When visitors think of northern Colorado, two seasons come to mind: summer and winter. But there’s a great time to visit after the music concerts and festivals of summer have ended and before snow-packed activities of winter begin. If the opportunity to savor the scenery and hike or bike in relative serenity is more your style than shuffling through crowds, consider visiting towns in Grand County during the fall.
|Aspens around Winter Park, Colorado glow in autumn |
as leaves turn golden
Here are some favorite activities to try before the snow returns (or after it melts):Arrive in Grand Country from Denver by driving Berthoud Pass, a scenic highway that twists and turns its way through thick forests and past gushing waterfalls, summiting at the Continental Divide.
|Water flows to both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans from |
the Continental Divide in Colorado.
There’s a reason the region is called “Mountain Bike Capital U.S.A. It doesn't matter if you are a serious gear head or just interested in seeing the mountains in a new way, there are 600 miles of mountain bike trails that will satisfy beginner to expert bikers.Saddle up. In Grand County, horseback riding isn't just a hobby — it's a way of life.
|Grand Lake offers many recreational opportunities.|
Sail on Grand Lake, Colorado's largest natural lake,which is known for spectacular views of peaks in Rocky Mountain National Park.Spend a night outdoors and get reacquainted with nature at one of Grand County's many public campgrounds.
Play a round at Pole Creek Golf Club in Winter Park, which has 27 holes on three courses. You’ll love how your game improves in the thin air. Golf balls not only travel further at higher altitude, but they spin less, too, meaning straighter approach shots (in theory anyway!).
|You won't worry about where the golf ball lands when you have|
scenery on the golf course this beautiful to grab your attention.
|Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park is an exquisite|
drive in fall--before it's covered with winter's snow.
Head to Rocky Mountain National Park and drive Trail Ridge Road. It’s a postcard in your windshield, a breathtaking view at every turn. Hike trails along the way, or bike down Trail Ridge Road when it is open.
|Wild Horse Inn is an excellent place to relax and enjoy any|
season in Winter Park, Colorado.
Think of Grand County as a four-season destination, with lesser-visited late spring and fall among the most glorious times to arrive.
Photos by Larry and Beverly Burmeier