Best time to travel to Colorado Springs, CO

Fall Colors in Colorado Springs, CO

Southern Colorado is a fall foliage heaven

Fall Colors
Fall Colors
Fall Colors
Fall Colors
Fall Colors
Autumn at Mueller State Park

Located at the eastern foot of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado Springs boasts an abundance of scenic trails thanks to the mountainous Pikes Peak Region and the iconic Garden of the Gods Park with 300 towering sandstone rock formations. Fall is one of the best seasons to visit the area with all the vibrant colors that come from oaks, cottonwoods, and especially quaking aspens.

Best time to see fall colors in Colorado Springs

Fall comes quite early to Colorado Springs due to its high elevation (6,035 ft or 1840 m). Trees begin to change colors in mid-September, starting from the mountains and spreading to lower elevations. Peak fall foliage time usually lasts from the last week of September through the first week of October. By mid-October, fall colors move to lower areas, while trees on higher elevations have already shed their leaves.

Best places to see fall foliage near Colorado Springs

Garden of the Gods is a hiker's paradise with over 20 mi (32 km) of trails, many of them paved. Lush aspen groves are particularly impressive in North Cheyenne Canyon, where multiple trails will help you appreciate quintessential Rocky Mountains fall landscapess. If you don't like walking, take a guided Segway tour through Garden of the Gods landmarks.

A warm fall day is a perfect time for a scenic hike through the dense forest. Just west of Colorado Springs, you can find the 1,729 sq mi (4,478 sq km) Pike National Forest. Mueller State Park is another famous leaf-peeping destination that covers around 5,000 ac (2,023 ha). Take a scenic 5 mi (8 km) Cheesman Ranch Trail through the forest consisting of aspens and evergreen, perfect for fall photography.

Quail Lake is the easiest way to get to nature while you are in the city. Located in the southern part of Colorado Springs, Quail Lake Park is a great place for kayaking or biking. The mountain vistas from the east side of the lake complement water reflections, which are especially scenic when framed with golden leaves.

Scenic Drives

Highway 67 is one of Colorado's most scenic roads, especially during autumn. A 71 mi (114 km) highway goes through the eastern part of Pike National Forest. Woodland Park, known as The City Above the Clouds, is a historic mining town in Cripple Creek and the mountain town of Divide.

To fully enjoy fall high mountain air, take the 19 mi (30 km) Pikes Peak Highway, a paved road that runs to Pikes Peak Summit, called America's Mountain. Many scenic overlooks await you along the way. For more adventurous drivers, Gold Camp Road will guarantee some adrenaline. The dirt road, running along the former railways from Colorado Springs to Cripple Creek, features spectacular fall foliage displays, but you need a 4WD vehicle to overcome its rugged terrain.

Practical info

When is the best time to see fall colors in Colorado Springs, CO?

The fall foliage season in Colorado Springs is between mid-September and mid-October due to the city's high elevation. The changing of colors starts at higher altitudes and typically peaks between the last week of September and the first week of October. However, visitors can still witness vibrant colors in lower altitudes by mid-October. Show more

Where are the best places to see fall foliage near Colorado Springs?

Tourists visiting the Colorado Springs area during the fall can find spectacular autumn colors at various locations. For example, Garden of the Gods park is ideal for hikers, and Segway tours are available for those who want a guided experience. Other alternatives include North Cheyenne Canyon, Pike National Forest, Mueller State Park, and Quail Lake, known for their scenic trails, biking, and water activities. Show more

What are some scenic drives in Colorado Springs during fall?

Fall drives are an ideal way to experience the beautiful autumnal color display around Colorado Springs. Two scenic routes that provide stunning views of the region's Fall foliage are Highway 67, which runs through Pike National Forest, Woodland Park, Divide, and Cripple Creek, offering many overlooks. The other route is Pikes Peak Highway, which features a 19-mile stretch of paved road to reach America's Mountain. Gold Camp Road is also popular among drivers but requires a 4WD to access. Show more

When do the trees start changing colors in Colorado Springs?

As a consequence of its high elevation, trees begin transitioning colors in Colorado Springs as early as mid-September, beginning at higher elevations and gradually working lower. The leaves typically start changing colors at their peak during late September and early October. By mid-October, the leaves on higher elevations will have already fallen, whereas trees in lower altitudes will still be sporting gorgeous colors. Show more

What is the elevation of Colorado Springs?

Colorado Springs, CO's altitude is 6,035 ft (1840 m), causing the change in foliage to begin as early as mid-September. Higher elevations start changing color first, reaching their peak during late September and early October, while lower altitudes still have vibrant colors as the month proceeds. Therefore, the best time frame to visit Colorado Springs and observe the vibrant fall foliage is from late September to early October. Show more

Ask a question
Last updated: by Olga Valchyshen