A Grand County, Colorado, Fall Foliage Tour

A stunning portrait of the Colorado fall foliage.

While summer is surely an excellent time to visit the Rocky Mountains, we want to look slightly ahead to autumn for those of you planning fall getaways to Grand County, Colorado. With its stoic mountain peaks, expansive alpine forests, and elegant waterways, it’s not complicated to understand why our slice of four-season paradise has been long established as “Colorado’s Playground.” One of the most endearing attractions can be found almost anywhere you look; we refer to the Colorado fall foliage. Before starting, we recommend taking a look at this foliage prediction map provided by MentalFloss to give you an idea when the leaves are peaking.

Best Places in Grand County to Enjoy Colorado’s Fall Foliage

The scenic vantage points and serenity created by the Rocky Mountains present an unforgettable leisure activity for those fortunate to make the journey. Leaf peeping is a budget-friendly way to experience the area’s magnificent display of colors while immersing yourself in the treasured beauty present throughout our great state. The crisp, fall winds sing an autumn chorus that lends itself to comfortable hikes, scenic byways, and picturesque landscapes. To help acquaint you with some of the best locations for witnessing the Grand County, Colorado, fall foliage, we devised an easy guide for the best places to enjoy the autumn colors.

Jim Creek Trail

Jim Creek is a highly sought trail just three miles south of Winter Park. As the name suggests, it follows Jim Creek and leads patrons to the James Peak Protection Area. The babbling creek will accompany you as you jaunt through aspen stands and mountain meadows with stunning vistas of James peak. The Jim Creek Trail is considered a moderately difficult hike with a seven-mile round trip and elevation gains of just over 1,225 feet.

Cottonwood Pass/County Road 55/Highway 40

A short, yet gorgeous pass connecting Granby and Hot Sulphur Springs, Cottonwood Pass is a must-see route in the fall. With an abundance of aspens, this is a quintessential leaf-peeping destination. On the other hand, County Road 55, just north of Winter Park, has been designated as a Colorado Scenic Byway and features a few historic ranches and free-range cattle along the way. County Road 55 will bring you back to Highway 40, which happens to be the Colorado River Headwaters National Scenic Byway.

Rocky Mountain National Park

With more than 60 peaks towering over 12,000 feet and over 415 square miles of preserved mountain terrain, leaf-peeping at Rocky Mountain National Park is kind of a no-brainer on your fall getaway. If you enter from the north, near Grand Lake, you’ll step into one of the park’s most elegant foyers, the Kawuneeche Valley. However, if you are entering a different location, you may undoubtedly be welcomed by miles of trails among the dancing aspen groves, meandering rivers, and beloved wildlife. 

Fall Getaways in the Rocky Mountains with RMG

With Colorado’s fall foliage peaking around mid-September, there’s no better time than now to book a vacation rental. For over 20 years, Resort Management Group has provided comfortable vacation lodging for visitors to Grand County, no matter the time of year. With a large selection of rental properties in Winter Park, Fraser, and Granby, there’s no doubt you’ll find a location that’s right for you. For more information on planning your Colorado vacation, please visit us online or call 800-926-4386.