Leaf Peeping is Upon Us

Published: August 4, 2022

fall in the pikes peak region

Top 4 ways to see the leaves change

Days are getting shorter and temperatures are getting lower as summer in Manitou comes to a close—and we’re not mad about it! Fall in the Pikes Peak Region is pure magic, complete with pumpkin patches, corn mazes and green chili. But you’ll have to look up to catch the biggest transformation this fall. Between mid-September and early October, Colorado is awash with golden yellows as the leaves change. With such a short window of time, make your plans now to peep the leaves here in Manitou and across the Pikes Peak Region.

Most picturesque:

Downtown Manitou Springs

Okay, so we’re biased. But there’s nothing quite like downtown Manitou Springs on a crisp, fall day. Make like a local and grab a cup of cider from a local coffee shop while you stroll down Manitou Avenue. From arts festivals to coffin races, there’s no shortage of events this fall in Manitou.
Best hiking:

Mueller State Park

Just a 35 minute drive from Manitou Springs and somehow a world away, Mueller State Park is our region’s best kept secret. Whether your idea of hiking involves crampons or flip flops—the leaf peeping in Mueller won’t disappoint. Be sure to pack a reusable water bottle and stay hydrated. 
Most scenic drive:

Gold Camp Road to Cripple Creek

Fair warning: you’ll want to stop and take pictures at every pull-off along this drive. Another local favorite, this route starts just 15 minutes from downtown Manitou. Drive along winding roads and through a sea of sunshine-yellow aspens before reaching Cripple Creek. Be sure to grab lunch in town and make friends with the wild donkeys before heading back.

Timing your trip for the best colors: Locals know how to pick the prime weekend for leaf peeping. Keep track of popular spots like Cripple Creek and Mueller State Park on Instagram using hashtags. As visitors share their photos, track the leaves as they change until you spot the ultimate show of colors.

Most epic backdrop:

Pikes Peak - America's Mountain

Last but certainly not least, some of the most epic views this fall can be found on our very own Pikes Peak. Drive the highway up winding switchbacks and through golden aspen groves—or, leave the driving to The Broadmoor Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway. The train departs out of Manitou Springs, just off of Ruxton Avenue. All aboard! 
Pikes Peak Catamount 1500

Photo courtesy of Visit Pikes Peak.

Know before you go

Tips for planning your fall trip

Dress in layers

Don’t let the lower temps fool you—hot afternoons aren’t unusual in the fall.

Stay hydrated

Keep a reusable water bottle with you and fill it up at one of 8 mineral springs in Manitou. 

make memories

Golden aspens make for the perfect backdrop to a family photo or senior portrait.

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