Fall Foliage Hikes
If you're a nature enthusiast and a fan of vibrant fall foliage, you're in for a treat. Golden and its surrounding areas offer a plethora of hiking trails that showcase the stunning beauty of the season. Here's a guide to some of the best fall foliage hikes you can experience in and near Golden.
Early Fall Hikes in Golden Gate Canyon State Park (Mid-Sept. - Mid-Oct.)
Distance: About 3.4 miles
Elevation Gain: 925 feet
For the avid hiker seeking incredible fall views, the Beaver Trail is an excellent choice. This trail takes you through a diverse range of ecosystems, including groves of aspen trees that explode with color in the fall. The higher elevation portions of the trail offer sweeping vistas that are especially stunning as the leaves change.
Panorama Point via Mule Deer and Raccoon Trail
Distance: 5 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,023 feet
Embark on an unforgettable adventure to Panorama Point via the Mule Deer and Raccoon Trail. This trail treats hikers to a gradual ascent through vibrant groves of aspen trees, creating a mesmerizing canopy of gold and amber during the fall season. Upon reaching Panorama Point, you'll be greeted by sweeping views of the Continental Divide that span 100 miles, making it a perfect spot for a well-deserved break.
Frazer Meadow via Blue Grouse Trail
Distance: 4.2 miles
Elevation Gain: 741 feet
Enjoy fall foliage and meadow views on this gorgeous trail. This is a great spot to take the dogs for a leisurely walk or to do a short hike for fall family photos! The mountainous backdrop and bright gold colors will make for undeniably beautiful photos.
Only 30 miles from Denver, located at 92 Crawford Gulch Rd. Golden, CO 80403, Golden Gate Canyon State Park offers such amenities as electrical hook-ups and tent-sites in two different campgrounds, stocked fishing ponds and picnic sites.
Late Fall Hikes in Golden (Mid-Oct. - Early Nov.)
North Table Mountain Trail
Distance: Approximately 4.6 miles
Elevation Gain: 662 feet
The North Table Mountain Trail offers hikers a remarkable opportunity to witness the changing colors of fall against the backdrop of the foothills. Though there’s not many trees on this route, there is plenty of gold sunshine streaming down on this wild-looking, volcanic mountain of rock and as you traverse this trail, you'll be treated to panoramic views of Golden and the surrounding landscape.
Apex Trail to Enchanted Forest
Distance: Roughly 5.6 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,354 feet
The Apex Trail is a local favorite, especially during the fall. The trail leads you through a lush forested area, and as you ascend, the trees' colors become more vivid. The Enchanted Forest section lives up to its name during autumn, with gold leaves sprinkled throughout the forest.
Clear Creek Trail & Peaks to Plains Trail
Distance: Varies (multiple access points)
Elevation Gain: 479 feet or less
The Clear Creek & Peaks to Plains Trail is a charming option for those seeking a leisurely stroll along the water while enjoying the fall foliage. These trails follow scenic Clear Creek and offer a mix of urban and natural landscapes. The trail's diverse foliage, including cottonwoods, transforms into shades of gold and rust during the fall months, making it a relaxing and beautiful choice for a fall hike.
Know Before You Go
- Check the weather forecast and trail conditions.
- Pack layers, as weather can be unpredictable.
- Wear comfortable hiking shoes and bring plenty of water.
- Respect Leave No Trace principles to preserve the beauty of these natural areas.
Fall foliage season is a magical time to explore the outdoors in and near Golden. Plan your hikes, bring your camera, and prepare to be captivated by the beauty of the season.