Fall in Estes Park Colorado

Fall in Colorado: Beautiful Aspens & Highlight Guide


Fall in Colorado with the beautiful Aspens as a backdrop
Fall in Colorado with the beautiful Aspens as a backdrop

The Aspens were gorgeous!! We went to Colorado in early Fall, at the end of September, and it ended up being the perfect time. We had pretty weather to rent a car and head to The Rockies and explore all of the wonderful towns beyond Denver. There are so many highlights, but hopefully this will give you a little guide to some of the must see destinations. We started on the 1st day in Breckenridge and, over several days, made our way to Frisco, Vail, Winter Park, Aspen, Colorado Springs, Manatou Springs, Estes Park and everywhere in between! Already planning our next trip back for Christmas!


  • Breckenridge -We loved this resort town. It has such a charming feel with several blocks of restaurants and shops on Main Street. Lots of activities and accommodations for any season.
  • Frisco – Close to Breckenridge and Copper Mountain. Must check out this area! Good shopping around here along with all the other outdoor activities, restaurants, etc.
  • Vail – Major ski resort with all kinds of outdoor fun offered year around.
  • Avon – Happened through this nice little town on our Aspen Tree viewing tour. Loved the Starbucks stop that we made. Another pretty setting with beautiful views!
  • White River National Forest -We decided to ‘cut through here’. Haha Didn’t realize we would be on steep, winding, narrow, no-shoulder mountain roads for such a long way. Yeah that was a little scary, especially since I was concerned that we would run out of gas or tumble down the mountain while driving on the edge! Beautiful, but would’ve liked wider roads.
  • Aspen – Lots of skiing areas around this popular ski resort. This was another great small town with multiple blocks of shops and restaurants.
  • Twin Lakes – This was a pleasant and welcomed surprise when we came down from our White River (or white knuckle) experience. Lol There are two beautiful lakes, and a general store with old school gas pumps. Pretty area, although we just passed through.
  • Estes Park – We loved this town! Main street blocks are lined with lots of shops and restaurants. Enjoy the gorgeous mountain view at lunch!
  • Rocky Mountain National Park – We headed through here after visiting the town at Estes Park. The roads were wider with some shoulder in places, but still steep and winding. Gorgeous views!!
  • Winter Park – We just drove to this area and didn’t stop to experience it. The town is on a larger highway vs a quaint little main street type set up. Looks like a great place for some winter fun tho!
  • Manitou Springs -We had a fun time in this little festive town. It’s artsy, friendly and has great food. Can’t forget the Penny Arcade!
  • Garden of the Gods – Wasn’t sure what to expect, but we were pleasantly surprised at the huge rock formations to climb.
  • Pikes Peak – This was an incredible experience! It’s a long and most definitely anxiety inducing drive up to the top. It seriously looks like you will just drive off of the road and over a cliff as you approach each tight turn going higher and higher up the mountain. There is a place, a ways up the mountain, where some people stop and caravan on buses the rest of the way, but we kept trekking all the way up to the top-in our little Kia Soul. Yikes! It was cold and windy at the top, but-the view!! Wow!

Big Dog’s Review: Our visit to Colorado was very enjoyable. From our base in Denver we rented a car and day tripped to surrounding areas. We experienced the beauty of Colorado each day. Going in September we missed the winter rush. Each town had it’s own unique style and ambiance. The scenery was fantastic and the mountain roads even scary at times. We can’t wait to go back in winter tho.

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Travel Tip: Pick up some great gear before you go. Hiking boots (like mine) for any time of the year and wind and waterproof gear for winter activities.

Lulu’s Review: We certainly enjoyed this spontaneous trip! We flew into Denver and rented a car. The car was a Kia Soul and we proceeded as two little hamsters embarking on a new adventure. The mountains, Aspen Trees, and scenery in general were breathtaking! The pictures just do not capture the magnitude of God’s creation. It’s more that I can describe, but I highly recommend that you go experience The Rockies and all of the wonderful small towns. If you happen to ski, snowboard, hike, fish or whatever other activities that you enjoy, then that’s just a bonus!

Wrap Up: Since we went to Colorado early in the Fall, we basically had more of a summertime experience here vs wintertime. The gorgeous Aspens were an amazing bonus. The weather was still enjoyable enough to explore and allowed us to hit so many of these highlights in one short trip. Looking forward to going back when it’s all covered in snow and letting the winter wonderland take our breath away. Again.

More September photos below. You can see we went all over and had a blast! Already planning Christmas in Colorado with our grown kids. So excited to go back…with snow!!!

40 thoughts on “Fall in Colorado: Beautiful Aspens & Highlight Guide”

  1. That trip looked incredible! We have a friend in Denver that has been bugging us to come visit. Once the borders open up again, I can’t wait to go!

  2. This looked like a wonderful trip. Loved all the pictures. I would love to visit Colorado in the near future. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I would never be able to drive to Pikes Peak. I am terrified of heights. I could have my husband drive and close my eyes. Thanks for sharing all of your beautiful photos.

  4. I love visiting Colorado any time of the year. Pikes peak I haven’t visited since I was a kid. So cool to see it now.

  5. I love Manitou Springs and Garden of the Gods. We planned to drive up Pikes Peak, but the weather did not cooperate when we were there in March. By mid-October, when we moved, winter had already set in. We’ll get up there one day.

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