If winter is Colorado’s signature season, fall is a close second. The mountainsides transform into a stunning canvas of golden aspens, the weather is near perfect, and Halloween and Thanksgiving make it a celebratory season full of family and delicious food. The Pikes Peak Region that encompasses Colorado Springs boasts especially beautiful scenery and is known for its variety of outdoor recreation opportunities. There are truly endless ways to enjoy Colorado’s golden hour in the Pikes Peak Region; whether you enjoy cycling, hiking, hot air balloons, or scenic drives, here are just 10 of the most unique and enjoyable ways to enjoy the Pikes Peak Region foliage this fall season. Presented by Visit Colorado Springs.
1. Drive the Gold Belt Scenic Byway
Drive the Gold Belt Tour, a Colorado Scenic and Historic Byway and a National Scenic Byway, and retrace the travel routes connecting the Cripple Creek and Victor Mining District, site of the world’s largest gold rush. Today, the communities of the Gold Belt Tour, including Florence, Cañon City, and Florissant, invite you to experience the rich local heritage as you follow the “Roads to Riches.” The Gold Belt Tour is located in southern Colorado, just one hour from Colorado Springs. Each of the roads offers distinct scenery ranging from rolling mountain parklands to deep rocky canyons. For more information, visit goldbeltbyway.com.
2. Hike Victor Mining District
Thousands struck with gold fever made their way to the southwest side of Pikes Peak in the 1890s. Most of them walked or rode horses, and though their journey was tough, their goal was to reach the Cripple Creek & Victor Mining District where gold seemed to be pouring out from the mountainsides. Today, hikers can enjoy a series of trails that lead through the mining district that made this area famous during the Pikes Peak or Bust Gold Rush. For more information, visit victorcolorado.com.
3. Colorado Fall Foliage Jeep Tour
If you’re visiting from out of town or are looking to learn more about Pikes Peak region history while enjoying the fall foliage, take a day trip on a Jeep tour led by an expert guide. The tour travels through Cañon City, Victor, Cripple Creek, and beyond. You’ll come away with not only incredible photos but also a unique insight into the historic development of the Pikes Peak region. For more information, visit, coloradojeeptours.com.
4. Camping in Mueller State Park
Mueller State Park has over 5,000 acres of meadows, forest, and parkland for visitors to enjoy in all seasons. For a beautiful weekend getaway, head to this picturesque destination with your family and your camping supplies to enjoy hiking, fishing, and a little solitude. For more information, visit cpw.state.co.us.
5. Archery in Cheyenne Mountain State Park
For a unique family outing, head to Cheyenne Mountain State Park to practice your archery skills on their newly designed range. The combination of the mountain scenery and a little friendly competition will make this adventure one of the most memorable of the fall season. For more information, visit cpw.state.co.us.
6. Cycle Pikes Peak Highway
“America’s Mountain” is the crown jewel of the Pikes Peak region. This 14,115-foot peak offers unmatched views, wildlife viewing, and at the summit, you can find the highest doughnut shop in the country. For a thrill and a big gulp of mountain air, descend the mountain on two wheels. You’ll pass through five ecological zones and experience the beauty of fall’s golden aspen leaves.
7. Fall Helicopter or Plane Tour
Get a true bird’s eye view of the Pikes Peak Region in all its Autumn glory with a Royal Gorge Helicopter Tour. The company has been providing thrills since 1989, and it offers a special fall colors tour that explores the rugged western slope of Pikes Peak. For more information, visit royalgorgehelitours.org.
8. Hot Air Balloon Ride
An epic Colorado sunrise is made that much more incredible when seen through golden hues of the fall aspen trees and from a hot air balloon. The quiet tranquility of the ride high above the bustling city won’t be a memory that you’ll soon forget. Just remember to bring your camera! For more information, visit visitcos.com.
9. Rides on the Ranch
Discover the beauty of Pike National Forest on horseback with seasoned guides at one of the area’s stunning dude and guest ranches. You’ll get to explore hidden spots that you might miss on foot on a half or full day ride. For more information, visit visitcos.com.
10. Rock Climb in Garden of the Gods Park
Colorado Springs’ Garden of the Gods is consistently rated as TripAdvisor’s Best City Park. As soon as you drive past, you’ll understand why. Giant red rock geologic formations dot this stunning landscape, and the fall colors bring an extra element of beauty to the park. In addition to being a great sightseeing attraction, it’s also one of the most interesting places to rock climb in the Pikes Peak Region. For more information, visit visitcos.com.