Enjoy all that the Vail Valley has to offer in the fall, including some scenic drives through the mountains and canyon. Leaf-peepers will find their haven in the Vail Valley during the months of September and October.
Insider Tip: Fall in the mountains can bring various weather conditions and temperatures can change dramatically throughout the day. Before you embark on your full day adventure, make sure to pack clothes for all weather conditions: sunscreen, baseball cap, rain coat and a light jacket or sweater.
Glenwood Canyon, the gateway to Glenwood Springs, was carved over 3 million years by the power of the Colorado River. This 16-mile canyon provides endless opportunities for recreation including hiking, biking, river rafting at Shoshone on the Colorado River and more. In addition to endless fun, this natural beauty if a geological and engineering feat.
Hanging Lake Trail
Hanging Lake is a Colorado treasure and a rare example of a travertine geological formation located in the heart of Glenwood Canyon on the White River National Forest. The 1.2 mile (1.9 km) trail is steep, rigorous and rocky but rewarding. This Natural National Landmark features awe-inspiring scenery and gentle waterfalls! The Hanging Lake trail is a backcountry hike. The trail is steep and rocky. In the winter it is also icy and slippery. Get your permit to hike Hanging Lake by reserving a day pass!
Grizzly Creek Trail
Grizzly Creek is one of several tributary streams that feeds into the Colorado River. The out and back trail meanders along the creek for several miles of spectacular, towering cliffs. Located at one of the most popular rest and recreation areas in Glenwood Canyon, Grizzly Creek is an up and back hike that follows the stream of the same name.
Easily one of the best hikes in Colorado, picnic spots and plenty of places to enjoy river views make this a popular choice for a summer outing. The clear, cold water comes from snowmelt on the Flat Tops and it is chocked full of fishing holes.
Stop 1: Glenwood Springs’ most popular attraction is the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park featuring cave tours, thrill rides, restaurants, kids’ activities, special events, and more. Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is burstin’ with fun and adventure. Explore stunning caverns and formations in Colorado’s largest showcave. During the Summer Season, you can fly down the mountain on USA’s first alpine coaster, hang on to your seat in Colorado’s first 4D Ride Theater and fly through the air high above Glenwood Springs, out over scenic Glenwood Canyon in our Glenwood Canyon Flyer.
Stop 2: On your way home stop by the Iron Mountain Hot Springs. These hot springs cater to all who appreciate relaxing with a warm soak surrounded by mountain views. Glenwood Springs newest hot spot offers 16 natural mineral hot springs soaking pools and a freshwater family pool with a jetted spa. All are located alongside the Colorado River, just across from the base of the tram at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, with Rocky Mountain views that soothe and inspire.
Biking can be one of the best ways to enjoy the autumn leaves. The canopies over the trails turn from green to gold making it absolutely spectacular when you ride under them! Check out the Vail Valley Mountain Trails Alliance website that has information on trails and their conditions.
The town of Eagle is the latest hit destination for both local and out-of-town enthusiasts with a wealth of trails and a flourishing biking subculture. The Haymaker Trail in Eagle is a great introduction to mountain biking for all ages and abilities, with easy trailhead access and plenty of parking.
Vail & Beaver Creek
If the downhill is your favorite part, let the lifts do the work at Vail or Beaver Creek. After a scenic ride up on the gondola, you can proceed downhill at your own pace. First time? Take a guided tour for an exhilarating journey down Vail Mountain’s network of mountain bike trails. Be sure to check the fall gondola schedule before you go. Vail Gondola Schedule & Beaver Creek Gondola Schedule
Wade fishing and float trips in the Vail Valley provide novice and experienced anglers alike an opportunity to experience Colorado’s breathtaking fall scenery and wildlife, as well as the opportunity to catch the trout of a lifetime. Access to our rivers and streams, including Gore Creek, the Eagle River, Brush Creek and the Colorado River can be tricky if you’ve never fished here before. We highly recommend booking an experienced guide through providers such as Gore Creek Fly Fisherman, Nova Guides, Sage Outdoor Adventures or Vail Valley Anglers.
Local’s Tip for DIY Fishing
Stop by the local fly shops Gore Creek Fly Fisherman and Vail Valley Anglers to receive insider tips on where to go fish. You have options of fishing in several different rivers and lakes. Whether you up for a challenge or the guaranteed bite for beginners, the local fly fishing guides have the best knowledge for where to fish and what to use for your flies.
Enjoy an hour, or more, taking in the Colorado Rocky Mountain scenery. Bearcat Stables offers horseback rides into the fall. These rides depart from the Bearden Homestead. The terrain is easily navigable for your excursion and can be enjoyed by people of nearly all ages and skill levels. Each ride is limited to eight guests to ensure a quality horseback ride experience.
Love horseback riding? Try a 4-day adventure from Vail to Aspen, or an all day camp for the kids.
Stop 1: The Minturn Saloon is the most historic restaurant in the Vail Valley. Folks have been enjoying great food and drinks at this location since 1901 from a variety of owners sporting various restaurant names. The Minturn Saloon has been a “must” for valley locals and visitors since 1976.
Stop 2: The Town of Red Cliff is the oldest town in Eagle County. It was the first County Seat for Summit County, which included the current areas of Summit and Eagle Counties. At 8,650 feet above sea level, Red Cliff boomed at the turn of the century as a mining town with saloons, a bank, sawmills and even an opera house. The town established in 1879, was mapped and patented in 1883 by the U.S. Government. Today it is a quaint mountain community that continues to attract rugged individualists from business entrepreneurs to outdoor enthusiasts.
Stop 3: Camp Hale Memorial Campground sits at an elevation of 9,200 feet, offering guests a wonderful setting for recreation and relaxation. Camp Hale is historic because the 10th Mountain Division, an unit of 15,000 men, trained here in mountaineering and skiing techniques during WWII.
Vail Welcome Center: Located on the top deck (level 4) of the Vail Village parking garage and in the new Welcome Center on the lower level at the southwest corner of the Lionshead parking garage, the welcome centers have numerous publications, maps and information on Vail.
Beaver Creek Guest Services: Whether you’re seeking hours of operation, Dial-a-Ride Transportation, activity information or general recommendations, BC Guest Services is here to make your vacation as seamless as possible.
Insider Tip: If you are looking for deals, we know where to find them. Grab the local newspaper, the Vail Daily, as soon as you arrive in the valley. It will have all the local specials running during your vacation and range from spas to restaurants and activities.
Enjoy a scenic hike with gourmet tastings for a great cause!
Hike, wine and dine through golden aspens for a great cause on Sunday, September 19. The 13th annual Hike, Wine & Dine brings the community together with a moderate 5-mile hike on Beaver Creek Mountain and gourmet cuisine to benefit Vail Health Shaw Cancer Center and Jack’s Place, a cancer caring house.
“Hike, Wine & Dine is a fantastic way to enjoy a beautiful fall...
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