The Best Time to Visit Colorado Each Season, According To Locals
Trying to figure out the perfect time to visit the Centennial state? Follow this expert advice on the best time to visit Colorado (and where to go), and you’re sure to have the trip of a lifetime.
The Best Time to Visit Colorado
If you asked ten different people when you should visit Colorado, you’d probably get ten different answers. Because Colorado is such a diverse state filled with different climates and activities, the best time to visit really depends on what you want to do and where you want to go. So, while we can’t tell you the exact month that’s guaranteed to be the best time to visit our great state, we can tell you that each season brings a new opportunity.
What is Colorado Known For? Four Amazing Seasons
Visiting Colorado in the spring versus the winter will open up an entirely new range of activities and places to visit. And while each season is a fantastic time to experience the rocky mountains, the locals know that there’s a month in each one of them that usually offers the best weather, less crowds, and more fun. Here’s what you need to know about experiencing each Colorado season to its fullest potential.
Colorado Vacations For Every Time Of The Year
No matter what your dream vacation looks like, you can make it happen in one of our four amazing seasons. These are the highlights that make each part of the year so special.
Colorado sightseeing in the spring
Springtime in Colorado offers a taste of snow without the extreme cold. So, it’s great for those that are excited to feel a taste of cold weather, but don’t necessarily want to ski or snowboard, this is a great time of year to visit the state. If you’re planning on hiking, be prepared to stick to lower altitude, as the high mountains will still be covered in snow. Don’t worry- the contrast of snowy peaks and the wildflowers beginning to pop up in places like Boulder and the Garden of the Gods offers a truly unique experience of Colorado.
When to Visit: Late March to mid-April
Because Colorado typically experiences an influx of visitors during the spring break season, we recommend visiting between the last two weeks of March and the middle of April.
Where to Go: Great Sand Dunes National Park, Garden of The Gods, Boulder
Hike through blooming wildflowers beneath Boulder’s Flatirons, watch the sunrise over the glowing sandstone in the Garden of The Gods, or enjoy a beach getaway with mountain views in Grand Sand Dunes.
When to plan a summer vacation in Colorado
Summertime in Colorado is popular, and for good reason. There are endless trails for hiking, the weather is hot but not too hot, and there are more things to do than you could ever fit into one trip. For hikers and outdoorsy families wanting to experience the Colorado high country, the warmest months are the best times to visit. As the snow melts in high elevations, you’ll be able to safely drive the most beautiful mountain passes in the state, swim in crystal clear lakes, and enjoy mild nights under the stars.
When to Visit: Mid-August though the first week in September
June and July are the busiest months of summer tourism, and you’ll encounter traffic and fully booked campsites in most places. Plus, the height of the monsoon season can make high-mountain hiking dangerous. Visiting near the end of summer will bring less crowds, moderate temperatures, and less afternoon storms.
Where to Go: Rocky Mountain National Park, Buena Vista, Silverton
You simply can’t beat summer hiking in Rock Mountain. Visit Buena Vista for a family-friendly town that offers easy access to nearly every outdoor activity you can think of. And if you’re feeling brave, drive the Million Dollar Highway between Silverton and Ouray for spectacular mountain views.
The most beautiful places in Colorado for fall
It’s hard to beat leaf peeping during the cool months of this Colorado shoulder season. Fall in Colorado is full of crisp air, bustling breweries, and plenty of golden leaves. For hikers and bikers that prefer cooler weather and uncrowded trailheads, fall is the best time to explore. And for beer lovers and those that want to explore Denver, this season offers a plethora of fun festivals and great temperatures in the mile-high city.
When to Visit: Late September to late October
Depending on where you go, this will make your trip at the peak of fall color season. If you’re planning on venturing into higher elevations, plan your trip on the earlier side of this window. If you want to hit the best beer festivals in Denver, aim to visit in mid to late October.
Where to Go: Denver, Aspen, Nederland
If you have the time, head to Aspen to experience fall colors like no other. If you just want a quick day trip, drive up to Nederland (a short 45 minute drive from the city). And if you prefer beer over leaves, stay in Denver for lively bar scenes and a spectacular downtown celebration of Oktoberfest.
Don’t miss these winter towns in Colorado
Ready to chase some powder in Colorado? Winter brings world-class skiing, bluebird days, and (if you know where to go) a peaceful way to experience the rockies. In addition to the ski resorts, there are many winter towns in Colorado that come to life in the cold weather. Here you’ll find a lively apres circuit, live music, and great food.
When to Visit: Late January to early March
If you’re searching for snow, don’t bother messing around with the holiday season. The best snow in Colorado really comes in near the end of January, and can last well into March. If you prefer warmer weather and spring skiing festivities, book your trip for March.
Where to Go: Steamboat Springs, Crested Butte, Vail
There are so many winter towns in Colorado that will take your breath away, but these three are one-of-a-kind. Steamboat and Crested Butte also have some of the best skiing that Colorado has to offer.
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