When do the Aspens Turn in Estes Park?

09/26/2021 | by Lyles Armour | Festivals & Events Local Activities

Visitors and locals all have the same question when it comes to autumn in Colorado. When do the aspens turn in Estes Park?

Estes Park is home to many varieties of tree species, from pine to cottonwood, firs, and aspens. But the Aspen trees have long since become a representative of a quintessential Colorado fall, and the signature tree is treated no differently in Estes Park. Visitors come from all over to see the green leaves of the summer turn to vibrant shades of yellows, oranges, and reds in the cool air before disappearing for the winter.

Where to Find Aspens in Estes Park

Leaf peepers can find aspens all over the Estes Park valley. Marked by their signature white bark that elk and deer love to munch on, you can see these beauties peppered over the mountainside during your fall visit. When you walk through Estes Valley there’s plenty of colors to see.

Visit the shops downtown, grab lunch on a patio, or take a walk around Lake Estes and be surrounded by vibrant autumn-colored aspens. Spend a day in Rocky Mountain National Park hiking trails that run right under the fall canopy or take the 48-mile drive on Trail Ridge Road through the diverse landscape of the Rockies.

When to Expect the Fall Foliage

To catch the perfect golden hues, you must time your visit just right. Areas of higher elevation like the mountains, see the first color of the year due to fast dropping temps. In Estes Park, the best time to see the aspens turn is Mid-September to Mid-October, with peak season typically the last week in September. Peak season varies from year to year due to weather, elevation, moisture, and more. Unfortunately, the vibrant fall color palette only lasts for about a week once it does change, and expect it to disappear entirely by late October.

Enjoy the Fall Colors

Make the most of the short-lived color season with a scenic fall drive, hike, or even walk around downtown Estes Park to enjoy the colorful aspens up close. Peak to Peak historic byway is an excellent aspen-lined scenic drive option that runs from Black Hawk to Estes Park. If you’re looking for a hike, head to one of the many trails in Estes Valley or Rocky Mountain National Park like Gem Lake Trail, Glacier Creek, Ouzal Falls, and more. Watch out for the active fall wildlife community during your hikes like elk, bears, and deer.

Staying in Estes Park During the Fall

image of timber creek chalets estes park lodging
Timber Creek Chalets in Estes Park.

When you book a fall stay with Rocky Mountain Resorts, there’s no reason to wonder when do the Aspens turn in Estes Park because you can see the glowing gold trees from any of our 125 units.

No matter where your adventures take you on the front range region, guests can look forward to unwinding in one of our rustic mountain retreats that include cabins with a private hot tub and cottages on the river. We have you covered for your fall getaway to Estes Park. Browse our accommodations and book your stay with us today!

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