Our Favorite Activities to Do in Denver and the Colorado Mountains Before Winter Hits

woman eating tacos

When travelling to Colorado you may think that there aren’t any other activities other than skiing, hiking, and white water rafting but that isn’t correct. Fall is the best time to be in the mountains. The Aspen trees changing make for a breathtaking view on and off the road, especially with the panoramic windows of a 15-passenger van rental. Do not fret because today, I will share my favorite activities to do in the Colorado mountains before winter hits.

scenic fall drive

Scenic Drives and Tacos 

I will start with my personal favorite thing to do since moving to the wonderful state of Colorado. Scenic drives are the best way to see things you may miss while staying in the city. If you go out to Battle Mountain Pass, you will have the opportunity to see an amazing, abandoned mining city called Gilman, Colorado. This area also has some amazing views of the turning Aspen trees. On Battle Mountain Pass, you will cross over the Eagle River before heading down to the charming town of Minturn, Colorado, where you can feast on delicious tacos at Rocky Mountain Taco. Be sure to keep an eye on I-70 road conditions to keep you and your family safe when driving your Denver airport van rental.

alpine gardens in the fall

Visiting the Alpine Gardens 

Another activity I would recommend is visiting the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens. The Alpine Gardens are all about deepening the understanding of alpine plants and fragile mountain environments and promoting conservation. The current exhibit at the Alpine Gardens is called From Platte to Peak. This exhibit organized by Rocky Mountain Society of Botanical Artists intends to honor and celebrate the explorers that discovered many of the species exhibited. These amazing gardens also have the Kirsten E. Liebhaber Memorial Library. It is a place worth checking out and an amazing way to spend a fall afternoon in Colorado.

lions in a wildlife sanctuary

Support Wildlife Conservation Efforts 

If you are an animal lover like me, you would love to check out The Wild Animal Sanctuary. The sanctuary was founded in 1980 outside of Boulder, Colorado. It has since been relocated to Keenesburg, Colorado, in 1994 and kept its operations on an initial 160 acres located just 30 miles north of Denver. Since 2001, the Sanctuary has been open daily from 09:00AM to Sunset, except major holidays and inclement weather closures. The sanctuary is located on rural, rolling grasslands northeast of Denver. Currently, this facility occupies 789 acres and shelters more than 550 lions, tigers, bears, leopards, mountain lions, wolves and other large carnivores.  

The sanctuary was able to find a 9,684-acre parcel of land located in southern Colorado near the town of Springfield.  A second site was proposed, and a fund-raising campaign was put in place to purchase the 9,000-plus acre property. In 2018, the Wild Animal Sanctuary closed on the property and began building what is now known as The Wild Animal Refuge. Overall, this is an amazing place to see protected wildlife. They have overhead bridges so you can look down and watch as a lion passes you. This would be an amazing activity for a family or a group of friends. If you are close to Denver head down and say hello to our furry friends! 

old church on a dark, cloudy day

Go Ghost Hunting 

Lastly, with Halloween right around the corner, you must check out the Mile High Ghosts of Denver Walking Tour. This tour will have you venturing into the heart of one of Denver’s oldest neighborhoods. For only $30.00 you will hear many of the city’s spookiest ghost stories as you visit the haunted landmarks. It is a spooky adventure for whoever is looking to join. 

I hope this blog helped you find some fun fall adventures while visiting with your group in Colorado. It’s a great mixture of spooky and fun to spend your time before the snow falls!  


About the Author

Jamie S.

Jamie is a member of the Sales & Marketing department. You will be able to find her outdoors spending time with her horses and enjoying hikes with her fur babies. A fun fact about Jamie is that she can make the best Chicken Bacon Ranch pasta in the Rockies!  

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