Where To See Golden Aspens In Colorado
Chasing Rocky Mountain Gold
this fall time tradition should be at the top of everyone’s bucketlist….
There are few things better than fresh fall air in the mountains. I may be bias growing up here in Colorado, but nothing is better than the Aspen leaves changing for fall. The typical Golden season is just in September, so as soon as you have a free moment go - and if you'll miss this season add it to your bucketlist, because this beauty deserves to be seen.
Check out four of the best places to see the leaves change below!
While this may be a very popular choice by many, there's a reason. Kenosha Pass has lots of trails, camping, fresh mountain air and of course beautiful Aspens. You can choose the right or left side of the highway for entry into the trails. When facing west Kenosha trail and camping is on the left hand side and the Colorado trail is on the right.
Both trails have lots of Aspens, but I found the Colorado trial was more scenic. You were given beautiful views of South Park and can connect to tons of other hikes from here. We happily turned around instead of finishing the full loop so we could check out Kenosha side.
Kenosha trail was also beautiful, but I liked Colorado better. Kenosha trail was more trafficked and you have to walk further to be in the trees.
How to get here: To get to Kenosha Pass you will take highway 285 past Bailey and park on the large pull offs on either side of the road on Kenosha Pass. Here you can follow which ever trailhead you choose.
Address: Kenosha Pass Colorado 80456
2. GUANELLA PASS
Guanella Pass is arguably one of the most beautiful drives during fall in Colorado. With amazing lookouts of the Rocky Mountain Gold at almost every turn you will quickly see why. While it is also higher on the popularity list, it's completely worth it. Go early in the morning or during the week to avoid traffic.
There is also plenty of places to pull over and jump on a trail or take a stunning picture. There is a designated parking lot where you can see amazing groves of Aspens like this! It's so beautiful to see them up close so stop and walk around when ever you can!
You will also pass by Denvers own Drinking water! These beautiful lakes provide our city with the freshest mountain water you can find. You'll see them all from your window, but there is a few spots you can park and really take it in!
How to get here: Guanella Pass is it's own road between Bailey and Idaho Springs. You can access it from 285 and there is plenty of signs pointing you to the right spot.
Address: Guanella Pass Colorado 80435
3. MERIDIAN COLORADO
If you are looking for a quite mountain escape to the most beautiful Aspens, then head straight for Meridian Colorado. This area is less known which means way less crowds! We choose the Meridian trail, but only did 4.5 of the 6.5 miles round trip. While there may not be tons of lookouts the Golden Aspens sure make up for it.
About 2 miles into the trail you will be faced with the most magical grove of Aspens. There are hundreds of Golden Aspens lining the trail. We stayed here for about 20 min just taking it all in. I will warn you that because this trail is less known, it is also less marked! Staying on the trail can be tricky, but just always pay attention to your surrounding and follow the dirt path.
You will see few others on the trail giving you some well deserved 1-on-1 with the Golden beauty's. Bring lots of water and some snacks because this elevation will surly give you a workout!
How to get here: I found the best directions here but you will be turning down a dirt road called Prospect. Follow for about one mile before parking in the lot.
Address: Meridian Trail Bailey, CO 80421
4. squaw pass
Squwa Pass is great for any adventure level! With scenic drives, tons of trails, and explorable fields it's a great spot for everyone! You can choose to pull off on epic lookouts or head out to stunning groves.
We choose to do some small walks and check out view points along our scenic drive. There are tons of spots to get up close to the Aspens without breaking a sweat! Depending on when you go, you might even be treated by the famous orangey-golden leaves!
I love this Pass because you still get stunning views of the mountains and ribbons of Rocky Mountain Gold. Take advantage of any pull off you see - I promise it's worth it!
How to get here: Squaw Pass is located off I-70 near Evergreen. There is plenty of signs to lead you here as well.
Address: Squaw Pass Rd Colorado