FALL IS A MAGICAL TIME IN THE PIKES PEAK REGION
Crisp, autumn air welcomes vibrantly colored leaves that put on a dazzling display of color that brings people from miles to witness. Every year, visitors and locals alike set out into the wilderness to experience the beauty and serenity that come with the changing aspen leaves. Let us guide you to enjoying fall to the fullest with our tips, tricks and insider scoop to all things autumn.
AUTUMN YOUR WAY
Fireside chats, cozy cabins and gorgeous views are just what you need to unplug and recharge this fall. Whether you prefer leisurely strolls with the tykes, heart-pumping treks summiting stunning vistas, or fresh air while riding the most scenic trails– there are plenty of ways to admire the golden hills and glittering aspens in the Pikes Peak region.
The 11 highest
BEAR CREEK CANYON LOOP
ADVANCED | 8 miles
Get in a great workout that takes you on an exciting descent through the forest. This trail climbs close to 2,200 feet within the first 5 miles. Be prepared for stream crossings and a nice deep burn as you conquer this advanced trail.
BLACK FOREST SECTION 16 TRAIL
BEGINNER | 4 miles
Take a nice, gentle four-mile loop through the trees. Enjoy plenty of shade and incredible scenery. There are no huge climbs or descents in this trail; only a pleasant, rolling ride. Keep your eyes peeled for horses, runners and dogs as there are plenty that frequent the trail.
CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN STATE PARK
INTERMEDIATE | 20 miles
The 20 miles of trails at Cheyenne Mountain State Park allow you to choose your own adventure. It has a great mix of difficulty, technicality and climbing for all abilities. There are multiple trails that can be linked together offering rides that range from 2 to 20 miles. $7 for parking.
GARDEN OF THE GODS: UTE TRAIL
BEGINNER |5 miles
Looking for bike routes in Colorado Springs to get you acclimated to the elevation? This trail is great for a leisurely ride through breathtaking scenery. Let your senses absorb the beautiful, red spires of natural rock formations as you explore the nations #1 park (as voted by TripAdvisor® users). It’s a fantastic ride for beginners or out-of-town guests.
NORTH CATAMOUNT RESERVOIR
INTERMEDIATE | 10 miles
This scenic bike route in Colorado Springs is revered for its great beauty. Although there are no features to designate it as an advanced trail, the rolling hills are sure to get your heart pumping and lungs working overtime. Nothing beats the view of Pikes Peak as you make your way around the reservoir.
PIKES PEAK- AMERICA’S MOUNTAIN
INTERMEDIATE TO ADVANCED | 20 miles
Riding Down: Take the ultimate bike route in Colorado Springs, down Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain. There are two ways to get to the top of Pikes Peak before your exhilarating ride down. Two local adventure tour companies - Pikes Peak Mountain Bike Tours will take you by van to the summit and provide a guided tour down the Pikes Peak Highway. Keep an eye out for eagles, deer, elk, Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep and marmots.
Riding Up & Down: Pikes Peak - America's Mountain is now open to cyclists that wish to ride up and down Pikes Peak Highway on their own. Hours and rates can be found here.
PALMER PARK LOOP
INTERMEDIATE | 12 miles
This bike route is the perfect in-town ride. It has excellent views of Pikes Peak and downtown Colorado Springs with views so stunning, you’ll forget you’re in the middle of the city. Although the trail is not too technical, it does have enough drops and climbs to keep you on your toes. Each trail within the park is marked by the level of difficulty so there aren’t any surprises.
ADVANCED | 6 miles
They didn’t give this trail an advanced rating for nothing. If you’re looking for a truly challenging trail, you’ve found it! The grade of the trail and switchbacks make it a gut-busting ride that is guaranteed to get you sweating. Most riders walk their bikes a full mile to the trail. However, the view at the top and fast ride down make it all worth it. This is definitely one of the most challenging bike routes in Colorado Springs.
INTERMEDIATE | 14 miles
This trail is an excellent excursion for riders of almost all skill levels. The scenery is spectacular, the trail is fast, yet technical and the length is just right. There are plenty of photo opportunities on this trail so don’t be afraid to take your time and enjoy the beauty.
ADVANCED |5 miles
This trail is best by both foot and pedals depending on the section. It’s populated by masses of roots, stream crossings, rocks and small drops aplenty. This trail is not for beginners or riders without the proper bike. It’s a guaranteed challenge for anyone looking for an adventure and rates near the top of the list for being one of the toughest bike routes in Colorado Springs.
UTE VALLEY PARK
INTERMEDIATE | 8 miles
Ute Valley Park has a great combination of fast trails and technical sections. Go off the main trails and hit some smaller ones and you can find some good technical riding. There are some great fast, downhill sections with easy obstacles for building confidence. This bike route is perfect for developing skills and fitness.
Tourist Cable Car Track Turned Heart-Pounding Workout!
You think you can climb the Manitou Incline? This is considered an extreme trail and is an advanced hike! The Manitou Incline gains nearly 2,000 feet of elevation over less than 1 mile. It's not for the faint of heart, but people from all walks of life have successfully conquered it.
It is, perhaps, the most unique and challenging trail in the country, attracting runners, military, Olympic athletes, and hiking enthusiasts from around the world. More than anything, the Manitou Incline is famous for dishing out a tough workout.
FACTS ABOUT THE MANITOU INCLINE
The Incline is just under one mile in length. Oh, just 2,744 steps - but who’s counting? It is known as one of, if not the most, popular and challenging, hikes in the Colorado Springs area.
The Manitou Incline gains 2,000 feet in elevation from start to finish. The average grade for the trail is 45 percent and, in some places, it is as steep as 68 percent. Depending on your fitness level and pass it may take under 30 minutes to over an hour or more.
The incline is FREE and open to the public. However, be sure and bring your wallet because you will likely have to pay for parking.Don't be fooled by the false summit about three-quarters of the way up. At this point, the Manitou Incline intersects with Barr Trail and if you can't make it to the top, then you can take that way back down if you'd like. After you crest the false summit, there are approximately 300 steps to go before you reach the top.
The trail is open from 6 a.m. - 6 p.m. with no night use permitted.
For a successful experience, consult your physician, bring plenty of water and energy snacks and be sure you've adjusted to the high altitude of Colorado Springs (6,035 ft) before you attempt this trail. Pace yourself and rest when you need to.
Coloradans and droves of visitors go crazy to catch the fall colors, which peak in Aspen in late September. And only in Aspen can you take your sightseeing drive, leisurely stroll or heart-pumping hike way up a notch with adrenaline-fueled adventures that will set a new kind of GOLD standard for the most colorful season.
Aspen Heli Charter
It’s on the steeper end of the price spectrum, but your wish is the pilots command when it comes to leaf-peeping. Departing from Aspen-Pitkin County Airport’s private terminal, the Eurocopter 130B4 has a range of 300 miles and is designed for sightseeing, with over-sized windows and increased viewing angles. It seats up to six passengers comfortably. Whether you stay high above Aspen, soar over Snowmass, or fly all the way to Crested Butte and back, you’ll take in jaw-dropping vistas the most-secret seasonal views.
For the most affordable bird’s-eye viewing experience, hop on the Silver Queen Gondola in Aspen — about a 20 minute ride to the top of Aspen Mountain, where you’ll reach an elevation of 11,212 feet and catch postcard-worthy panoramas of Aspen Highlands and the Highland Bowl.