‘Tis the season of bright yellow aspen groves and cooler night temperatures, so the one question on every Coloradan’s mind is where to see the famous fall colors. But what about how they want to experience the fall colors? Scenic drives, hikes and even motorcycle trips are among the most popular ways to enjoying the changing of the leaves, but why not try something new this year? With a fall ATV tour, you are guaranteed to have the most success on your fall color-seeking adventure.
If you have never been on an ATV trip, it is important to come prepared. Be sure to wear long pants, close-toed shoes, sunglasses and layers in case it cools off at the higher altitudes you will be driving through. We like to bring a pack with water, snacks, sunscreen, a camera and our cell phone just to be prepared.
Now down to the nitty-gritty; where do you go for the best fall color show? We have rounded up our favorites to make it easy on you.
Where: Near Crested Butte, CO
Home to the one of the largest aspen groves in the world, Kebler Pass is one of the most beautiful places to be once the leaves start to change with red, yellow, orange and green leaves sprinkled throughout. This trail tops our list of Colorado spots for a fall ATV tour and we know it will soon be one of your favorites as well. Beautiful year round, this 30-mile trail follows an old railway and has easy gradient and wide turns, making it the perfect trail for all abilities. For those who want a bit more of a rough ride, there are plenty of side trails to extend your trip for as long as you want.
Where: Near Buena Vista, CO
The Buena Vista Chamber of Commerce holds an annual event every fall for a Historic Color Tour on ATVs, so this is the perfect opportunity for those looking to join a large group of riders for a day out enjoying the fall colors. Climbing to nearly 14,000 feet you will come close to the Continental Divide on this popular ride, but keep your eyes open for moose, mountain lions and elk along the way. The color tour will take you through some of Colorado’s most famous ghost towns from the mining days, ending the day with a big BBQ and live entertainment.
Red Feather Lakes
Where: Northwest of Fort Collins, CO
The Red Feather Lakes area is the perfect spot to ride in late summer or early fall as the trails have dried out and offer ideal conditions. With more than 100 miles of trails, not only is this a popular spot for long ATV trips, but it is also one of the prettiest come September. Winding through Roosevelt National Forest, you will be rewarded with colorful leaves and plenty of fresh mountain air to fuel your exhilarating day out. This trail offers a variety of terrain, with some semi-technical single-track stretches to put your riding skills to the test.
Where: Near Ouray, CO
The Corkscrew Gulch trail is rated as moderate due to its tight turns and kicks off near the once-booming mining town of Ironton. Once home to more than 1,000 people, the area is now one of the most popular and scenic spots for off-roading. Not only will you be able to experience the changing fall colors here, but the rocky soil also has a rich, red color due to the iron oxide found here. We recommend taking California Gulch once you reach the top of the mountain as this will lead you into Silverton just in time for lunch. Since it’s only a 5-mile journey, this is a great way to extend your adventure and explore the picture-perfect town of Silverton while you’re at it. Climbing well above tree-line, you will definitely want to bring your camera. The views go on for days
If you wish to enjoy your adventure on your own and feel confident in riding, there are several great places in the metro area to rent ATVs and haul to your favorite trail. Colorado Sports Rent in Arvada and Extreme Rentals in Lakewood are both convenient stops on your way to the mountains for a day (or weekend) of outdoor fun this fall.