Every fall, people from all over the globe flock to forested areas to view the splendorous sight of fall foliage shedding their chlorophyll green hue and revealing their true colors. An exceptional event, these leaf peepers must plan their trips perfectly. The magical transformation of leaves turning from green to red, yellow, and orange is quick—it can be as short as three to five days—and only happens when conditions align seamlessly—not too much rain and enough sun. Here, we’re calling out the top leaf-peeping destinations so you can have the ultimate fall foliage experience.
To fully surround yourself in a land of leaves, head to the Maroon Bells southwest of Aspen. Highly photographed, these mountains showcase a majestic display of fall foliage. We recommend arriving early, as its beauty attracts many people, making it a popular place to capture your next wallpaper photo. To get the best views, choose one of the following ways:
- By foot: Select a trail and savor the most fantastic fall foliage walk.
- By bicycle: Rent a bike for the day and enjoy riding on trails like the Rio Grande trail, Maroon Bells, or, for experts, the Independence Pass.
- By car: Take a scenic drive and feel the cool breeze while viewing Colorado’s best fall foliage.
- By water: Kayak on the Roaring Fork or Colorado River to immerse yourself in the colors of autumn via water.
Trees that wow: Blue Spruce, Douglas Fir, Narrowleaf Cottonwood, Quaking Aspen
Colors to behold: Greenish-blue, forest green, mustard yellow, bright yellow
When to go: Third or fourth week of September