Calling all front range friends, weekenders & Grand County locals! To help you in your quest for colors we've collected a few of our favorite spots to catch fall views before they fade. Go ahead and snag yo' self a pumpkin spice somethin', pull on your favorite sweater, and head out to do some leaf hunting!
1. Jim Creek / Discovery Loop Trail - Across From Winter Park Resort
Located directly across Hwy 40 from the entrance to Winter Park Resort the Jim Creek & Discovery Loop trail is a top pick for leaf peeping in Grand County. The trail offers 2 different options of differing lengths & difficulty which make it accessible for people of all ages & abilities. The Discovery Loop Trail (or bottom portion of Jim Creek) includes a maintained boardwalk section which can be easily navigated by those pushing a stroller or using a wheel chair, it's also a great option for anyone looking for a quick low impact hike without sacrificing on views! The upper portion of the trail on the other hand evolves into a steeper climb with narrower pathways. The full Jim Creek Trail is a decent hike, coming in at about 9 miles round trip but if you stick it out you'll be rewarded with a natural water fall at the top. Regardless of the route you choose you will most certainly enjoy views of some of the most vibrant aspen groves in the county, hidden ponds, meadows, willows and an unobstructed look at Winter Park Resort.
2. Creekside Flume Trail - Outside Fraser
This trail located just outside the town of Fraser and about 10 minutes from Winter Park is a favorite for bikers, hikers, & adventurous pups! The loop is about 5 miles round trip and offers a variety of terrain to explore including open meadows, bridge crossings, wetlands & heavily wooded areas. There is also a secluded bench about midway through the loop perfect for taking a minute to soak in the beauty of your surroundings. The Creekside Flume loop is surrounded with a multitude of vegetation all along the color spectrum greens, yellows, oranges & deep reds are most often present during a fall walk or trail ride. Want to explore on 2 wheels? Give us a shout to rent a front or full suspension mountain bike perfect for riding this trail!
3. Granby Ranch Trail System - Granby
A short 20 minute drive down the road brings you to the town of Granby & our neighbor resort at Granby Ranch. The slightly lower elevation combined with more moderate temperatures encourages an abundance of aspen trees to thrive on the mountainsides and meadows within in Granby Ranch. If you're looking for fall colors in abundance make Granby Ranch your destination. The trail crews at Granby Ranch do a great job of maintaining & marking their vast & ever growing 5,000 acre trail system so you can utilize.
4. Corona Pass Road - Winter Park
Weather you choose to take this as a scenic drive, lung burning bike ride or long distance run the 15 mile road up to Corona Pass is alive with fall colors. Rough dirt road to the top of the Continental Divide stopping at the old train trestle, a reminder of the incredible feat of taking trains over the mountain. To access Corona Pass drive on Hwy 40 toward Winter Park Resort and past Idlewild Campground. Look for a brown forest service sign stating, “Corona Pass Road”. Take a left and follow signs to Corona Pass/Moffat Road/Rollins Pass/Forest Road 149.
Want even more up to date leaf peeping ideas? The National Forest Service is staffing a fall foliage hot line give them a call at 1-800-354-4595 and get the scoop!