25+ of the Best Hikes for Viewing Aspens Near Denver Colorado

fall hikes dayhikes near denver

Hiking in the Fall Near Denver: 25+ Trails with Changing Aspens

We’ve sorted through our over 150 trails near Denver to locate the best hikes for taking in the Fall colors during September and early October in Colorado. If you want to go straight to our Top 10, then be sure to visit our Top 10 Fall Hikes Near Denver post. You can explore hikes by title or by map. The hikes that feature waterfalls are marked with a waterfall icon on the map.


Explore 25+ 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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When Do the Aspens Change?

Best Time to See Changing Aspens in Colorado

When Do the Aspens Change in Colorado? The peak color of changing aspens only lasts for about a week in Colorado. However, the shoulder weeks bring to the state about a month of golds, greens, oranges, and reds from mid-September to mid-October. So, the best answer to the question, "When is the best time to see the fall colors of ...
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Golden Gate Sate Park Blue Grouse Trail Landscape

Blue Grouse Trail at Golden Gate Canyon Park

The Blue Grouse Trail is a short, 1.6-mile hike on the western edges of Golden Gate Canyon State Park. A pleasant trail with little gain in elevation and mellow terrain makes this a great escape from the city. The Blue Grouse Trail is a perfect hiking trail for spotting wildlife, from birds to deer, viewing fall colors and wildflowers, and ...
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booth falls near vail header

Booth Creek Falls Hike Near Vail

Booth Creek Falls is a 60-foot waterfall located in the Eagles Nest Wilderness near Vail, Colorado. The journey to the waterfall requires a strenuous, 2-mile hike along the banks of Booth Creek. Explore the full Booth Creek Falls hike profile ...
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Buffalo Creek Falls at Wellington Lake

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

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

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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rock formations and trees near on tundra near the summit of chief mountain colorado

Chief Mountain Hike

Chief Mountain is a 1.5-mile hike in the mountains just one hour outside of Denver, Colorado. The Chief Mountain trail travels through alpine forest, then breaks out into high-country tundra, eventually gaining panoramic views of surrounding mountains. Chief Mountain gives hikers an incredible vantage point to survey the changing colors of Fall spread out in 360 degrees below. Explore the ...
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Devils Head Fire Lookout Hike

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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snow and evergreen trees on mountainside against blue clouded sky with Devils Thumb rock formation and lake

Devils Thumb Lake

Devils Thumb Lake is located in Indian Peaks Wilderness north of Boulder Colorado and can be accessed via a 6.5-mile (one-way) steep and challenging hike. Wildflowers, alpine meadows, small waterfalls, and cascades all beckon those who have the stamina to explore these heights in the Front Range near Denver. Explore the full Devils Thumb Lake hike profile ...
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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 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 – 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

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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kebler pass with golden aspen trees and grey mountain in background courtesy of Kevin Wenning

Fall Hikes and Scenic Drive Ideas

"Where should I hike this Fall?" Friends text asking for Fall hike recommendations and coworkers stop me in the hallway to ask what trails are best for enjoying the colors of Colorado. During September and early October, we have a short window to see the golden yellows, bright oranges, and the fire reds of the changing aspens. In this post, ...
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First and Second Flatirons Hike in Boulder

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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Forgotten Valley Hike at Golden Gate State Park

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

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

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

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

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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jasper lake in colorado clouds against blue sky at a lake at the foot of the mount framed by evergreens

Jasper Lake Hike in Indian Peaks

Jasper Lake requires a 5.5-mile (one-way) hike into the mountainous, wildflower-laden Indian Peaks Wilderness. Just 40 minutes outside of Boulder Colorado and about 1hr 15 minutes from Denver, the trail to Jasper Lake gets its start at the Hessie Trailhead. Travel an additional mile beyond Jasper to see Devils Thumb, a striking rock formation that looms above Devil's Thumb Lake ...
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Kenosha Pass Aspen Trees gold orange with mountain in background full of fall colors

Kenosha Pass Hiking Trails

Kenosha Pass is probably the best place to view the changing aspens near Denver. It offers both an East and West trail option with gradual ascents to stunning views. Starting at 10,000' the initial elevation gain on the trails make for easy to moderately strenuous hikes, all depending on how far one decides to travel on these beautiful segments of ...
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long lake in indian peaks wilderness colorado clouds and blue sky with jagged moutnains, evergreen trees and lake

Long Lake Loop in Indian Peaks

Long Lake offers an easy 1.5 mile loop hike in Indian Peaks Wilderness. Located about 1 hour West of Boulder, Colorado, Long Lake is an easy-to-access alpine lake with stunning scenery. It's a popular spot, especially in the Summer months, so be sure to read the details on access fees and the notes below on the Long Lake Trailhead. Explore ...
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mountain lake with snowcapped mountains and evergreen trees in foreground with blue sky and cirrus clouds lost lake near nederland colorado

Lost Lake Hike Near Nederland

Lost Lake is an accessible 4-mile (approximate) hike to a beautiful alpine lake surrounded by the mountains of Indian Peaks. Just over one hour northwest of Denver, the trail up to lost lake takes you along the course of Middle Boulder creek, a slide waterfall, a set of tumbling cascades, and a variety of wildflowers that decorate the borders of ...
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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

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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Map of Fall Hikes Near Denver