Grand Lake Fall

Fall in Grand Lake, Colorado

Temp: 70F/25F

Time of Year: September-November

Perks: Slower time to travel, more room to explore

Pack list tip: Bring layers to accommodate both warm and cold temperatures! It’s not unusual to start a hike with a chill in the air and end it wearing a tank.

Travel Tip: Always check current fire restrictions this time of year, since most wildfires are caused by humans. To learn more, stop by the Grand Lake Visitor’s Center and Chamber building to check out our Troublesome Stories exhibit, all about the East Troublesome Fire we experienced in October 2020

Baby Fox in Grand Lake

Wildlife Spotting

Fall is an ideal time to spot elk and moose, as this time of year the males strut their stuff in front of the females and you can witness impressive stand offs. The ethereal bugling of elk during their mating season is a sound you’ll never forget and the antlers on moose will be their biggest at this time. Take a tour with Kaiyote Eco-Tours to learn more about our unique animal communities that partake in the rut. Be aware that during the mating season, their behavior is a bit more reactive so keep your distance when observing, for both your safety and theirs.

Leaf Peeping

The peak of leafpeeping season lands about late-September/early October, when the mountains are streamed with ribbons of vibrant yellow and orange aspen. The window for this color change is short, but either side of that time will have fantastic color and ambiance.

Mountain Biking

Enjoy more space on the trails for mountain biking, especially on the East Shore Trail which runs along the shore of Shadow Mountain Lake and is the only trail in Rocky Mountain National Park that allows mountain bike use. Or, head over to Granby Ranch and enjoy miles of exciting biking trails before the winter snow turns them into ski trails!

Rocky Mountain Repertory Theater

Bringing music to our ears over the years, the “Rep” puts on three routine performances a year, with the occasional holiday show. Check out their calendar to reserve your seats for world-class live musical theater.


Autumn is the best time to beat the heat and the crowds on trails that traverse higher elevations both in Rocky Mountain National Park and the Arapaho National Forest. For the national park, do check if you need a timed entry permit in order to enter the park as they are typically required until mid October.

Pack List: Don’t forget your binoculars! If you need to buy some at Never Summer Outfitters so you can spot wildlife, aspen groves, and the last of the migratory birds before they fly south for winter.