Denver Fall Day Trips
Fall is the perfect time of year to hop in the car and explore some of the Denver area's greatest treasures. Enjoy the crisp air, the changing colors, and unique attractions that make this season a favorite among locals.
Corn Maze at Chatfield
Open every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday [2014 dates TBD] www.botanicgardens.org/corn-maze
Your kids will absolutely love Chatfield’s incredible Corn Maze, one of the most attended mazes in the country. Boasting 12-foot stalks of corn, this year’s maze will include so many twists and turns that it will be the most challenging one yet! The maze will include two illuminated observation bridges that provide a bird’s eye view to help you navigate. Kids under 10 should check out the free mini maze and a corn box to roll around in. Barrel train and hay rides will be available on select weekends. For teenagers and adults, there’s a winding haunted trail and haunted house that is sure to send chills down your spine. It’s a can’t-miss fall event! Colorado’s Fall Colors
Various Front Range Scenic Byways www.denver.org/what-to-do/colorado-day-trips/fall-foliage
Fall in Colorado isn’t complete without taking in the brilliant transformation of the state’s signature tree, the Aspen. The fall change from mellow green to stunning gold takes place during various weeks in September, depending on where you are – since the color only lasts a week, timing is everything! One of the best leaf-peeping routes on the Rocky Mountain Front Range is the Peak-to-Peak Scenic and Historic Byway that travels the high-altitude road between Black Hawk and Estes Park. Virtually every way you look, you’ll see majestic Aspen colors. Another great Front Range ride is along the Guanella Pass Scenic and Historic Byway, just south of the historic town of Georgetown. Bunches of blazing Aspen can be found all over this incredible drive. Rocky Mountain National Park
1000 US Hwy. 36, Estes www.nps.gov/romo
Throughout its 416 square miles of raw, untainted wilderness, Rocky Mountain National Park truly is magnificent in the fall season. It’s a great time to explore everything this unique national treasure has to offer, from unforgettable hikes, spectacular vistas and of course incredible wildlife. Look for elk in meadows and where meadow and forest meet. Elk spend much of their time at or above treeline during the summer, moving to lower elevations in the fall. The best times to catch a glimpse of these magnificent animals are at dawn or dusk. Also don’t miss Trail Ridge Road, the highest continuous highway in the world crossing the Continental Divide at over two miles above sea level. The park has two information centers, hundreds of miles of hiking trails, tranquil lakes, waterfalls, wildlife and horseback riding. Estes Park is a resort town on the edge of the park with restaurants and shops. Central City and Black Hawk
271 Gregory St., Black Hawk
Head for the hills and check out all the fun Central City and Blackhawk have to offer. Once called the “Richest Square Mile on Earth”, Central City and Black Hawk are two historic old mining towns from the 1870s that have come alive in recent years. Located 34 miles (55km) west of Denver, the two towns offer more than 30 casinos with over 10,000 slot machines, blackjack tables and poker games. The stakes in Black Hawk have been raised recently – betting limits are now $100, craps and roulette tables have been added and casinos will be open around the clock. In other words, a fun mountain town just got a lot more fun. The two cities are also known for having some of the best-preserved Victorian architecture in the West. Other attractions include the Teller House Hotel where President Grant once stayed and the Central City Opera House, which still features an outstanding summer season of opera. There are mine tours, mining museums and several places offering instruction in the fine art of gold panning in streams where a half billion dollars of the coveted, shiny metal was found. Colorado State Parks http://parks.state.co.us
To put it lightly, Denver’s backyard is pretty impressive. Colorado’s state parks – 41 in all – offer some of the greatest outdoor recreation in all of the U.S. Camping, fishing, hiking, rock climbing, water sports – it’s all here along with much more, often just a short drive from Downtown Denver. Take some time this summer to check out at least a few of these amazing natural wonders.