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Where to See Fall Colors in and Around Boulder

As the summer heat fades, the beauty of autumn leaves arrives. Here are some top tips to take in the sights. 

Fall has arrived, and now is a good time to start thinking about a leisurely trip to catch the beautiful changing colors of the leaves. Whether you want to drive, bike or walk, there are plenty of good options to enjoy this special time of year.

While the peak season may shift a bit, the second week of October is generally the best time to go. Here are a few insider tips to make the best of this quick window of time:

  • To the north of town, Coot Lake allows visitors to fish, jog or stroll with plenty of amenities available while soaking in the panoramic views.
  • On the eastside, Sawhill Ponds provides excellent views with accessible trails, spots for a picnic and a wide array of wildlife.
  • Gregory Canyon on the edge of the foothills is a beautiful location with plenty of trails. Be careful – bears are actively feeding in this area.
  • For nice views out over town to see the changing colors of Boulder’s urban canopy, check out Panorama Point and Chautauqua Meadow. Note that parking can be a challenge.
  • For a wide variety of trees and colors, venture a bit to the west and try Chautauqua Park.
  • For a lovely walk or bike ride, start at the Bobolink Trailhead of Baseline Road and cruise along the South Boulder Creek trail.
  • Mapleton Avenue is an excellent area for tree appreciation and watching the colors change. The largest red maple in the state is at 9th Street and Mapleton Avenue next to the old elementary school building, and the avenue is lined with several different maple species that turn various shades of yellow, red and orange.
  • Central Park and Chautauqua Park both feature large white oaks, which turn a beautiful shade of red each fall.

Published: Sept. 26, 2019