Fall First Timer

Fall Colors and Attractions

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

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 is a geological and engineering feat.

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. You can hike up to the lake but please be aware this is a is a backcountry hike. 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. Get your permit to hike Hanging Lake by reserving a day pass!

Grizzly Creek is one of several tributary streams that feeds into the Colorado River. The out and back Grizzly Creek trail meanders along the creek for several miles allowing you to enjoy spectacular, towering cliffs. The clear, cold water comes from snowmelt on the Flat Tops and it is chocked full of fishing holes.

ADVENTURE PARK & HOT SPRINGS

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. Then fly down the mountain on USA’s first alpine coaster, hang on to your seat in Colorado’s first 4D Ride Theater and soar through the air out over scenic Glenwood Canyon in the Glenwood Canyon Flyer.

On your way back to the Vail Valley stop and soak at Iron Mountain Hot Springs. These hot springs cater to all who appreciate relaxing 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.

ELECTRIC, CRUISER & MOUNTAIN BIKING

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!

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.

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 

Looking for bike rentals? Check out one of these shops: Venture Sports (Vail & Avon), Base Mountain Sports (Vail & Beaver Creek), Charter Sports (Avon & Vail), Kind Bikes & Skis (Edwards), Vail Sports Beaver Creek Sports

FLY FISHING

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 GuidesSage 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.

HORSEBACK RIDING

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.

3 STOP SCENIC & HISTORIC MOUNTAIN DRIVE

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 is a “must” for valley locals and visitors alike.

Stop 2:
 The Town of Red Cliff is the oldest town in Eagle County, established in 1879. It was the first County Seat for Summit County, which included the current areas of Summit and Eagle Counties. At 8,650 feet, Red Cliff boomed at the turn of the century as a mining town with saloons, a bank, sawmills and even an opera house. Today it is a quaint mountain community that continues to attract rugged individuals 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.

INFORMATION CENTERS

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.

Restaurants & Bars

In the Vail Valley, eating isn't merely sustenance - it's an important part of the lifestyle. From fine dining hotspots to casual comforts, it's not hard to find great food. Colorado is known for their locals breweries, distilleries and even wineries. Come sample a taste of Colorado and even international spirit favorites.

Activity Providers

Sure, Vail is world-renowned for its skiing and snowboarding, but the Vail Valley offers plenty beyond vast bowls of bluebird powder days and grippin' groomers. Whether you prefer your adventure water-drenched, iced, air-borne, cliff-side, cycled, motorized or snowy out mountain recreation covers it- and much, much more.

Vail Valley Events

Ski terrain and wonderful snow put the Vail Valley on the map, but it's more than just a ski resort. The calendar is packed with events that are a big part of the Vail Valley's culture. From outdoor concerts at the Ford Amphitheater to bull riding at the rodeo, it's easy to stay busy.

Visitor Information from the Locals

FIRST-EVER HIKE TO COMBAT CLIMATE CHANGE ON SEPTEMBER 24 IN VAIL COLORADO

Vail, Colorado will become the epicenter of climate action at the inaugural Climb It For Climate on Saturday, September 24 at 9:00 a.m. The event will feature a hike up Berrypicker on Vail Mountain with education and action stations plus interactive challenges along the trail and will culminate at Eagle’s Nest where participants will enjoy live music, food, and beverages.  “Climb It for Climate aims to unite our community around the...
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Free Document Shredding at Habitat ReStore

Alpine Bank is partnering with Habitat for Humanity Vail Valley for a Shred Event, giving people the opportunity to dispose of confidential documents securely. Bring boxes of paperwork to the Habitat ReStore Vail Valley to be securely shredded and recycled. “We are proud to partner with the ReStore once again at the Shred Event. This is a great community event that allows people to securely recycle their personal documents — I hope people...
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Vail Mountain, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Crested Butte Announce Winter Opening Dates, Operating Plans and New Attractions for 2022-23 Season

Vail Mountain, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Crested Butte announced today their opening dates for the winter 2022-23 season, starting with Keystone's kick-off in October and running all the way until spring with Breckenridge open well into May. Keystone will open as soon as weather and conditions permit in October, thanks to its state-of-the-art, energy-efficient snowmaking system. Breckenridge and Vail will follow on Nov. 11, and...
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All Tips & Info