Colorado Autumn Bucket List

Updated: Jan 3, 2019


We've rounded up 20 great activities west of 105 you'll want to add to your Colorado #autumn bucket list. Click on the page numbers to read more!


Photo: Rob McGovern / Period Comms

1. Leaf Chasing - Taking in the foliage via a scenic byway is one of our favorite fall activities. Lucky for us, there are 26 designated #scenicbyways in the state. We’ve rounded up our top seven. Page 30


Photo: Keystone Resort and Abby Hein

2. Taste the Season. Colorado is known around the world for its outstanding natural beauty, but thanks to the large amount of fertile farmland the state produces some of the best produce anywhere. We spoke to the chefs at some of the best restaurants West of 105 about how they incorporate the seasonal bounty into their menus. Page 70


Photo: Rob McGovern / Period Comms

3. Saddle Up - your  #mountainbike that is. Colorado has some of the best scenery in the nation and autumn is the best time of year to explore, and while we love the scenic byways, there is nothing quite like exploring on two wheels. From alpine terrain to high desert, there is no shortage of mountain bike trails West of 105. Page 14


Photo: Manitou Springs Chamber of Commerce

4. Go to a #Festival. The end of summer doesn’t mean the end of festival season in Colorado. From spirit sampling at Breckenridge Craft Spirits Festival to thrills and chills at Telluride Horror Show, there are plenty to choose from. Check out our top 10 here.


Photo: Jack Affleck / Mountain Soul Yoga

5. Say Om. Find your inner yogi this autumn at the state’s top #yoga studios. From secluded mountain retreats to quaint downtown spaces, we have hunted down 10 of the best. Page 82


Photo: Brittany Panter / Period Comms

6. Find your Park. All four of Colorado’s #NationalParks are West of 105, and autumn is arguably the best time to explore and enjoy them as visitor numbers are lower and day time temperatures are more tolerable. Page 52


Photo: Colorado Wine Fest

7. Dine with #Wine. The cool, dry autumn days of Western Colorado are just begging to be enjoyed with a glass of wine in hand. Read about everything that’s on offer from the #wineries this side of the state. Page 58


Photo: Rob McGovern / Period Comms

8. All Aboard. Denver’s Union Station sits squarely on the 105th parallel, and we can’t think of a better way to get out of Denver than by boarding the California Zephyr and heading West of 105. Page 108


Photo: Brett Schreckengost / Telluride Ski Resort

9. Get Sky High. #Telluride is home to Colorado’s only free gondola, and the best time to ride it is when the fall foliage is peaking. Grab your overnight bag and plan on spending 24 hours in this picturesque mountain town. Page 46



10. The Wild Southwest. A true year-round town, #Durango is oozing with charm and worth a visit any time of year, but when the busy summer season tails off and autumn sets in, it is always on the top of our travel list. Page 38


Photo: Rob McGovern / Period Comms

11. Fall Fancy. With the changing season comes a changing wardrobe. Stay Colorado chic with some of our top autumn picks. Page 76


Photo: Rob McGovern / Period Comms

12. Surf’s Up. Head over to the Sand Dunes #NationalPark and Preserve and go surfing, Colorado style. All you need is a board and some sand dunes - thankfully we have the highest in North America. Page 53


Photo: Ridgway Cattle Drive / Classic Visions

13. Get Creative. The brand new Colorado Creative Corridor spans five vibrant Colorado communities, all of which are hubs of innovation and artistry. Explore what each community has to offer. Page 90


Photo: Rob McGovern / Period Comms

14. Get in the Spirit. Discover Colorado’s burgeoning craft #distillery scene with a dozen of the best places to sip and savor locally-produced #spirits. Page 66


Photo: Gateway Canyons Resort & Spa

15. Check In. Autumn is a great time to explore West of 105 for lots of reasons (see the rest of this list!). Need an additional incentive?  Gorgeous resorts like #GatewayCanyons are perfect for a seasonal getaway. Page 78


Photo Matthew Inden / Miles

16. Cast a line. With thousands of miles of trout streams (and all 322 miles of Gold Medal waters), West of 105 is a fisher’s paradise. We showcase three of the best places to cast your line this autumn. Page 26


Photo: Katie Schneider with AVA Rafting & Zipline

17. Follow the Iron Path. Via Ferrate may not be for the faint of heart, but the jaw-dropping views from the sides of cliffs and mountains make strapping in and defying gravity more than worth it. Check out the offerings West of 105. Page 28



18. Go East. Colorado is quite possibly the beer capital of the US. Maybe that’s why the Mile High City is home to the Great American Beer Festival. And that’s just one of the many reasons to venture east. Read the rest on page 102


Photo: Matthew Inden / Miles

19. Celebrate ‘Elktober’. Not only is Rocky Mountain National Park stunning in the autumn, but your chances of spotting elk during this period are much better. Grab your binoculars and don’t forget to keep your distance. Page 54


Photo: Mike Pach at 3 Peaks Photography

20. Look to the Stars. Bundle up, grab your telescope, camera, or just a blanket and get lost in the night sky. The only designated Dark Sky Community in the state, the jointly designated towns of Westcliffe and Silver Cliff are among the best places to gaze at the stars. Page 24



Read the full article in the Autumn, 2018 issue of West of 105, available for free here.

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