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Wondering what to do during fall in Denver? You’re in the right place. And you’ll be happy to know the best time to go to Denver is in the fall!
We’ve lived in the Mile High City for a few years and can vouch that fall in Denver is truly unlike any other season. The tourists tend to go more to the mountains during this time, leaving the city mostly to the locals who live there.
The weather is cool and comfortable, the leaves are changing color, and there’s so much to do. Whether you’re looking for free activities or you don’t mind doing something paid, there’s something on this list for you.
While you could do popular things like catching the sunrise at Red Rocks or going to the Denver Art Museum, we’ve rounded up unique activities. Here are 13 things to do during the fall in Denver!
Fall in Denver
Go on a hike
One great thing to do during fall in Denver is going for a hike! Now, there are some hikes in Denver, but there are also many hikes near Denver, too, where you can hike if you’re up for a short drive.
The weather is perfect for being outdoors, and there are so many beautiful trails to explore – making this one of the best fall activities near Denver.
A few of our favorites include the Emerald Lake Trail and Lake Haiyaha Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park as well as St. Mary’s Glacier near Idaho Springs. These are both within 2 hours of Denver.
Fall is also a great time to visit Rocky Mountain National Park – the leaves are changing color, and the air is crisp and fresh. Leaf peeping here is essential. Whatever trail you choose, be sure to pack plenty of water and snacks and enjoy your fall hike!
Just because fall isn’t as busy as summer in these places, you’ll still want to start your hike fairly early. Rocky Mountain National Park also still requires a timed entry permit until mid-October.
Road trip to see fall foliage
Now, you can get some decent fall foliage in Denver by heading to places like City Park, but truly, the best way to see fall colors is by going on a short road trip. Now, Denver is truly in a prime spot to see nearby parks and go on road trips!
The leaves on the trees changing color in Colorado is a beautiful sight, and that’s saying a lot because I’m originally from New England. I grew up with some of the most breathtaking fall colors in the USA!
There are many places to go to see the fall foliage in Denver. Some of these places include:
Rocky Mountain National Park: The Rocky Mountain National Park is a great place to see the fall foliage.
The park has many different hiking trails that you can take to see the leaves up close, but if Trail Ridge Road (the highest paved road) is still open during your visit, then that’s a great way to see it, too.
The Denver Botanic Gardens: The Denver Botanic Gardens is another great place to see the fall foliage.
The gardens have many different flowers and trees that change color in the fall, and it’s a very peaceful area where you can walk around and just enjoy the scenery.
Cherry Creek State Park: Cherry Creek State Park is a great place to go for a walk or a bike ride and see the fall foliage. There are many great paths around that you can enjoy, and the trees are beautiful here.
The Denver Zoo: The Denver Zoo is also a great place to see fall foliage. The zoo has many different animals that you can check out while enjoying the fall colors of City Park. There’s also a pretty good skyline view here too!
There are many other great places to see the fall foliage in Denver, though, if you just look for them. These are just a few of the places that you can go to see the leaves changing color.
Partake in a haunted Denver tour
If you’re up to do some creepy stuff, consider going on a haunted Denver tour. There are many different ones that can be found hosted by local tour guides, and they’re all pretty interesting. Some focus on ghosts, while others focus on other paranormal happenings.
One such tour you could consider doing is the Dark Side of Denver Ghost Tours. They host a variety of different tours, ranging from ones taking place in Cheesman Park, Capital Hill, and more. Plus, prices are around $20.
The Twilight Ghost Tour in particular is one that’s pretty interesting. It’s about 2 hours long and is available for kids age 6 and up. It’s one of their more popular ghost tours, and along the way, guests will hear great stories about scandals and the paranormal.
Of course, Denver has its own Oktoberfest, and it’s always a great time!
There is plenty of beer and bratwurst to go around, as well as live music and other entertainment. There’s always a beer hall as well as fun events like the costume contest, keg bowling, and competitive stein hosting (yes, you read that right!).
This is a two-weekend festival and has been hosted in the city ever since 1969. Keep in mind that even though it’s Oktoberfest, it normally takes place at the tail end of September.
If you’re looking for a fun way to celebrate fall in Denver, be sure to check out Oktoberfest!
Visit a pumpkin patch
Believe it or not, but there are quite a few pumpkin patches near Denver and what better way to ring in the fall time of year than by finding a pumpkin to carve at a patch?
Each of the pumpkin patches has different types of fun activities to enjoy, ranging from corn mazes to hay rides and even fun apple cider to sip on. No matter what pumpkin path you visit, you’re sure to have a fun time partaking in fall activities.
Here are a few great pumpkin patches to choose from in the Denver area:
Enjoy fall flavors at Great Divide Brewing Co
With so many breweries in Denver, it can be hard to choose which to go from. Well, we’re here to let you know that Great Divide Brewing Co is one of the best because they have some great fall flavors!
There are four different locations in the Denver area, but the one in RiNo is the one you’ll want to visit. It has great skyline views and features a taproom as well as daily tours.
In the fall, some of their flavors include Pumpkin Ale, Pumpkin Spice Yeti, and more. There’s nothing better than a pumpkin-flavored drink in the fall!
If beer isn’t your thing, consider stopping by Stem Ciders, which is also in RiNo. They have amazing ciders, and their flights are a great way to try out some flavors, especially as a first-time visitor.
Get spooky at Elitch Gardens’ Fright Fest
The amusement park is normally open just on weekends in October, and the kid rides close around 6 p.m. as more adults come for the frights that the night brings.
During this event, guests can enjoy fun rides in the dark, and there are also always some haunted rides, too, which will totally creep you out. Costumes are allowed, but you do have to follow their costume makeup rules.
Because of the scariness of the events and attractions, they do recommend that only those over the age of 12 go to Fright Fest.
Ride the Pikes Peak Cog Railway
Take a quick trip from Denver to Manitou Springs and take a ride on the Pikes Peak Cog Railway! Sure, you could hike or drive up, but there’s something magical about taking this historic train.
Pikes Peak is one of the many 14ers in Colorado, and going to the top of it is truly a Colorado bucket list item. The views from the top of the mountain are breathtaking, and the trip is truly exciting.
You’ll just want to be careful about what you wear on your trip because it does get fairly cold at the top of the mountain, especially in the fall. You’ll be able to witness the beauty of the colorful mountains from high above, though!
Don’t forget to grab a donut at the top – this is a must-do.
The nearby Mount Evans Scenic Byway is another great option.
Day trip to Rocky Mountain National Park
Fall is a beautiful time to visit Rocky Mountain National Park. The colors here are beautiful, and it’s nowhere near as busy as it is in the summer when it’s flooded with tourists.
Denver is the perfect place to start your adventure, as it is located just a short drive from the park – it takes about 1.5 hours to get there from downtown.
Here are some tips for making the most of your fall trip to Rocky Mountain National Park:
Pack your layers! The weather can be unpredictable in the mountains, so it is important to be prepared for both warm and cold temperatures. It’s usually always at least 10 degrees colder in Estes Park than in Denver.
Make sure to pack your hiking boots! There are many great trails to explore in Rocky Mountain National Park, and we’ve made the mistake of going without hiking boots before. Don’t be like us!
It can also get snow up on the mountains in the fall, so a pair of spikes for your shoes is also a good idea to bring in your pack.
Be sure to bring your camera! Fall is a great time to take scenic photographs, and even though phones can take good photos, a camera can do even better.
Support the Denver Broncos
If you love sports, attend a Broncos game! Local Denverites sometimes will even tailgate at the games because they love going so much.
Games are hosted at Empower Field at Mile High, which is practically right next to downtown Denver. The weather is cool during this time which is great, so you won’t have to worry about heat.
There are many places you can buy tickets, but we always recommend checking out Gametime. Sometimes you can get a good price if you wait and purchase tickets closer to the start time.
Shop at a farmer’s market
Fall is the perfect time to visit one of Denver’s many farmer’s markets. Shop for fresh, local produce and goods while enjoying the crisp autumn air.
What’s great about these is that the majority of these farmer’s markets offer a wide selection of items from Colorado vendors. Visitors can find everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to artisanal cheeses and handmade soaps.
Participate in Zombie Crawl
Yes, Denver has its own Zombie Crawl, and it’s an annual event! How cool is that? The Zombie Crawl usually is downtown for the majority of the crawl, going down 15th – 17th streets.
During the crawl, you just show up in a zombie outfit and walk like one around the city. While costume makeup is allowed, they do not allow any replica prop weapons for safety reasons.
The event is completely free, and all ages are allowed to go. You only have to register ahead of time if you want to enter the costume contest.
If you’re not up to participating, it’s pretty fun just to come and watch, too!
Attend the Great American Beer Festival
The Great American Beer Festival is held every fall in Denver, Colorado. It is one of the largest beer festivals in the United States, with over 500 breweries represented and more than 2,000 different beers to sample.
Attendees can purchase tickets for either Thursday, Friday, or Saturday night. There are also members-only tickets available, which include many bonuses like unlimited one-ounce samples.
If you are able to attend the Great American Beer Festival, it is an event not to be missed! It is the perfect opportunity to sample a wide variety of different beers from breweries all over the country and to find new favorites.
There is also a great atmosphere at the festival, with live music and plenty of food options.
Enjoy a fall flight from Grounds for Dismissal Coffee
Grounds for Dismissal Coffee is one of our absolute favorite coffee shops. They offer fun flights year-round, and each month’s flight special usually has to do with that month’s holidays.
In the fall, their flights often include drinks like pumpkin spice chais and pumpkin lattes – what could be better? These flights are perfect to split with a partner or friend.
While you wait for your drink, be sure to grab some of the fun games that they have inside to play. They have a variety of both indoor and outdoor tables. It’s easily one of the best things to do in Denver in the fall.
Pick apples to make some pie
Fall is the perfect time to go apple picking near Denver! Head to one of the many local orchards to pick your own apples. There are quite a few in the area that you can choose from.
This can also be a really fun activity whether you do it with your partner, best friends, or even your family. Plus, many of the orchards also have some cider that you can enjoy on your way out.
Then, once you get home, use the apples to make a delicious apple pie. Don’t forget to add a scoop of ice cream on top!
FAQs: What to do in Denver in the Fall
When is the best time to visit Denver Colorado?
Denver autumn is unlike any other time of year, making it the best time to visit.
What’s the temperature like in Denver during the fall?
The average temperature in Denver during the fall ranges from 40-60 degrees Fahrenheit.
Is there a lot of snow in Denver during the fall?
Not typically – snow is uncommon during this time of year, however, occasional light snow flurries are possible.
Are there any major events happening in Denver during the fall?
Every year, Denver hosts a variety of exciting events, such as Oktoberfest and Colorado Springs’ Colorado Balloon Classic.
What type of clothing should I bring for my trip to Denver during the fall?
Be sure to pack all types of clothes – layers can be helpful since temperatures can fluctuate throughout the day. Bring items such as sweaters, jeans, jackets, scarves, and hats for your comfort.
How can I get around while visiting Denver in the fall?
The city is well-connected via public transportation, making it easy to get around town by bus or light rail lines without needing a car rental or taxi service. You may also choose to rent a bike or scooter if you prefer exploring on two wheels!
What else should I know before planning my Denver Colorado fall trip?
Be sure to plan ahead for your trip, especially if you want to attend larger events such as festivals or concerts – tickets often sell out very quickly once they become available! Also, keep an eye out for spectacular colorful foliage changing on trees and mountainsides throughout Colorado as we enter into the autumn season – no sight compares!
Final Thoughts: Denver in Fall
This post was all about fall things to do in Denver. We hope you enjoyed it and have a great time working through these activities!
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