Best time to travel to Denver

Squaw Pass Fall Colors in Denver 2024

A scenic drive through the Mount Evans Wilderness

Best time: mid-September

Squaw Pass Fall Colors
Squaw Pass Fall Colors
Squaw Pass Fall Colors
Squaw Pass

Squaw Pass is a high mountain road, located in Clear Creek County within less than one-hour drive from Denver. The pass, which boasts an elevation of 9,790 ft (2.984 m), is surrounded by the picturesque Arapaho National Forest. The 30-mi (45-km) road starts in Evergreen and ends in Idaho Springs. It's also known as Mestaa’Ėhehe Pass. This name commemorates Owl Woman, a translator of the Cheyenne tribe.

Beautiful fall foliage can be viewed at Squaw Pass from mid-September to late September. The road, which is also marked as CO 103 highway, can be used year-round. However, the nearby scenic Mount Evans Byway closes in October. Squaw Pass road is paved and is very steep, having an 8% gradient at some points.

Hiking is the best way to experience fall colors at Squaw Pass and Mount Evans Wilderness. You can stop by the scenic Echo Lake to enjoy some spectacular views. Echo Lake Campground closes in early September, but West Chicago Creek Campground and some dispersed camping sites north of Echo Lake stay open until the end of September.

Practical info

When does the foliage at Squaw Pass in Denver become most colorful?

Viewing the Squaw Pass fall foliage in Denver is best from mid-September to late September, after which the colors may become less vivid. This period is ideal for visitors to witness the beautiful and serene Arapaho National Forest surrounding the area burst into a colorful array of fall foliage. The Mount Evans Byway and some campgrounds may close after September due to winter weather conditions. Show more

What is Squaw Pass, where is it located, and at what elevation?

Squaw Pass, also known as Mestaa’Ėhehe Pass, located in Clear Creek County, Colorado is a high mountain pass boasting an elevation of 9,790 ft (2.984 m). Squaw Pass is less than one-hour drive from Denver, Colorado, and is encompassed by the picturesque Arapaho National Forest. This scenic destination is perfect for acclaimed nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. Show more

Is Squaw Pass road closed during winter?

Squaw Pass road is open the entire year. However, the nearby Mount Evans Byway closes down in October and remains that way during winter due to severe weather conditions. Safe driving is recommended when navigating the paved road that becomes steep, having an 8% gradient at some points. The road has some sharp narrow corners and steep drops, making it perfect for adventurers, proficient hikers, motorcycles, and bicycles. Show more

What steepness can be expected when traveling on Squaw Pass road?

Squaw Pass road is a paved road with some steep segments that have an 8% gradient. This roadway usually necessitates extra caution from motorists due to its gradient. The road runs through some sharp and narrow bends, and some steep drops make it a desirable destination for motorcycles, bicycles, adventurers and experienced hikers. Show more

Are Squaw Pass campgrounds available during fall?

Some Squaw Pass campgrounds are available during the fall. Echo Lake Campground, for instance, closes in early September, whereas West Chicago Creek Campground, located north of Echo Lake, remains open until the end of September. Dispersed camping sites are also available at this time. Nevertheless, harsh winter weather conditions often make camping difficult, so visitors should verify conditions before continuing with camping plans. Show more

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