Best Hikes for Viewing Aspens Near Denver Colorado


Best Fall Hikes Near Denver

Where can you find hikes near Denver to view the changing aspens and fall colors? We’ve looked through all our hiking profiles to identify trails near Denver that are decorated with glowing aspens in the Fall. Some of these Autumn Colorado hikes have spectacular drives to the trailhead. Because some of the hikes closer to Denver are just so-so (it takes driving further into the mountains to get the best views of the Aspens), I’ll identify some of the best hikes to see the Fall colors near Denver here. There are over 3 pages with over 25 hikes, so be sure to explore the full set of trail profiles of fall hikes near Denver, Colorado below.

The Best Hikes Near Denver to See the Changing Aspens and Fall Colors

Elk Falls Overlook at Staunton State Park

  1. Elk Falls Overlook at Staunton State Park

  2. Distance: 11 miles Round Trip
    Drive Time from Denver: 45 Minutes
    Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
    We’ll begin with the most challenging hike to views of a waterfall that was hidden for years and recently opened to the public at Staunton State Park.This whole area near both Guanella Pass and Hoosier pass is amazing in the fall. After the hike, there are options to drive further out 285 to Hoosier Pass or to take the seasonal road up Guanella pass. The great thing about Stuanton State Park is that you have options: shorter easy strolls with aspen views along the rock formations and more moderate hikes through the heart of the park. Scan the rock cliffs and mountainsides to see if you can get a glimpse of the occasional aspen turning red.


    Raccoon Loop at Golden Gate Canyon

  3. Raccoon Loop at Golden Gate Canyon

  4. Distance: 2.5 miles Round Trip
    Drive Time from Denver: 1 Hour
    Difficulty: Easy
    Our family loves this 2.5 mile hike in Golden Gate Canyon State Park. There are panoramic views of the Front Range at the Panorama Point viewing area, and the hike takes you through meadows of aspens. The drive from Golden to the park takes you along a really curvy road, so take your time and be aware for cyclists.


    Mt. Bierstadt Hike on Guanella Pass

  5. Mt. Bierstadt Hike on Guanella Pass

  6. Distance: 1 to 7 miles Round Trip
    Drive Time from Denver: 90 Minutes
    Difficulty: Easy to Difficult
    This drive to Guanaella Pass and hike are both breathtaking when the aspens are turning in the fall. We suggest starting on the north end (I-70 end) and to make your way south over Guanella pass. You can stop here and hike a length of the Mt. Beirstadt Trail. Continuing over Guanella pass, hikers can drive further to Kenosha Pass. When Guanella Pass road intersects with 285, a right turn (west) leads to Kenosha Pass. You’ll find a large parking area off to your left just before the pass and a lot of great hiking among some of the most brilliant aspens in Colorado. The photo of the moose at the top of this post was taken near the trailhead at Kenosha Pass.


    Sprague Lake Loop in Rocky Mountain National Park

  7. Sprague Lake Loop in Rocky Mountain National Park

  8. Distance: 1/2 mile Round Trip
    Drive Time from Denver: 2 Hours
    Difficulty: Easy
    Sprague Lake loop offers an easy 1/2 mile loop hike with 360 degree breathtaking views of the changing aspens in Rocky Mountain National Park. It’s a two-hour drive that’s worth it. Parking is limited and there is an entrance fee. No dogs are allowed in the park.


    Devil's Head Firetower Hike

  9. Devil’s Head Firetower Hike

Distance: 2.8 miles Round Trip
Drive Time from Denver: 1 Hour 15 Minutes
Difficulty: Moderate
Here’s why you need to do this hike in the fall season: 1) The drive there will take you up Rampart Range road which should be gilded with changing Aspens, 2) When you get to the top of Devil’s Head, you’ll gain 360 degree views that will let you drink in the colors from for miles and miles. I love to make this hike in the early morning as the sun is rising and lighting up the spires along the spine of the Rampart Range.


A Few Other Noteable Fall Hikes Near Denver: The Forsythe Canyon Trail takes you through the shade of a good deal of Aspens, down to Gross Reservoir. The hike to Maxwell Falls near Evergreen, Colorado will sports a great drive and is riddled with fall colors, too. However, the waterfall will likely be a trickle later in the year, and the trails are over-crowded. Finally, the First and Second Flatiron trail near Boulder may not have a ton of Aspens on the front side, but make it to the top and you should get great views of the Rocky Mountains to the West and there should be a lot of color as you look out to the continental divide.

Scroll down the page and additional pages to explore our full set of Colorado hikes that offer you views of the changing fall aspens near Denver.

Explore the Full List of Fall Hikes Near Denver

alberta falls rocky mountain national park

Alberta Falls Hike at Rocky Mountain National Park

Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park is full of waterfalls and this hike takes you to one of the most accessible waterfalls in the park. Alberta Falls is one of the most popular, short destination hikes in the park, and for good reason. If you only have time for one short hike on the East Side of RMNP, this is a ...
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Golden Gate Sate Park Blue Grouse Trail Landscape

Blue Grouse Trail at Golden Gate Canyon Park

Blue Grouse Trail in Golden Gate Canyon State Park is a wonderful adventure for kids, non-experienced hikers or out of town guests. The trail is nice and short, with little gain in elevation and the terrain is mellow, so it can be great for those carrying kids in backpacks. The Blue Grouse Trail is a perfect hiking trail for spotting ...
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Buffalo Creek Falls at Wellington Lake

This waterfall isn't even on the map, and it's become my favorite waterfall hike near Denver. In fact, this is the only post that I'm tempted to keep to myself, because not only is there great hiking, but Wellington Lake may be the best camping spot within 90 minutes of Denver. There is a hitch though: it's a privately held ...
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Canyon Loop Trail – Betasso Preserve, Boulder

This hike at Betasso Preserve near Boulder, Colorado makes for a perfect evening escape to watch the sunset over the town below. You'll cross through meadows dotted with wildflowers then under stands of Ponderosa pine that eventually open up to views to east. Explore the hiking trail profiles and map link below for details ...
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Chicago Lakes Hike Near Mt. Evans

Want to take in some of Colorado's breathtaking scenery and put some miles under your hiking boots? The Chicago Lakes hike begins at Echo Lake. You'll pass three more mountain lakes as you punch up into the high country of Colorado's Mt. Evan's Wilderness. Explore the full trail profile below for the Chicago Lakes which includes driving directions, map, and ...
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Devils Head Fire Lookout Hike

If you've not hiked to the top of the Devils head trail and climbed the 143 steps to the fire lookout, then I think you're not allowed to have one of those Colorado Native bumper stickers. The Devils Head trail is the classic Colorado Front Range hike and is just about a hour from the center of Denver. The views ...
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Echo Lake, Near Mt. Evans & Idaho Springs Colorado

Echo Lake Trail Near Mt. Evans

Colorado's Echo Lake is looped by an easy hiking trail and serves as a trailhead to even more classic Colorado hikes. When we have friends and family visiting Colorado from out of town, this is one of best destinations for a great views. Go early to Echo Lake to get perfect photos of Mount Evans reflected in the water. Explore ...
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Eldorado Falls at Walker Ranch

Eldorado Falls is a cascade waterfall tucked back in Walker Ranch near Boulder, Colorado. It's an easy to moderate 1.25 mile hike from the Ethel Harrold Trailhead down to where South Boulder Creek winds through the park and crashes over the boulders blocking its path. Explore the full trail profile below for all the details: tips, trail map, and driving ...
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Elk Falls – New Waterfall Near Denver

Elk Falls in Colorado's new Staunton State Park opened to the public in 2013. This highest waterfall near Denver had been unknown to most, and inaccessible, except to a few. Now it's an adventure waiting for able hikers! If you are a fan of waterfall hikes and you live near Denver, you'll know that it's kind of slim pickings; most ...
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elk meadow park south loop header

Elk Meadow Park – South Loop

Elk Meadow Park is a great place to hike with your family, if you have little ones, or if you just want to talk with a friend as you hike and take in great views of Colorado. It is important to know that the adjacent off-leash dog park has been closed. Get all the info you need to hike Elk ...
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Emerald Lake Hike in Rocky Mountain National Park

The hike to Emerald Lake is one of the most accessible hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park. If you are visiting RMNP, and have limited time to visit, the trail to Emerald Lake is an excellent option. You'll pass both Dream Lake and Nymph lake before you end your hike at Emerald Lake and it's stunning views of Hallet Peak ...
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First and Second Flatirons Hike in Boulder

Hiking the Flatirons near Boulder, Colorado is a must. The trail draws you across an green meadow, then up through a notch between the First and Second Flatiron. You'll find the best part of this hike in the Flatirons at the end of the trail: some breathtaking and unmatched views of Colorado's Rocky Mountains. There's even more though. Explore the ...
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Map of Fall Hikes Near Denver