Best Hiking Spots to See Fall Colors

by McKenna Larson

There are many more hikes around Colorado with some requiring more travel time to get to the trailhead than others. Below are some options in Golden, in Boulder (about 40 minutes away), and Rocky Mountain National Park (about 1.5 to 2 hours away depending on the portion of the park). There are other beautiful trails further from campus that students can find through the internet or by talking to people in the Outdoor Recreation Center (ORC) on campus. 

Right in our backyard: 

Clear Creek Trail (19.1 miles for the entire trail but you can hike just a piece of it)—This is a great way to see colors changing right near Mines. 

North Table Mountain Trail (about 6-mile loop) 

Chimney Gulch Trail (5 miles) 

Burro Loop Trail (4.5 miles)—this trail is in Golden Gate Canyon State Park which is nearby Golden. This is one of many trails in the park that would provide a lovely fall view

In Boulder: As with most outdoor activities in Colorado, hiking in Boulder can get busy so if you are making the trip there be sure to leave early to beat most of the crowds.

McClintock to Enchanted Mesa Trail (about 1.6-mile loop)—At the base of the beautiful Flatirons 

Boulder Canyon Trail (2.6 miles) —this is one of the easier hikes on the list for those looking for a lighter activity

Rocky Mountain National Park Trails: RMNP is a vast area full of trails to enjoy this fall. There is a fee to get into the park unless you have a National Park pass. 

Bear Lake (length and elevation vary depending on how far along the trail you hike) -This trail connects to many others of various lengths and difficulties that lead to several gorgeous glacial lakes surrounded by trees that will change color in the fall. The other lakes include Nymph, Dream, and my personal favorite Emerald Lake. 

Fern Lake Trail (3.4 miles for a shorter hike, 9.8 miles to complete the more difficult loop) 

Gem Lake (3.1 miles)

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