The Top Hikes to Go on Near Denver This Fall

Lifestyle | Sep 23, 2019


Leaves on trees in the mountains that have changed colors around a river.
Leaves on trees in the mountains that have changed colors around a river.

Fall is one of the most wonderful times for a hike. The heat has (hopefully) subsided, but it’s still comfortable shorts weather, and the trails become less busy. But the hues that come out as autumn sets in are the main stars–red and yellow willows, bushes dotted with berries, and of course the colorful aspens. Colorado is full of gorgeous hikes that show off the fall colors, and you don’t have to go far from Denver to find them.

Sprague Lake Loop

Tucked inside Rocky Mountain National Park, Sprague Lake loop is an easily accessible trail with panoramic views of the lake framed by golden aspens. The elevation gain is negligible and it’s only a ½ mile trail, so it’s great for families with young kids as well as seniors.

Raccoon Trail

Located inside Golden Gate Canyon State Park, the Raccoon Trail is only about an hour’s drive from downtown Denver. On the way to stunning views of the Indian Peaks, you’ll wind through fall-favorite aspen groves. And as a moderate trail, it’s a good one for when you’re ready to up your hiking game.

Big Bluestem Trail

Near Eldorado Canyon, this Boulder, CO trail winds through grasslands before it climbs up through the aspen forests. It’s an easy-to-moderate hike that clocks in at 4+ miles round trip with plenty of options to go longer if you’d like.

Eccles Pass

If you want a good workout in addition to admiring some of Colorado’s most beautiful landscapes, try Eccles Pass, which begins just off I-70 exit 203 near Frisco. At just over 10 miles, you’ll snake through a slew of different landscapes and features, from aspen groves to tall pines, past waterfalls and ponds hugged by trees of red and gold. The trail eventually leads to a gorgeous alpine meadow that is alone worth the trip.

Elk Falls Overlook

Getting into a more challenging territory, this waterfall hike (inside Staunton State Park) has an elevation gain of nearly 1,000 feet over its 10.8-mile round trip. But the reward is that you get to see Elk Falls, which until recently had been on private land. Inside the park, you can also choose from easier aspen-lined trails if that’s more your speed.

Get out there and enjoy the fall colors on these hiking trails near Denver. That’s one of the perks of living in a Griffis Residential community on the front range.