As the Aspens begin to change into their vibrant colors throughout Colorado, it attracts visitors from all around to see the changing of the season. Only 35 minutes from Denver and nestled in the Rocky Mountains, Idaho Springs offers plenty of unique ways to enjoy the Fall foliage.
Image courtesy of wilderness.org
When enjoying the changing leaves on a mountain trail in Colorado, be prepared for the unexpected. From overnight cold fronts to animals preparing to enter hibernation. Here are some tips to keep in mind while hiking through Colorado, and some of my personal favorite trails.
Bring multiple layers– If you feel chilly before you begin your day add 2 layers. Adding layers will keep you warm, you can always take off layers as needed.
Water– Always bring two full 32oz water bottles/canteens with you. Having water handy helps with altitude sickness and staying hydrated.
Communication– Always let someone know where you will be hiking and who you are with. Also, give a location and time you are expected to be back.
Wildlife- This time of year, be aware that wildlife are entering stages of rut (or mating) and/or hibernation. So, they tend to be more aggressive and territorial. You’ll want to keep your distance and avoid any confrontation. Keep these tips in mind:
- Bear & Mountain Lion
- Stand your ground
- Loud Noises
- Walk backwards away slowly, never run
- Deer, Elk, Mountain Goats
- Read body language (if there is a hoof stomp or grunt)
- Walk back (slowly never turn back toward animal)
Best Fall hikes – Some of my favorite hikes during the fall season to experience the beautiful autumn colors are: Silverdale Trailhead, Mount Evans, Mount Bierstadt, and hiking around Georgetown lake.
Get a bird’s eye view of Colorado’s finest foliage with Arkansas Valley Adventures (AVA) via ferrata and zipline, only minutes from the town of Idaho Springs.
The Mount Evans Via Ferrata is a mountaineering adventure in which you scale about 300 ft above Idaho Springs and Chicago Creek. Traversing the Via Ferrata is much like horizontal rock climbing mixed with a ropes course on the landscape surrounding Idaho springs. Since this is a unique type of rock-climbing adventure all participants must be at least 12 years old and weigh less than 250lbs.
The Cliffside Zipline is different from most zip lining courses in Colorado, mainly due to the amount of zips included and the landscape it travels through. There are six total ziplines, stretching nearly a half mile, each with spectacular views of the Idaho Springs and Chicago Creek area. The requirements for this adventure are a minimum age of 6 years old with a weight maximum of 250lbs.
You can immerse yourself in the mid to the late 19th century while riding on the Georgetown Loop Railroad, a scenic and unique experience on its own. What makes this one of the unique ways to see the fall foliage is that you will be enjoying a train ride powered by a steam engine much like traveling in the 1800’s. You’ll also visit areas of the mountains that can’t be found by car. The massive steam engines thunder along the tracks and allow for some of the most breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains and the fall foliage near the Continental Divide.
Image courtesy of visitclearcreak.com
Some of the best scenic drives to see the leaves changing are off the beaten path, here are some of the most recommended scenic drives.
- Mount Evans Scenic and Historic Byway
- Guanella Pass
- Oh My God Road (Idaho Springs)
- Loveland Pass
- Independence Pass
- Swan Mountain Pass (Dillion)
Enjoy the Autumnal solstice in Colorado with many activities that offer breathtaking and unique experiences sure to last a lifetime or start a new family tradition. Feel free to book your aerial adventure through www.coloradozipline.net or call 1-877-RAFTING.