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

Forgotten Valley Hike at Golden Gate State Park

Can you think of a more mysterious name for a hike? Colorado's Golden Gate State Park has many trails, and the Forgotten Valley is a great place to start discovering this gem that is tucked between Golden and Boulder, Colorado. Get all the details on hiking the Forgotten Valley by scrolling down to the hike snapshot and hiking tips below ...
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Forsythe Canyon to Waterfall and Gross Reservoir

Looking for a trail that will provide some shade on a hot Colorado day? This hiking trail has shade, plus a waterfall, a stream, a canyon, and lake. It's hard to beat. Forsythe Canyon is just outside Boulder, Colorado (1hr 15min from Denver), and is an easy to moderate hike. Check out our full hiking trail profile for details and ...
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Georgetown Railroad Hike & Train Ride

After the hike, I asked our 7 year-old daughter what she thought of it. Her reply said it all, “Dad, it was awesome!” Here favorite parts were the fairy pond, a small, moss-rimmed pool probably created by miners long ago to hold drinking water, and the gleaming minerals in the rocks she picked up along the trail. I enjoyed the ...
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Hiking Davis Ponds at Staunton State Park

The Davis Ponds loop is a short and easy hike, perfect for young families. Davis Ponds is a great place to take your kids fishing near Denver. Explore the full trail profile below for all the details: hiking trails, trail map, and detailed directions to the trailhead ...
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Horseshoe Trail at Golden Gate Canyon Park

The Horseshoe Trail in Golden Gate Canyon State Park is a wonderful hike for older kids, experienced and non-experienced hikers. It's a great trail for spotting wildlife, from birds to deer, viewing fall colors and wildflowers, and taking in the beautiful scenic view along the trail. Several of the backcountry campsites areas are also accessible from the Horseshoe trail. We'll ...
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maxwell falls near evergreen colorado

Maxwell Falls Near Evergreen, Colorado

The Maxwell Falls hike is our most popular hike near Denver. Why? Because it's a perfect Colorado family hike with a variety of terrain, and the it takes you to one of the closest waterfalls to Denver. Below you'll find three different hike options: a one mile hike, a three mile loop, and a four mile trek--all taking you to ...
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Moraine Park Loop Hike in Rocky Mountain National Park

The Moraine Park Loop encircles the golden meadows of Moraine Park in Rocky Mountain National Park. The morning mists rising from the Big Thompson River, and herds of grazing elk make for an enchanted landscape. In the evening, the setting sun brings shadows and light play to the valley floor. All of this is against the backdrop of the distant ...
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bierdstadt trail near guanella pass

Mt. Bierstadt Trail on Guanella Pass

Summit a Fourteener, Mount Bierstadt, or go for an easy hike with your family high in Colorado's Rocky Mountains. In short, you've got options on this trail near the top of Guanella Pass. You can choose an easy stroll or a difficult hike. Explore the trail snapshot and profile below for hiking, camping, and trail map info. Trail Snapshot: Mr ...
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ofallon park trails header

O Fallon Park Trails

These hiking trails near Evergreen, Colorado weave through the Bear Creek area in O'Fallon Park. It's a great place to launch into the Bear Creek Canyon area. Because there are a lot of options, be sure to download the trail map and look over the five different trail options listed below in the hike profile. Scroll down for the full ...
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ouzel falls rocky mountain national park

Ouzel Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park

Ouzel Falls spills over a cliffside and enormous boulders, making it arguably one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Rocky Mountain National Park. Before reaching this 40-foot falls, the trail traces the course of several creeks and leads hikers past three other cascade waterfalls. Explore the full Ouzel Falls hike profile ...
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panorama point trail corwina park header

Panorama Point Trail in Corwina Park

If you are fond of panoramic views, then the Panorama Point Trail in Corwina Park is what you may be looking for. At the top of this trail you will find a beautiful view that looks out to the mountains and the plains. This medium-difficulty hike also lets you hike along a babbling brook. Check out our snapshot below for ...
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Raccoon Loop Hike in Golden Gate Canyon State Park

Our kids loved this 2.5 mile loop hike in Golden Gate Canyon State Park. The trail sports lots of shade, panoramic views of snowcapped peaks, wildflowers, and trickling brooks. Be sure to see the details below regarding an annual raptor closure that detours one segment of this hike. Explore the full Raccoon Loop Hike profile for trail map, driving directions ...
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Map of Fall Hikes Near Denver