The leaves are starting to change across the Rocky Mountains here in Colorado. With warmer temperatures hanging around for a few more weeks, right now is the best time to enjoy a fall adventure before snow starts to cover the high country. Here are our favorite fall activities near Buena Vista, Colorado.
The ubiquitous yellow aspen trees make their appearance around this time every year and are highly sought out due to transforming our valleys and mountains into blankets of golden hues. If you’ve never caught a glimpse of this time of year in Colorado, here’s where you should head to close to Buena Vista.
We had to mention one of the most popular routes for autumn colors in Colorado. Independence Pass links Twin Lakes, just north of Buena Vista, to Aspen. Notorious for the amount of aspen trees and beautiful colors every fall, this stretch of road tops out at over 12,000 feet and is a great way to spend an afternoon.
Alpine Tunnel Trail
This family-friendly trail is rated easy as it’s set along an old railway route. Alpine Tunnel Trail is just over five and a half miles long, but is an out and back so you don’t have to commit to the entire thing.
Sheep Gulch Trail
For those on the hunt for an intense hike with incredible views, check out Sheep Gulch Trail along Hope Pass. It’s rated difficult and can get pretty popular on the weekends, but it’s worth the climb.
Mt Princeton Hot Springs
Soak up some warmth in these natural hot springs nestled at the base of the glorious Mt Princeton. Aside from the multiple pools on site, this area also includes a spa, fitness classes, and yoga. Located in Nathrop, Colorado, the resort is only about 15 minutes from downtown Buena Vista. There’s no better way to relax after a day of venturing through the mountains.
St. Elmo Ghost Town
Much like other towns in the state of Colorado, St. Elmo originated as a mining hub back in 1880. St. Elmo was home to nearly 2,000 people at the time. After the railroad to the town 20 miles away from Buena Vista shut down in the 1920’s and the dream of mining gold dissipated drastically, St. Elmo became a ghost town. Today, this destination is popular year round. You and your crew can check out the Mary Murphey or Hancock Mine ruins or explore the 43 abandoned buildings.
Galavant through the Arkansas River Valley on horseback for a unique way to experience the area this fall. Head out on a sunset ride or make a day of it on a waterfall ride with AVA’s partner, Mt Princeton Stables. If you want to plan out an itinerary for your day, the stables are located just down the road from Mt Princeton Hot Springs. Head out on horseback for the morning and swim in the springs for the afternoon!
Horseback Ride Options Near Buena Vista
Hike a Fourteener
For the most adventurous of folks, hiking fourteeners is a pretty common pastime in the fall. The weather tends to be spotty as snow starts moving in at high elevations, but clear mornings are a green light for climbing a mountain. “Fourteeners” are mountains that are over 14,000 feet in elevation. Colorado is home to over 50 of them, leaving you with plenty of options varying in intensity.
Fourteeners Near Buena Vista, Colorado
Though AVA Rafting & Zipline doesn’t have many options for activities at this time of year near Buena Vista, we still have a good bit to offer across the state of Colorado. Head up to Kremmling for UTV off roading tours or a Class II scenic float trip on the Upper Colorado River, or traverse through the mountaintops on our Cliffside Zipline and Mount Evans Via Ferrata courses in Idaho Springs. Hope to see you on a fall adventure!