Corona Road in Fall near Winter Park, Colorado

Fall is Our Best-Kept Secret

Explore Our Pre-Snowfall Bucket List

Winter Park's Pre-Snowfall Bucket List

Get Active in the Rocky Mountains this Fall

Already dreaming of hitting the slopes in Winter Park? Well, you don’t have to wait for the snow to fall to enjoy Colorado’s favorite playground!

Fall is a fabulous time to visit Winter Park. Why? The sky is blue, the air is crisp, the aspen leaves boast hues of yellow, red, and orange, and there are countless ways to enjoy the town’s natural beauty.

Here are 10 things to check off your Colorado mountain adventure bucket list before the snow starts to fall:

1. Hear Elks Bugle in Rocky Mountain National Park

Have you ever heard the bugling of a bull elk? It’s an unforgettable experience. Head to Rocky Mountain National Park anytime from mid-September to mid-October as herds of elk gather for the fall rut. You’ll see the large male elks vie for the hearts of the females of their species. Simply awesome.

2. See Fall Colors From A Hot Air Balloon

There’s nothing like seeing Colorado’s brilliant fall colors from a hot air balloon. Float along the tree tops and then rise above it all, and take in breathtaking autumn views of Winter Park, Rocky Mountain National Park and the Continental Divide.

Contact Grand Adventure Balloon Tours in Fraser for reservations, and don’t forget the traditional post-flight champagne toast! Peak foliage viewing lasts from late September or early October through mid-October.

3. Drive Trail Ridge Road Before It Closes For The Season

It might be the highest continuously paved road in the country, but the spectacular Trail Ridge Road isn’t open all year. Drive it before it closes for the season (usually around the end of October), and don’t miss out on all the other scenic drives that burst with color in Grand County each fall.  Please note that come October weather above treeline can cause temporary road closures so be sure to call the Trail Ridge Road Status Line at (970) 586-1222.

4. Explore Mountain Bike Capital, USA™

If you're excited to zip down Winter Park Resort's slopes on skis or a snowboard, you won't want to miss cruising down them on two wheels. Fall is the perfect time to go downhill or cross-country mountain biking in the Rockies. And with over 600 miles of trails to explore, Winter Park, aka Mountain Bike Capital, USA™, has unforgettable fall trails for all levels of riders.

5. Hike Among The Aspens

Before the snow falls and Winter Park’s trails require snowshoes or cross-country skis to get around, break out your hiking kicks and wander among the yellow aspens. Not sure which picture-postcard trail to try? Check out our guide to the best hiking trails for fall.

6. Hunt Big Game In Our Sportsman’s Paradise

When hunting season opens in Colorado each fall, outdoor enthusiasts know where they want to be: Grand County. Home to thousands of mule deer, large numbers of elk, and a growing moose population, the county has rightly earned its reputation as a sportsman’s paradise.

Consult the Colorado Parks & Wildlife website for tips and regulations and then make reservations to stay in Winter Park, your basecamp for top-notch Grand County hunting.

7. Reel in a Big Catch

As summer turns to fall, many outdoor enthusiasts trade their fishing rods for hunting rifles. And with fewer anglers, there are simply more trout for the taking. Whether you’re a life-long fly fisher or you’ve never caught a fish before, our guide to fishing in Winter Park will help you cast your rod in the direction of trophy-sized trout.

8. Cozy Up To Fall “Glamping” Winter Park-Style

Just because autumn brings the chill doesn’t mean you can’t camp in Winter Park in the fall. In fact, it’s the perfect excuse to leave your pup tent behind and go glamping in a decked-out hut or yurt! Browse our guide to camping in Winter Park, and start planning.

9. Go Gallery Hopping

It’s not just the aspens that burst with color in the fall here. Art galleries in and around Winter Park brighten the season, too. Our rugged mountains and majestic wildlife have been inspiring local artists for generations. Enjoy a day of gallery hopping, and you just might find that perfect Colorado masterpiece so you can bring the beauty of the Rockies home.

10. Treat Yourself To A Spa Day

No Winter Park bucket list is complete without a visit to one of our spas — no matter what the season. Fall hiking, biking, and camping may be relaxing and rejuvenating for the mind, but don’t forget to listen to your body. (Hint: It’s telling you that you need a spa day!)

Check out our spa and wellness listings for a wide variety of experiences from aromatherapy and hot stone massage to acupuncture and neuromuscular therapy.