Best Fall Hiking & Biking Trails

Where to Hike and Bike this Season

Best Hiking & Biking Trails for Fall

Seasonal Adventure

Read our list of the best hikes and mountain bike rides for fall. Winter Park is known as “Mountain Bike Capital USATM” because of its 600-plus miles of easy-to-access trails. Included in that count: Trestle Bike Park, the fastest-growing bike park in North America and the second-biggest bike park program in the world. Inside experts at the chamber offer these top treks for peak fall foliage peeping – on two wheels or two feet! To save some green while seeing Colorado gold, and check our specials and packages to save on lodging and more.

BEST BIKE RIDES

Rogers Pass

Distance: 5 miles  Elevation Gain: 1076 Ft. Difficulty: Difficult

Rogers Pass is a classic mountain bike ride that offers killer panoramic views that are well worth the ascent. This out and back trail is located along the Continental Divide with amazing views of James Peak, Perry Peak, surrounding mountain ranges and fields of wildflowers. Starting as an easy climb, Rogers Pass rapidly rises above tree line allowing bikers an aerial view of the towns of Winter Park and Fraser. Next, the trail switchbacks around a bend to look down on Heart Lake, Winter Park Resort, Mary Jane and Indian Peaks Wilderness Area. Plus the view of the fall colors in the Jim Creek Valley take your breath away. If the ride on Rogers Pass was enough for one day, head back down the trail , but if you are yearning for more adventure and beauty day, continue forth on your adventure and hike to the summit of James Peak

Use precaution when while biking, the trail is an old railroad grade has some loose rocks and a section of steep climb.

Tipperary RACE COURSE ROUTE

Distance: 29.6 miles  Elevation Gain: 4,386 Ft. Difficulty: Hard

Located near Fraser, Colorado, the Tipperary Trail has attracted the attention of pro riders and amateurs seeking a challenging ride. Velonews, a popular cycling magazine, rated this as one of the top five race courses in the world, and the Tipperary Trail is typically included in the Singletrack races each summer in Winter Park.

The Tipperary Race Course Route is ideal for getting in some final rides during the fall season.  Plus, this loop trail provides a variety of activity options and opportunities to observe wildlife along your journey.  This trail is a sustained, moderate climb, but don't underestimate the ascent at altitude. You will ride through forests brimming with vibrant red, orange and yellow leaves, over creeks and along beautiful meadows. The racecourse route continues on some of the classic trails in the Winter Park area taking you old logging flumes, rivers and vibrant aspen groves. 

TOP HIKING TRAILS


Meadow Creek Reservoir

Distance: 8.6 miles  Elevation Gain: 2,329 Ft. Difficulty: Moderate

Meadow Creek Reservoir is a beautiful lake located just outside the western boundary of the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area. This deep lake contains brook, rainbow, and cutthroat trout in case you want to pack your pole, but the fish aren’t the only colorful species in the area! The region is also surrounded by foliage that is bright and beautiful in the fall.

To access the lake, driving from Fraser toward Tabernash, turn right on County Road 83, keep left onto County Road 84 and finally Forest Road 129. An Arapaho National Recreation Area pass is required, you will see the pay station on your way up to the parking area.  There is a picnic area with a vault toilet at the lake but no drinking water is available. No formal campground is available at Meadow Creek Reservoir. But there is dispersed open camping along the USFS Road 129 around the reservoir area. The reservoir is approximately 10 miles from the town of Tabernash.

Hike through an Aspen-Pine forest, which is even more stunning in the fall. Along the way, see wildlife, waterfalls, and even cross a few creeks.  This trail is popular with hikers and bikers, it's also dog-friendly so plan accordingly before you embark on your adventure.

JAMES PEAK WILDERNESS AREA

Distance: Varies  Elevation Gain: Varies  Difficulty: Varies

This 14,000-acre area, which straddles the Continental Divide, is an alpine wonderland that boasts sweeping views, powerful peaks and lovely lakes. Wildlife, including elk, deer, bighorn sheep, mountain goat and bear live here. The alpine meadows and forests of Englemann spruce, subalpine fir, and lodgepole pine are not only beautiful but also provide outstanding habitat for several species.

James Peak Protection Area elevation ranges from 9,200 - 13,294 feet and terrain varies throughout the area. Alpine Lakes and Mountain Peaks dot the landscape and stun. With so much open space, there are many different hikes you can take depending on your energy and skill level.  Take a quick easy hike or adventure on a backcountry excursion.

Here are a few of our favorites trails in James Peak Protection Area:

  • Jim Creek
  • Riflesight
  • Buck Creek
  • James Peak (from Rogers Pass)

James Peak Protection Area is not the largest or most rugged area in the region, but it is not a heavily visited offering peace and solitude only a short drive from Denver.

BOTTLE PEAK
Distance:
 3.64 (one way)  (1.4 on Forest Service Road, 2.24 on trail) Elevation Gain: 9,809ftt.  Difficulty: Moderate

Hike: Bottle Peak / Bottle Pass / Ptarmigan Peak (Moderate)
Distance: 3.64 miles one way (1.4 on Forest Service Road, 2.24 on Trail) Elevation:  9,809’ / 11,736’ Trailhead

Description:  Views of old growth forest, tundra, flora and hillsides covered with wildflowers and surrounded by breathtaking 360° mountain views.  Bike or hike 3.2 miles on the service road to the trailhead on the right. Follow the trail up 11 switchbacks through the old growth forest. At timberline take the right fork and bear right across the tundra to the summit of Bottle Peak.  Continue down the saddle to Bottle Pass.  Bear right up the hill to Ptarmigan Peak.

Mountain Biking through Aspen Trees

Fall hiking trail in Winter Park, Colorado

Peaceful Fall Hiking Trail

Fall Singletrack Rides

Fall Hikes near Winter Park