Best time to visit Colorado

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Colorado
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Best time of year to visit Colorado

Colorado is a hiker's heaven! With unsurpassed natural scenery, rugged mountains, deep canyons, alpine meadows, glaciers, and waterfalls, it's perfect for all kinds of outdoor activities: whitewater rafting, mountain biking, and rock climbing. The best time to visit Colorado is during the warm season which runs from June to October. In June, snow melts in the mountains, so it's a high time to hike in Rocky Mountain National Park, Mount Elbert, Mount Bierstadt, and drive through some of the highest passes in the state. In the summer, visitors can also see a unique phenomenon of fire rainbows and meet rare blood-shooting lizards. Winter months in Colorado are all about skiing, snowboarding, dog sledding, and exploring frozen waterfalls.

58 THINGS TO DO IN COLORADO (JULY 14 - JULY 23)

Crested Butte Wildflower Festival

Crested Butte Wildflower Festival

July 10–19, 2020 • event

Immerse yourself in the symphony of flowers in beautiful Crested Butte

Fire Rainbows

Fire Rainbows

late March–September • nature

A curious optical phenomenon occurs quite rarely and only in special locations. If you are in the right time and in the right place, just look up to the sky

Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad

Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad

late May–late October • activity

Take a picturesque steam train trip through the American West that you will never forget

Blood-Shooting Lizards

Blood-Shooting Lizards

March–November • nature

Usually, it protects itself by the means of camouflage, but when business is serious, it puffs up to double-size and shoots blood from its eyes

Concerts at Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Concerts at Red Rocks Amphitheatre

April–September • event

An iconic open-air amphitheatre created by natural rocks

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

mid-April–mid-November • activity

An impressive work of nature with some of the steepest rocks, oldest formations, and the roughest spires in North America

Mesa Verde National Park

Mesa Verde National Park

May–September • activity

This UNESCO World Heritage site is the largest archaeological​ preserve in the U.S.

Dinosaur National Monument

Dinosaur National Monument

all year round • nature

The beautiful natural scenery of this area could be the main reason to visit it, but it's also historical importance that makes this place even more attractive

Hanging Lake Trail (Glenwood Springs)

Hanging Lake Trail (Glenwood Springs)

April–October • activity

One of the most popular lakes in Colorado illustrates an interesting geological phenomenon

Climbing Mount Elbert

Climbing Mount Elbert

June–September • activity

This so-called "Gentle Giant" is rocked by violent thunderstorms in the summer and avalanches in the winter

Colorado Shakespeare Festival

Colorado Shakespeare Festival

June 03–August 09, 2020 • event

One of the oldest and most atmospheric theater events in Colorado

Bear Lake Road

Bear Lake Road

late May–September (all year round) • activity

A beautiful drive through Rocky Mountain National Park

Trail Ridge Road

Trail Ridge Road

June–October (check updates) • activity

The so-called 'highway to the sky' is a kind of true inspiration

Red Cone Pass

Red Cone Pass

late June–September • activity

A perfect ride for a 4WD with scenic views of the Continental Divide

Owl Creek Pass

Owl Creek Pass

June–October • activity

Aspen and pine forests, rugged peaks, and picturesque lakes make an exceptionally scenic drive

Mosquito Pass

Mosquito Pass

late July–September • activity

One of the highest passes in Colorado accessible by a car

Independence Pass (Hunter Pass)

Independence Pass (Hunter Pass)

late May–mid-November • activity

The second highest pass in Colorado that can be reached by a paved highway

Kebler Pass

Kebler Pass

mid-June–mid-October • activity

A scenic drive through aspen forests, alpine meadows and mountain lakes

Black Bear Pass

Black Bear Pass

July–September • activity

You don't have to be crazy to drive this road, but it helps—the road sign says

Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods

all year round • nature

This place is gorgeous enough for Gods to assemble

Strawberry Park Hot Springs

Strawberry Park Hot Springs

all your round • activity

Some of the most beautiful mineral hot springs in North America

Colorado Renaissance Festival

Colorado Renaissance Festival

June 15–August 04, 2019 (Sat & Sun) • event

Are you ready for a flashback into 16th century?

Kayaking

Kayaking

May–September • activity

Colorado whitewater rivers and crystal clear lakes with beautiful surroundings are perfect for adrenaline rides and peaceful puddling

Hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park

Hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park

June–September • activity

View a spectacular alpine scenery and amazing wildlife in one of the most popular U.S national parks

Hiking the Colorado Trail

Hiking the Colorado Trail

early July–mid-September • activity

The longest and challenging Colorado hiking adventure

Whitewater Rafting

Whitewater Rafting

May–September • activity

The Rocky Mountain rivers of Colorado offer world-class whitewater rafting

Fishing

Fishing

all your round • activity

Fly-fishers, ice-fishers and rod-and-reelers can find many great spots in Colorado

Mount Evans Scenic Byway

Mount Evans Scenic Byway

late May–early September • activity

Take a scenic ride on the highest paved road in North America

Mount Bierstadt

Mount Bierstadt

May–November • activity

Conquering the mountain of such size is a must for every hiker in Colorado

Lone Eagle Peak

Lone Eagle Peak

June–September • activity

Hike Colorado's most photogenic mountain reflecting in the Mirror Lake

Hike to Grays and Torreys Peaks

Hike to Grays and Torreys Peaks

June–October • activity

Highly popular 14ers not far from Denver

Conundrum Hot Springs

Conundrum Hot Springs

July–September • activity

Popular hot springs near Aspen

Maroon Bells Four Pass Loop

Maroon Bells Four Pass Loop

July–October • activity

A beautiful long hiking trail near Aspen

Jones Pass

Jones Pass

late June–early November • activity

One of Colorado's highest mountains with an easy access

Decalibron Loop

Decalibron Loop

May–October  • activity

Hike four epic Colorado mountains at once

Alta Lakes

Alta Lakes

late June–September • activity

A magical Alpine setting by the three lakes

Crystal Mill

Crystal Mill

late May–mid-November (mid-September–early October for fall colors) • activity

An iconic Colorado attraction is one of the most photographed in the state

Mystic Falls

Mystic Falls

May–October • nature

Visit one of the lesser-known waterfalls of Colorado

Guanella Pass

Guanella Pass

late May–mid-November • activity

Enjoy the striking combination of nature and architecture

Tincup Pass

Tincup Pass

July–October • activity

One of the highest and most beautiful mountain roads in Colorado

Hagerman Pass

Hagerman Pass

late May–mid-October • activity

A rugged trail crossing the Continental Divide in the Rocky Mountains

Ophir Pass

Ophir Pass

June–October • activity

A scenic high-mountain road with alpine scenery

Old Fall River Road

Old Fall River Road

early July–September • activity

A historic high mountain road in Rocky Mountain National Park

Alpine Loop

Alpine Loop

June–September • activity

Take a scenic drive through the American Switzerland

Boreas Pass

Boreas Pass

May–October • activity

A beautiful drive with alpine scenery, waterfalls and mountain views

Berthoud Pass

Berthoud Pass

all year round • activity

Drivers, backcountry skiers and hikers can't get enough of this scenic pass

Cottonwood Pass Road

Cottonwood Pass Road

June–October • activity

One of the highest roads in Colorado traversing the Continental Divide

Radium Hot Springs

Radium Hot Springs

June–November • activity

A secluded relaxation spot nestled among the picturesque cliffs

La Plata Peak

La Plata Peak

late June–early September • activity

The fifth-highest peak of the Rocky Mountains

Paradise Cove

Paradise Cove

May–September • activity

Enjoy a spectacular 35-ft (10.7-m) cliff jump

Butler Gulch

Butler Gulch

June–September • activity

The wildflower paradise not far from Denver

Devil's Punch Bowl

Devil's Punch Bowl

June–August • nature

A stunning swimming hole not far from Aspen

Mount Ida

Mount Ida

late May–mid-October • activity

A hidden gem of the Rocky Mountains National Park

Twin Sisters Hike

Twin Sisters Hike

May–October • activity

An outstanding trail in the Rocky Mountains

Maroon Bells

Maroon Bells

mid-June–early October • activity

The iconic landscape is the most photographed site in Colorado

Chicago Basin

Chicago Basin

late June–mid-September • activity

A popular hiking destination with access to four fourteeners

Mount Zirkel

Mount Zirkel

mid-July–September • activity

The tallest peak of the Park Range of the Rocky Mountains

Collegiate Peaks Wilderness

Collegiate Peaks Wilderness

July–September • activity

An amazing collection of fourteeners in the heart of the Sawatch Range

36 THINGS TO DO OUT OF SELECTED DATE RANGE

Colorado Springs Labor Day Lift Off

Colorado Springs Labor Day Lift Off

September 05–07, 2020 • event

A beautiful way to say goodbye to the summer during the Labor Day Weekend

Pueblo Chile & Frijoles Festival

Pueblo Chile & Frijoles Festival

September 25–27, 2020 • event

Spice up your life at Pueblo, Colorado

Medano Creek, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve

Medano Creek, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve

April–June • nature

A seasonal creek brings fun to a beautiful park surrounded by mountains

FIBArk Whitewater Festival

FIBArk Whitewater Festival

June 18–21, 2020 • event

Hundreds of athletes and spectators flock to FIBArk to mark the start of boating season

Breckenridge Snow Sculptures

Breckenridge Snow Sculptures

January 20–29, 2020 • event

Teams of snow artists from around the world descend on Colorado for the International Snow Sculpture Championships

Telluride Film Festival

Telluride Film Festival

September 04–07, 2020 • event

The San Juan mountains are​ the place where new cinema stars are discovered annually

Frozen Waterfalls

Frozen Waterfalls

January–February • nature

Colorado's gorgeous nature is especially impressive in the winter

Deer Creek Trail

Deer Creek Trail

mid-April–May | September–October • activity

Once famed gold and silver mining area is nowadays a popular hiking destination cherished for its landscapes and wildlife

Cripple Creek Ice Festival

Cripple Creek Ice Festival

February 08–16, 2020 • event

Fun time in a picturesque Colorado old mining and gambling town

Snowmass Balloon Festival

Snowmass Balloon Festival

September 06–08, 2019 • event

A high altitude balloon event at a famous Colorado ski resort

Pikes Peak Celtic Festival

Pikes Peak Celtic Festival

June 14–16, 2019 • event

Immerse yourself in Irish and Scottish culture and traditions

Colorado State Fair

Colorado State Fair

August 28–September 07, 2020 • event

Watch a rodeo and take some carnival rides at a traditional summer fair

Colorado Fall Colors

Colorado Fall Colors

mid-September–mid-October • nature

Discover the gorgeous spots throughout the state to celebrate autumn

Skiing and Snowboarding

Skiing and Snowboarding

late November–mid-April • activity

Find out what makes Colorado number one skiing destination in the United States

Steamboat Winter Carnival

Steamboat Winter Carnival

February 05–09, 2020 • event

The oldest running winter carnival west of Mississippi

Colorado Springs Festival of Lights

Colorado Springs Festival of Lights

December 07, 2019 • event

The official start of Christmas holidays in Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs St. Patrick's Day Festival

Colorado Springs St. Patrick's Day Festival

March 14, 2020 • event

Plenty of festivities as the city goes green

X Games Aspen

X Games Aspen

January 23–26, 2020 • event

One of the biggest extreme sports events of the year with a great music lineup

Colorado Freeride Festival

Colorado Freeride Festival

July 2020 (TBA) • event

The largest freeride bike contest in the US

Greeley Stampede

Greeley Stampede

June 24–July 05, 2020 • event

Wild West 4th of July experience is not complete without a visit to a rodeo, especially if it's one of the largest in the world

Dog Sledding & Snow Tubing

Dog Sledding & Snow Tubing

late November–mid-April • activity

Even if you are not into skiing or snowboarding, you can still enjoy famous Colorado slopes

Ouray Ice Festival

Ouray Ice Festival

January 23–26, 2020 • event

A celebration of everything associated with mountain and ice climbing

Frozen Dead Guy Days

Frozen Dead Guy Days

March 13–15, 2020 • event

One of the most funny and quirky festivals in the USA

Breckenridge Oktoberfest

Breckenridge Oktoberfest

September 06–08, 2019 • event

The largest street party of the year in the Rocky Mountains

Colorado Irish Festival

Colorado Irish Festival

July 12–14, 2019 • event

For three days, everyone in Colorado can become Irish

The Colorado Marathon

The Colorado Marathon

May 03, 2020 • event

Enjoy the iconic Colorado views during this scenic long-distance race

Telluride Bluegrass Festival

Telluride Bluegrass Festival

June 18–21, 2020 • event

The bluegrass festival in a famous ski resort is among the most famous of its kind

Denver Christkindl Market

Denver Christkindl Market

November 22–December 23, 2019 • event

This German Christmas fair offers great food, beer, Gluehwein, and handmade crafts

Colorado Country Christmas Gift Show

Colorado Country Christmas Gift Show

November 01–03, 2019 • event

One of the major fairs in Colorado

Pikes Peak International Hill Climb

Pikes Peak International Hill Climb

June 28, 2020 • event

An exciting race to a top of a legendary Colorado fourteener

Great American Beer Festival

Great American Beer Festival

September 24–26, 2020 • event

Visit the largest ticketed beer festival in the United States

Sonic Bloom

Sonic Bloom

June 18–21, 2020 • event

Free-spirited electronic music festival in Colorado

Donkey Derby Days

Donkey Derby Days

June 27–28, 2020 • event

Donkey race in a historic Colorado gold rush town—Cripple Creek

4th of July

4th of July

July 03–July 04 • event

From wild flowers to 4th of July fireworks, from charming sunrises to Independence Day parades, you'll find bursts of color along every Main Street and on every trail

Shelf Road Rock Climbing

Shelf Road Rock Climbing

September–May • activity

A climbing paradise in Colorado

A Hudson Christmas

A Hudson Christmas

November 29–December 31, 2019 • event

A beautiful light display just a few miles south of Denver

jan
6.7
feb
6.9
mar
7.4
apr
8
may
8.1
jun
7.6
jul
6.8
aug
7.2
sep
7.9
oct
8.2
nov
7.6
dec
6.9
Colorado weather in January
6.7/10 score
Good
-1° average
average temperatures
4 mm
precipitation
6h 24m
daylight duration
January is known as the coldest month in Colorado when the temperatures drop significantly across the state. Average lows dip below the freezing point, and average highs reach 49°F (9.4°C) in their peak. The Front Range cities, including Denver and Colorado Springs, tend to be warmer at this time of year. This happens thanks to Chinook winds that might bring temperatures of 70°F (21°C) and higher to the eastern areas of the state. Western Colorado is usually colder in winter, rarely getting above the freezing point. January brings abundant snowfalls in the Rockies, which makes for perfect skiing in places like Aspen. Short days and severely cold nights hint to find a warm and cozy place to stay. Besides occasional snowstorms, the days are mostly dry. Keep in mind that the Colorado climate is known for its microclimates ranging from a cold desert type in the south to alpine type up north. Moreover, due to the state’s topography, places within a few mile distances can experience entirely different weather.
Colorado weather in February
6.9/10 score
Good
0° average
average temperatures
5 mm
precipitation
6h 24m
daylight duration
Cold weather prevails in Colorado in February. Day temperatures hover slightly below and above the freezing point but rarely go above 55°F (12.8°C). In most areas, nights are cold and bitter. Mountainous territories experience alpine conditions with thick snow carpet on the slopes and roads, causing occasional road closures. February is an excellent time for skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling in the Colorado Rockies. The climate in the Eastern Plains in February is also cold and snowy. Sunny days are kind of rare, and so are snowstorms, but they tend to be severe. Even though humidity is low, the biting cold might surprise you. The lowest official air temperature was recorded at Maybell in northeast Colorado on February 1, 1985, which was −61 °F (−51.7 °C). So, pack warm and hope this year the record won’t be broken this year. Also, drive carefully on the icy roads of Colorado!
Colorado weather in March
7.4/10 score
Very good
5° average
average temperatures
5 mm
precipitation
6h 24m
daylight duration
Early spring in Colorado is rather cold, but daily temperatures start climbing up slowly and finally settling above freezing. Night temperatures are still bitterly cold, ensuring frosty mornings knocking on your window. Average highs and lows differ across the regions of Colorado, with eastern areas enjoying slightly warmer days. Most precipitation comes in the form of snow, and occasional rain turns into ice overnight. Western Colorado and the Rocky Mountains receive plenty of snow, thus, winter sports are in full swing. The Eastern Plains receive loads snow in March as well, but relatively little. March in Colorado is mostly dry with an average of 18 sunny days across the state. Bring warm clothes and join the (dark) cold side!
Colorado weather in April
8/10 score
Excellent
9° average
average temperatures
6 mm
precipitation
6h 24m
daylight duration
Spring is in full swing in April. Day temperatures a generally warm, while night temperatures might still drop slightly below freezing. Lower plateau regions see massive thawing in mid-April, while the ice caps stay intact on the mountaintops on higher altitudes. In some resorts, skiing season lasts well into April. As the snow starts to melt gradually, rivers and lakes revive with bubbling freshwater. April is the wettest month of the year in eastern areas of Colorado with frequent but brief rainstorms. The days get longer and sunnier, and nature awakens with blossoms and animals roaming in the wild.
Colorado weather in May
8.1/10 score
Excellent
13° average
average temperatures
6 mm
precipitation
6h 24m
daylight duration
In May days are long and sunny. The weather gets more T-shirt friendly, but consider bringing a jacket for colder days, especially if you plan some outdoor activities. Western areas of Colorado are colder, especially up in the mountains and arid zones, where night temperatures drop significantly after sunset. Denver receives lots of rains in May, but generally the east of the Continental Divide is warmer than the west. The number of sunny days in May increases to 20–22, yet be alert as thunderstorms strike unexpectedly. As the snow continues to melt, rivers offer excellent white water rafting experience.
Colorado weather in June
7.6/10 score
Very good
20° average
average temperatures
5 mm
precipitation
6h 24m
daylight duration
Summer finally kicks in, the temperatures are perfect for all sorts of outdoor activities, so it’s a great time to explore the natural beauty of Colorado. Average highs hover between 70°F (21.1°C) and 87°F (30.6°C), while the average lows are within the range of 35°F (1.7°C) to 55°F (12.8°C). Western regions of Colorado, including mountainous resorts like Aspen, register comfortably warm average temperatures, while eastern parts of Colorado around Pueblo and La Junta are relatively hot, reaching up to 87°F (30.6°C) on a sunny day. Long days bring ample sunshine to the state of Colorado, with most weeks promising good weather with short bursts of rain. The Eastern Plains are within the extreme western part of Tornado Alley; thus, summers in Colorado are prone to frequent thunderstorms and tornadoes. Thunderstorms are often accompanied by hail, so pack accordingly and plan a shelter for outdoor adventures.
Colorado weather in July
6.8/10 score
Good
23° average
average temperatures
5 mm
precipitation
6h 24m
daylight duration
Generally, July is labeled as the hottest month in Colorado. The peak summer weather is prevailing in the desert lands and the plains. The average high temperatures across the state range from 78°F (25.6°C) to 94°F (34.4°C). Some places experience even hotter days, and a thermometer showing some 95°F (35°C) for several consecutive days is a common occurrence. Temperatures change dramatically from the morning to the afternoon, so you might need to dress for two seasons in a day. In July, rain is scarce in Colorado, humidity rarely exceeds 50%, and long days with plenty of sunshine are the norm. However, always keep the infamous summer thunderstorms and hail hazard when planning your trip.
Colorado weather in August
7.2/10 score
Very good
22° average
average temperatures
5 mm
precipitation
6h 24m
daylight duration
Colorado’s August is notorious for brief afternoon thunderstorms, but they quickly make way for dry heat, especially down south on the plains and prairies. Average temperatures across the state range from 48°F (8.9°C) to 90°F (32.2°C). More than 20 days of clear skies promise ample sunshine throughout the month. The deserts and the plains experience sort of tropically high temperatures, while the foothills and mountainous areas have colder microclimates with chilly nights. Hot summer days might also bring hazards like wildfires and sudden thunderstorms, especially east of the Continental Divide. August is an excellent month for camping and stargazing as night skies are usually clear.
Colorado weather in September
7.9/10 score
Very good
18° average
average temperatures
5 mm
precipitation
6h 24m
daylight duration
Pleasant weather in September makes it one of the best seasons to visit Colorado. The scorching summer heat is gone, and evenings start to turn cooler by mid-September. The temperatures are moderate statewide, and by late September, Colorado dresses in the colorful cloak of autumn. The arrival of fall adorns usually dim landscapes with bright colors, and the scenery is mesmerizing with the snow-capped peaks in the backdrop. Comfortable temperatures, sunny and yet long enough days, and accessible mountain trails promise it to be a great time to explore the beauty of Colorado. Another perk of September is low precipitation across the state. Clear nights are ideas of camping and stargazing.
Colorado weather in October
8.2/10 score
Excellent
10° average
average temperatures
5 mm
precipitation
6h 24m
daylight duration
As the autumn season is in full swing, nights get colder, but days usually experience warm temperatures. In western areas of Colorado night temperatures might drop below freezing. Eastern parts of the state, including Denver and Colorado Springs, are generally warmer with more chances to go jacket-free. You still might want to pack a sweater or two to stay warm on a cold night. Fall foliage is in its full glory in early October, so if you would like to spot the palette of orange, red, and yellow hues, head to Aspen and other resorts in the Rocky Mountains. Starting from mid-October, high-altitude places like Aspen and Telluride register the first snow. Make sure to wear warm clothes, as the fall season in Colorado gets rather windy.
Colorado weather in November
7.6/10 score
Very good
4° average
average temperatures
5 mm
precipitation
6h 24m
daylight duration
The end of the autumn season in Colorado experiences a drop in temperatures across the state. The average highs are usually well above the freezing point, while the average lows dip well below it. Places in the Front Range area like Denver, Boulder, and Colorado Springs tend to be warmer than the western and mountainous destinations. In Aspen and other resorts in the Rockies, November means it’s time to change hiking boots for snowshoes. As fall gradually transitions into winter, the mountain ranges receive substantial snow. Cold fronts in November are common all over the state, including the far northwest and the south. The days are short, and the sunny ones count up to 20 per month. Late November is the time in Colorado when the winter sports enthusiasts prevail, and those unaccustomed to severe cold stay out of the state waiting for warmer spring days.
Colorado weather in December
6.9/10 score
Good
-1° average
average temperatures
4 mm
precipitation
6h 24m
daylight duration
In December, temperatures continue to drop statewide. The average high temperatures hover between 27°F (-2.8°C) to 45°F (7.2°C), and the average low temperatures dip well below the freezing point from -4°F (-20°C) to 23°F (-5°C) across Colorado. Eastern parts of the state usually promise warmer days than western areas, but nights are biting cold everywhere. Rain is close to zero, but snowfall is substantial, particularly in the mountainous regions of the state, which creates excellent conditions for skiing and snowboarding. At this time of year, days are short, with about 9.5 daylight hours. The skies are clear on about ten days in December, thus, the amount of sunshine is limited. Moreover, December is the month with the highest humidity (50-52%), which makes the cold to be perceived as stronger.