It’s that time of year again – summer is coming to a close, kids are heading back to school, and it’s time to start thinking about trading in the shorts and flip flops for flannels and boots.
Northern Colorado is a wonderful place to be at any time of year, but there’s something extra special about the Fall season. The weather is perfect, the scenery is spectacular with fall foliage as far as the eye can see, and there are tons of fun events and activities throughout the region for the whole family to enjoy.
Whether you’re new to the Front Range, or simply looking for new ideas to enjoy all that the Rocky Mountain State has to offer, here are our top tips for things to do in Northern Colorado this fall.
Enjoy the fall colors.
Of course, we have to start with leaf-peeping. Colorado has, without a doubt, some of the best fall foliage in the country thanks to its many Aspen groves. The best time to see fall colors typically runs from the last week in September to the second week in October. Just a short 45-minute drive from Fort Collins is Rocky Mountain National Park, which is one of the best places to marvel at the dazzling orange, yellow and red Aspen groves as you wind your way through the mountains. Other top leaf peeping locations include:
Go hiking and camping.
Fall is the perfect time of year to go hiking and camping in and around Northern Colorado. The weather is comfortable and dry during the day, and crisp enough at night to cozy up next to the campfire. Some of our favorite camping spots are Horsetooth Reservoir in Fort Collins, Rocky Mountain State Park and Lory State Park, among others.
Crack open a seasonal brew.
Northern Colorado is a mecca for craft beer, with more than 20 (and counting) breweries in the region. As the leaves start to change, breweries create new beers incorporating seasonal flavors, from Oktoberfest-inspired ales to pumpkin spiced lagers. Not sure where to start? New Belgium Brewery and Odell Brewing Co. are two favorites known for releasing seasonal brews in the fall, and here’s a map of additional breweries in Northern Colorado from which to choose.
Unleash your inner child (or real-life child) at a pumpkin patch or corn maze.
Kids of all ages will love going to one of Northern Colorado’s local farms to pick out their own pumpkin to carve this Halloween. The Bartel’s Farm and Jack Lantern’s Corn Maze are two local favorites offering a huge selection of pumpkins, along with corn mazes and hay rides.
Get spooky at Colorado’s most haunted house.
Along with Fall comes Halloween, and one of the best places to get in the Halloween spirit is at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park. Known as one of Colorado’s most haunted places, The Stanley Hotel is more than 100 years old, and was the source of inspiration behind Stephen King’s “The Shining.” And if you’re feeling especially brave, the hotel offers nighttime ‘Spirit Tours’ that will take you to some of the property’s most haunted areas.
Attend a fall festival.
There are several can’t-miss Fall events in Northern Colorado. FORToberfest is a fall festival in Fort Collins that takes place in September, and showcases the city’s dynamic music scene, vibrant brewing industry, and love for biking. Sip on a seasonal brew while you listen to live music in Old Town, and enjoy local art, food, and bike vendors throughout the day.