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
- Raccoon Loop at Golden Gate Canyon
- Mt. Bierstadt Hike on Guanella Pass
- Sprague Lake Loop in Rocky Mountain National Park
- Devil’s Head Firetower Hike
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.
Distance: 2.5 miles Round Trip
Drive Time from Denver: 1 Hour
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.
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.
Distance: 1/2 mile Round Trip
Drive Time from Denver: 2 Hours
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.
Distance: 2.8 miles Round Trip
Drive Time from Denver: 1 Hour 15 Minutes
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.