by Nick Clement
on Wednesday, September 19th, 2018 at 10:35am.
Top Fall Foliage Viewing Near Colorado Springs
Fall is an incredible time to be outside in Colorado.
With the cooling temperatures and absolutely amazing views, this time of year is our favorite by far! Here is our list of destination near Colorado Springs that have a diverse landscape so you can be sure to catch a glimpse of the changing Colors.
There is a reason Pikes Peak is "America's Mountain" and it is not only because America the Beautiful was written on the summit by Katharine Lee Bates in 1893. The reasons are endless but one of them is the way the mountain comes to life this time of year. You will find plenty of changing aspens along Pikes Peak Highway within the large tracks of coniferous forests, however, keep in mind Aspens only grow to a certain level around 10 to 11,000 ft in elevation. So if you plan to go to the summit know that the colors will be more prevalent at the lower reaches of the highway.
The Gold Belt Scenic Byway is an incredible route west of Colorado Springs that heads through some pretty awesome terrain that is sure to have plenty of foliage. The Byway head through famous places like Phantom Canyon Road, Shelf Road, and Cripple Creek and even to the High Park Road which will take you through the Arkansas Valley. The byway can be accessed from Colorado Springs by either taking Highway 24 north where you will see incredible views of Pikes Peak or from Colorado Springs you can head south on Highway 115 to Highway 50 which will take you to Canon City.
Wilkerson Pass is a high mountain pass west of Colorado Springs. The drive to Wilkerson Pass is about 60 minutes and the cool thing about Wilkerson Pass is that there is a fairly new visitor's center complete with information and volunteers that can help answer your questions. Along the pass, you will see plenty of fall foliage from the road but if you really want to see large tracks of Aspens you can head across South Park to Weston Pass (dirt road) area where there are also plenty of Aspens trees within view.
Silver Thread Scenic Byway is one of the least visiting areas in Colorado. It is rare to see a lot of people along the South Fork of the Rio Grande near South Fork and up to Lake City. This area is really cool for so many reasons but it is nice not to feel crowded when you are exploring the outdoors! We love fly fishing in the Rio Grand River and this time of year is super special in this area as there are a lot of aspens and the San Juan Mountains in the Rio Grande Grande National Forest have a very distinct and dramatic look to them. You will know what we are talking about when you witness them yourself.
Kenosha Pass is located in the north side of South Park and in Pike National Forest. The area is super accessible as the pass is paved and there are plenty of things to do in this area. The Colorado Trail crosses the Highway on top of the pass and it is likely you will see Rocky Mountain Elk, Pronghorn and Mule deer in the area.
Mueller State Park is mostly coniferous forest but there are plenty of aspens mixed in the provide some awesome foliage viewing. The cool thing about Mueller State Park is that it is only about a 30 minute drive from Colorado Springs and there is some awesome hiking, camping and fishing in the park!
Poncha Pass, in the Rio Grande National Forest, is a paved high mountain valley that heads from Salida and the Arkansas River Valley up and over to the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and San Luis Valley. There are a ton of aspens on and around this pass so you will be sure to find a lot of changing colors.