Colorado October: Where to Visit & What to Do

Colorado, also known as the Centennial State, offers an abundance of awe-inspiring sights for you to enjoy, especially in October. The vibrant foliage is a sight to behold, accompanied by delightful aromas, flavors, and engaging activities suitable for every member of the family. Discover more places to explore and exciting activities to indulge in during your October visit to this spectacular state.  

Where to Visit in Colorado, During October 

Early October is best for visiting the mountain region of Colorado to see the changing of the Aspen leaves. But later in the month, the front range cities of Denver, Boulder, Ft Collins and Colorado Springs may be better destinations. There are so many places worth visiting in Colorado during the month of October, but these are a few of the most popular places and activities that you won’t want to miss. 

upper piney lake trail
October in Colorado may just be our favorite season for a hike. The leaves are changing at Piney River Ranch.

Adore the Changing of the Colors

The autumn season is arguably one of the best times to visit Colorado. The aspen trees and massive groves that put on their colorful spectacle during that time. It is a great time to visit the mountains of Colorado. The summer crowds have dissipated and the mountains are spectacular. Get out on a hike or bike ride to take in some of their truly incredible scenery. Here are the many mountain towns where you can witness Colorado’s beautiful autumn foliage. 

Take a Drive

Colorado is home to some spectacular mountain passes. As these do tend to be at higher altitude, the leaves may start to change earlier. But even in October the views from these can be breathtaking.

Some of the more scenic passes can also be a bit scary to drive. Check out one of these five spectacular scenic drives!

Independence Pass.

Two of our favorite mountain passes are Red Mountain Pass and Independence Pass.

Whether you drive a mountain pass, there are plenty of iconic mountain peaks in Colorado, And, many different ways to experience them.

Ride a Train

October in the mountains of Colorado is beautiful time of year to take a scenic train rode. Catch what is left of the leaves changing color, along with a possible dusting of snow on the mountain peaks. Be sure to check out Colorado train rides in the autumn for amazing views.

Colorado October views
Fall foliage beneath Colorado’s mountain peaks.

Any of Colorado’s Corn Mazes

Picking a pumpkin out of the pumpkin patch and getting lost in a corn maze is especially a popular activity to do throughout the country during the fall. Colorado is no different. There are many family-friendly farms scattered all throughout the state. Your family will love to visit these that have all kinds of games, activities, face paintings, tractor rides, refreshments, and much more waiting for you. 

About 15 minutes outside of Denver is the town of Thornton. They put on a Maize in the City that kids and parents have come to love.

There are plenty of pumpkin patches around the state, many of which offer Corn Mazes.  

Witness Elk Bugling 

When a bull elk is searching for a mate, they let out a strange bugling sound that can be heard a great distance away. There’s no other sound in all of nature that is quite like it. It only takes place around mid-September until early October. 

One of the best places to witness this strange yet fascinating phenomenon is in Estes Park. The annual Elk Fest is a free festival that’s also worth checking into while you’re there. You’ll find bugling contests, arts and crafts, live music, kids activities, elk exhibits, and their beer garden.   

Apple Picking

Sweet and juicy delicious apples are ripe for the picking when fall rolls around. There’re many apple orchards to choose from in the state that allow the public to pick their own apples. Ya Ya Farm and Orchard is located about 36 miles north of Denver and is one of the most popular orchards in the state. 

You’ll be busy making wonderful apple jams and jellies, pies, and applesauce when you get home, or you can choose to stop by Adam’s Apple Orchard & Country Store. Their country store already has made these goodies for you. Their apple orchard is located about 73 miles to the northeast of Denver.  

Lumberjack Festivals

Lumberjack festivals and axe throwing are fun fall activities in Colorado. While axe throwing can be found around the state year-rounds, fall brings lumberjack festivals to the state. It is the perfect excuse to break out the flannel and try out a new activity!

Take a Hike

This is one of our favorite times of the year to hike. Whether taking in the turning of the leaves at an alpine lake with the mountains reflecting off the still water, or hiking through a golden aspen grove to one of Colorado’s spectacular waterfalls, this is the time of year to get out and enjoy the cool fall days before the snow falls.

October Colorado Weather 

You may also want to know that the average temperature for Colorado during the month of October. It is right around the upper 50’s to mid-’60s, so it’s typically a quite pleasant time to visit. Just remember to bring a sweatshirt or hoodie that you can throw on. Then enjoy a hot apple cider when you start feeling chilly. 

The month of October is a favorite time to visit Colorado in order to enjoy the sights, smells, and tastes that keep bringing many visitors back every single year. If you’ve visited the state during that time, what are some other places and events that you would recommend that are worth looking into? 

Then just around the corner is Thanksgiving. Discover our favorite places to visit in Colorado for a Thanksgiving celebration.

Colorado October: Where to Visit & What to Do

Liana Moore

Liana Moore is a third-culture kid with a hangover from those days that is a severe case of wanderlust. She is more comfortable driving the cliffs of Amalfi, Italy or the dirt roads of Costa Rica or attempting to decipher the street signs of Osaka, Japan than navigating the theme parks of Disney World. But she loves it all. She doesn't believe a vacation is complete without an adventure. Her husband and kids know well that "adventure" often is code for mishap or challenge and it usually results in a good story. They seek outdoor experiences whether in the mountains, on a beach or in the jungle of a tropical country. Her favorite vacation is... all the ones she hasn't yet taken, as well as those she plans on taking again. And, that list is so, so long. But she continues to extensively explore her home state of Colorado, spends lots of time wandering Texas, California, New Mexico, Costa Rica, Mexico, Norway and has even explored Kazakhstan.

One thought on “Colorado October: Where to Visit & What to Do

  • August 23, 2021 at 12:40 pm

    Anywhere you drive in Colorado in the Autumn is beautiful. It is good to know that one can pick apples in some of the many apple orchards.


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