witnessing the changes to nature autumn brings, Colorado’s 41 state parks are a perfect place to start. With fall bringing dramatic changes to the aspen leaves, as well as unique animal mating rituals such as elk bugling, state parks are a great place to access all that the season brings. Take a weekend away at State Forest State Park to witness a phenomenal showing of changing aspen trees. If you are more interested in elk viewing, head to Mueller State Park to join a group hike to seek out the bugling elk and a chance to witness bull elk competing for females. While making the most of the wildlife viewing opportunities autumn presents, always remember to practice ethical wildlife viewing.

"Autumn is a wonderful time of the year to enjoy Colorado’s state parks. With opportunities to view wildlife and appreciate our fall colors in beautiful settings, our state parks are great places to experience the best aspects of the season. With the potential for fall colors to arrive a bit earlier this year, make sure to get outside and enjoy this special time before it passes for another year," says Julie Arington, Park Manager at Steamboat Lake State Park. 

Fall in Colorado provides opportunities for those looking for a solo adventure, as well as those seeking some family fun. With hundreds of miles of trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding as well as a wide variety of camping options, Colorado’s state parks are sure to have a trail or site to fit every age, ability and interest. Whether you are interested in a nature walk at Barr Lake, a horseback ride at Golden Gate Canyon, a mountain bike ride at Mancos, or a relaxing overnight yurt stay at Pearl Lake, fall in Colorado has something that everyone will enjoy.

As the air becomes brisk, you may find a scenic drive preferable. Begin your drive at Trinidad Lake State Park, and wind your way through the Highway of Legends down to Lathrop State Park. Along the way, you’ll be rewarded with views of mountain peaks and groves of changing aspens. If you’re looking for a new take on fall color viewing, head out to southwest Colorado for a visit to Navajo State Park. You will have a chance to witness the desert mountains, buttes, and mesas while they are highlighted by pockets of colorful brillianceand interest. 

To find state parks with fall activities you may be interested in, please visit our Park Finder, as well as the CPW calendar.