Unique ways to experience autumn leaves in the Pikes Peak region are endless. Whether by foot, car or another adventurous mode of transportation there's a way for everyone to enjoy this special season in the Rocky Mountains.
1. Leaf Peep From Your Car
Pikes Peak Highway
Take the trip up Pikes Peak Highway for a breath of fresh mountain air and breathtaking golden hues. Not only is the mountain drive enjoyable, the colors really make it worthwhile. Just wait until you get a chance to stand at the summit of America's Mountain - Pikes Peak and overlook the city.
Highway 67 Through Cripple Creek
Another route, Highway 67. These 71 miles of winding roads travel through various sections of southern Colorado - a must-stop is the historic mining town of Cripple Creek. Once there, a visit is warranted to the Cripple Creek Heritage Center, views from the windows are spectacular. Continue to the Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine surrounded by shades of orange and yellow. Head further down Highway 67 after leaving Cripple Creek and experience part of the Gold Belt Scenic Byway.
A great photo op includes a look through the quaking aspen-lined road of Rampart Range to Pikes Peak. This is an inspiring photo anytime, but at its height during the fall months of late September and early October. Pull up and park at the nearby Stanley and Rampart reservoirs for a water-reflected image. The next time the scenic route mentality strikes, you'll know exactly how to take the long way home.
Here are even more scenic drives in the Pikes Peak region.
2. Hike to See Fall Foliage By Foot
Best City Views
One of the best views of the entire city is at the top of our famous "fourteener" - Pikes Peak. Those wishing to build their leg muscles a bit can hike the 12.6 mile Barr Trail to the summit of Pikes Peak and overlook the golden hues of the City and the plains beyond. It's said on a clear day you can see Kansas. Make sure to wear layers and drink lots of water during your ascent.
Cheyenne Mountain State Park
Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy the afternoon in Cheyenne Mountain State Park, located in the southwest area of Colorado Springs. With miles and miles of hiking and biking trails, this is the perfect spot to have a bite and enjoy the scenery. If you'd prefer to include some environmental education in your hike, take part in one of the programs offered by the Cheyenne Mountain State Park staff such as a full moon hike or morning bird walk.
Mueller State Park
Another area state park with aspens that glitter - Mueller State Park in Teller County, halfway between Colorado Springs and Cripple Creek. With more miles of trails and a perfect opportunity to view native wildlife this is another great walking or hiking area for the fall season. Continuing on to Cripple Creek, just 45 minutes east of Colorado Springs, trek across the Vindicator Hiking Trail. The two-mile loop offers access to Vindicator Valley and passes through various mining sites along the way.
Find other great hikes to view the aspens here.
3. See Fall Colors By Train
Relax and take in the beautiful scenery while riding on one of the area's trains and railways. The Cripple Creek & Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad is a four-mile round-trip ride through one of the region's best places to enjoy the changing of the leaves.
4. Go for Adventurous Fall Views
Those who seek adventure often find themselves in the Pikes Peak region, surrounded by the Rocky Mountains, rolling plains, nearby Arkansas River and a huge array of outdoor recreation opportunities. Here are some really unique ways to experience the color of fall in our area.
The great thing about these tours offered by Adventures Out West, you decide where you want to take your tour - whether it's Garden of the Gods Park, The Broadmoor, or Downtown Colorado Springs. If you'd prefer to sit, jeep tours are also available.
Hot Air Balloon Rides
If a bird's eye view is something that sounds enticing, how about taking the trip - UP? Nestle into the basket of a hot air balloon provided by Colorado Hot Air Balloon Rides or High But Dry Balloons and look down on the region with a whole new perspective.
Pikes Peak offers some of the best leaf viewing in the area. You can actually bike down the mountain with Challenge Unlimited or Pikes Peak Mountain Bike Tours.