The best time to visit Colorado | Best Things to do as a traveler
Colorado is home to stunning mountain peaks, gorgeous wildflower meadows, and a rich cultural heritage that attracts travelers from all over the globe.
Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventure or relaxation in the Rockies, there’s no better time to visit Colorado than right now.
From picturesque towns nestled in lush valleys to sprawling cities bustling with life, this state has something for everyone and all of it is at its very best during certain seasons.
With so much to explore and experience here regardless of when you visit, diving into the “best times” can help ensure you make the most out of your trip.
In this article we are going to discuss why wintertime and summertime are both great options for exploring Colorado’s diverse attractions.
Weather Patterns in Colorado
Colorado is a state with a diverse geography, which leads to a variety of weather patterns throughout the state.
The climate ranges from arid and semi-arid in the east to alpine and subalpine in the mountains.
Here is a comprehensive guide to the different weather patterns you can expect in Colorado:
The eastern plains of Colorado are generally arid and semi-arid with low humidity.
Summers are hot and dry with temperatures ranging from the mid-80s to the mid-90s (°F), while winters are cold with temperatures averaging in the mid-30s (°F).
Thunderstorms are common during the summer months, often bringing hail and high winds.
The Front Range, which includes the cities of Denver, Boulder, and Colorado Springs, has a semi-arid climate with low humidity.
Summers are warm with temperatures in the mid-80s to low-90s (°F) and occasional afternoon thunderstorms.
Winters are relatively mild with temperatures averaging in the mid-40s (°F), although occasional snowstorms can bring heavy snowfall.
The Rocky Mountains of Colorado have an alpine and subalpine climate.
Summers are short and cool with temperatures ranging from the mid-50s to low-70s (°F), while winters are long and cold with temperatures averaging in the 20s (°F) and heavy snowfall.
The higher elevations experience frequent thunderstorms during the summer months.
The Western Slope, which includes Grand Junction and Durango, has a high-desert climate with low humidity.
Summers are hot with temperatures in the mid-90s (°F), while winters are relatively mild with temperatures averaging in the mid-30s to low-40s (°F).
Thunderstorms are common during the summer months.
The southwestern part of Colorado, including the San Juan Mountains, has a subalpine climate.
Summers are short and cool with temperatures ranging from the mid-50s to low-70s (°F), while winters are long and cold with heavy snowfall.
Thunderstorms are common during the summer months.
Best time to visit Colorado
Colorado is a state that boasts natural beauty, outdoor activities, and a dynamic culture, making it an ideal destination for any traveler.
If you’re seeking to experience the best of what Colorado has to offer, then you might want to consider visiting in the months of June through October.
During this time, the weather is generally mild and pleasant, providing ample opportunities for hiking, cycling, camping, and other outdoor activities.
As fall approaches, Colorado’s mountains turn into a haven for foliage enthusiasts, with gold and red hues spread across the hills.
The fall in Colorado offers a magical experience for visitors, and the pleasant temperatures make exploring the region even more enjoyable.
Why (June through October) is the best time to visit Colorado?
Colorado is a year-round outdoor paradise with snow-capped mountains, beautiful forests, and stunning lakes.
However, if you’re planning to visit Colorado, it’s essential to know the best time because it can make a huge difference in your experience.
By visiting in June through October, you can take advantage of the beautiful weather and enjoy all the outdoor adventures that this state has to offer.
There are several reasons to visit Colorado during this time, including the following:
Perfect Weather for Outdoor Activities
June through October is an excellent time to visit Colorado because the weather is perfect for outdoor activities.
The warm temperatures create a comfortable environment for hiking, biking, and water activities.
The days are long, so you can have more time to explore various scenic routes, go for a picnic, or simply relax.
The wildflowers are also in full bloom, creating an incredible sight, especially in the mountains.
Ideal Time for Wildlife-watching
Colorado has diverse wildlife, and June through October is the perfect time to watch them in their natural habitat.
During this season, you can spot bighorn sheep, elks, mountain goats, black bears, and moose in the Colorado wilderness.
You can choose among several tour options or visit one of the scenic routes to catch a glimpse of these animals.
Be sure to bring binoculars and a camera to capture these awe-inspiring moments.
One of the most famous Colorado attractions is the fall foliage, and it only happens in September and October.
The mountains are covered in a blanket of yellow, orange, and red hues, creating a breathtaking sight to behold.
You can take a drive along the scenic byways, hike, or climb, and witness the natural beauty that colorado has to offer.
Festivals and Events
Colorado is known for its festivals and events, especially during June through October.
You can attend various outdoor music festivals, beer gardens, sporting events, and cultural festivals during these months.
Some of the most popular festivals include the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Colorado Classic Bike Race, Great American Beer festival, and the Famous Estes Park Elk Festival.
Another reason to visit Colorado from June through October is that it is an affordable time. You can get great deals on airfare, hotel rates, and tour packages during these months.
Not only that, since it is the offseason, the crowds are fewer, allowing you to get the best seats and reservations without long waits or hefty expenses.
6 Best things to do in Colorado
Ready for an adventure in the heart of the Rocky Mountains? Colorado has something for everyone, from picturesque hiking trails that lead to stunning vistas, to world-class skiing and snowboarding in some of the most beautiful mountain ranges in the world.
Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or just looking for a peaceful escape, Colorado has it all. Take a walk into the followings:
Hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the most beautiful and popular destinations in Colorado.
The park is known for its majestic mountain peaks, alpine meadows, crystal-clear lakes, and diverse wildlife. With over 355 miles of hiking trails, it is a hiker’s paradise.
The park offers a range of hiking options, from easy, family-friendly walks to strenuous hikes up to the park’s 14,000-foot peaks.
Along the way, hikers can witness the park’s breathtaking natural beauty, spot wildlife such as elk, bighorn sheep, and black bears, and explore the park’s pristine wilderness.
For outdoor enthusiasts, hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park is a must-do experience that offers an unparalleled opportunity to connect with nature.
Soaking in the hot springs
Colorado is home to a number of hot springs, which are a perfect way to relax and unwind after a day of hiking, skiing, or exploring.
One of the most popular hot springs is the Glenwood Hot Springs, which is the largest hot springs pool in the world.
The pool is filled with natural mineral water and is surrounded by beautiful mountain views. Another popular spot is the Strawberry Park Hot Springs, which is located in Steamboat Springs.
These hot springs are surrounded by trees and offer a more natural and secluded experience. Visitors can soak in the warm water, enjoy the serene surroundings, and experience the therapeutic benefits of the natural mineral water.
Soaking in the hot springs is a unique and rejuvenating experience that is perfect for anyone looking to relax and unwind.
Exploring the Garden of the Gods
The Garden of the Gods is a stunning natural wonder located in Colorado Springs. The park is home to towering red rock formations that have been shaped by millions of years of erosion.
Visitors can explore the park on foot or by bike, and there are plenty of trails to choose from. Highlights of the park include the Balanced Rock, which is a massive boulder that seems to defy gravity, and the Kissing Camels, which are two rock formations that resemble camels kissing.
The park is a unique and unforgettable destination that offers visitors the chance to witness the awe-inspiring power of nature.
Skiing or snowboarding in Aspen
Aspen is one of the premier ski destinations in the United States, and for good reason.
The town is surrounded by four ski mountains, each with their own unique terrain and atmosphere. Aspen Mountain is the closest to the town and offers challenging runs for advanced skiers and snowboarders.
Snowmass is the largest of the four mountains and has a wide variety of runs for all skill levels. Buttermilk is the easiest mountain and is great for beginners and families.
And finally, Aspen Highlands is known for its expert terrain and challenging runs. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, Aspen has something for everyone.
In addition to skiing and snowboarding, the town of Aspen is known for its high-end restaurants, luxury shops, and vibrant nightlife.
Touring the breweries in Denver
Denver is known as the “Napa Valley of beer” and is home to over 150 breweries.
A brewery tour is a great way to sample some of the best craft beer in the country and learn about the brewing process.
Some of the most popular breweries include the Great Divide Brewing Company, which has won numerous awards for its beer, and the Wynkoop Brewing Company, which is located in a historic building in downtown Denver.
Other notable breweries include the Denver Beer Company, the Breckenridge Brewery, and the Avery Brewing Company.
Visitors can sample a wide variety of beers, learn about the brewing process, and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of Denver’s craft beer scene.
Scenic drives in the Rockies
Colorado is known for its stunning mountain scenery, and one of the best ways to experience it is by taking a scenic drive.
The San Juan Skyway Loop is a 236-mile route that winds through the Rockies and offers spectacular views of mountains, forests, and rivers.
Another popular route is Trail Ridge Road, which is the highest continuous paved road in America and reaches an elevation of more than 12,000 feet.
The Million Dollar Highway is a breathtaking stretch of road that winds through the San Juan Mountains and offers stunning views of snow-capped peaks.
Taking one of these scenic drives is the perfect way to experience the beauty of Colorado’s mountains.
Best places to eat in Colorado
Whether you’re in the mood for a hearty steak, fresh seafood, or delicious vegetarian fare, Colorado has something for everyone.
From the bustling city of Denver to the charming mountain towns, there are countless restaurants to explore and indulge in.
Take a look at some of the best eating spots in Colorado:
Frasca Food and Wine – Boulder
Frasca Food and Wine is a high-end Italian restaurant located in Boulder, Colorado. The restaurant offers a contemporary take on traditional Italian cuisine, with dishes made from locally-sourced ingredients.
The atmosphere is elegant and refined, with a sophisticated yet warm ambiance. The wine list is extensive and carefully curated, featuring an impressive selection of Italian and American wines. The restaurant is perfect for a special occasion or a romantic dinner.
Mercantile Dining & Provision – Denver
Located in Denver’s historic Union Station, Mercantile Dining & Provision is a contemporary American restaurant that offers farm-to-table cuisine.
The restaurant features an open kitchen, where diners can watch the chefs at work, and the menu changes seasonally to reflect the availability of local ingredients.
The restaurant also has a market, where diners can purchase artisanal products and ingredients. The atmosphere is casual yet stylish, with a modern industrial design.
The Kitchen – Boulder
The Kitchen is a farm-to-table restaurant located in downtown Boulder, Colorado.
The restaurant sources its ingredients from local farmers and ranchers, and the menu changes seasonally to reflect the availability of fresh produce.
The atmosphere is warm and welcoming, with an emphasis on community and sustainability. The restaurant also has an extensive wine list, featuring both domestic and international wines.
Blackbelly – Boulder
Blackbelly is a farm-to-table restaurant located in Boulder, Colorado.
The restaurant is known for its commitment to sustainable and locally-sourced ingredients, with a focus on grass-fed meats and organic produce.
The menu changes seasonally to reflect the availability of fresh ingredients, and the restaurant also offers a selection of artisanal cheeses and cured meats.
The atmosphere is modern and stylish, with an open kitchen and an outdoor patio.
Flagstaff House Restaurant – Boulder
Flagstaff House Restaurant is a fine dining establishment located in the foothills of Boulder, Colorado.
The restaurant offers panoramic views of the city and the surrounding mountains, and the menu features contemporary American cuisine with a French twist.
The restaurant has an extensive wine list, with over 16,000 bottles in its cellar. The atmosphere is elegant and refined, with a dress code enforced.
Rioja – Denver
Rioja is a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant located in the heart of Denver’s Larimer Square.
The restaurant features a seasonal menu that highlights the flavors of the Mediterranean, with an emphasis on fresh seafood and vegetables.
The atmosphere is warm and inviting, with a modern yet rustic design. The restaurant also has an extensive wine list, featuring both domestic and international wines.
Acorn – Denver
Acorn is a contemporary American restaurant located in Denver’s River North (RiNo) neighborhood.
The restaurant offers a creative and innovative menu that focuses on seasonal ingredients and bold flavors.
The atmosphere is casual yet sophisticated, with an open kitchen and a lively bar. The restaurant also has a rooftop patio, which offers stunning views of the city skyline.
Best places to stay in Colorado
Among the snow-capped peaks and sweeping expanses of rugged terrain, Colorado offers a wonderful array of places to stay that cater to all kinds of travelers.
The Broadmoor – Colorado Springs
The Broadmoor is a historic luxury resort in Colorado Springs, established in 1918. Set against the stunning backdrop of the Rocky Mountains, it spans over 5,000 acres of lush landscapes and picturesque surroundings.
The resort offers a range of accommodations, from opulent rooms and suites to private cabins and estates.
Guests can enjoy world-class amenities, including three golf courses, a spa, multiple dining options, and a variety of recreational activities such as horseback riding, tennis, and rock climbing.
The Broadmoor also hosts the iconic Seven Falls, a series of cascading waterfalls and a must-see attraction in Colorado.
The Little Nell – Aspen
The Little Nell is a five-star luxury hotel nestled at the base of Aspen Mountain, offering ski-in/ski-out access and unparalleled views of the surrounding peaks.
This boutique hotel features elegant rooms and suites with custom furnishings, cozy fireplaces, and private balconies.
Guests can savor gourmet dining experiences at the hotel’s renowned restaurants, Element 47 and Ajax Tavern, or unwind at the award-winning Little Nell Wine Bar.
The hotel’s concierge team is known for their exceptional service, arranging tailored experiences such as heli-skiing, fly fishing, and hot air ballooning.
The Stanley Hotel – Estes Park
The Stanley Hotel, built in 1909, is a historic landmark in Estes Park known for its stunning architecture, panoramic views, and storied past.
The hotel inspired Stephen King’s bestselling novel “The Shining,” and offers themed tours for those interested in its ghostly tales.
The property features a range of accommodations, from classic rooms to luxurious suites and private residences.
Guests can enjoy on-site dining, a whiskey bar, and a spa, as well as nearby hiking trails in the majestic Rocky Mountain National Park.
Dunton Hot Springs – Dolores
Dunton Hot Springs is a unique, all-inclusive resort located in a restored ghost town near Dolores, offering an immersive experience in the heart of the San Juan Mountains.
The property features 13 individually designed cabins, each with a unique rustic charm and modern amenities.
Guests can enjoy the mineral-rich natural hot springs, indulge in farm-to-table cuisine, and partake in various activities such as horseback riding, fly fishing, and mountain biking.
Dunton Hot Springs provides a tranquil and secluded retreat for those seeking to reconnect with nature.
The Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch – Beaver Creek
The Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch, situated in the Beaver Creek ski area, offers a luxurious mountain lodge experience with ski-in/ski-out access and breathtaking views.
The property features spacious rooms, suites, and residences designed with rustic elegance and contemporary comforts.
Guests can indulge in the award-winning spa, heated outdoor pool, and a variety of dining options, including the acclaimed Wolfgang Puck’s Spago.
The hotel’s expert staff can also arrange personalized outdoor activities, such as guided hikes and snowshoeing adventures.
Hotel Jerome – Aspen
Hotel Jerome, a historic landmark in downtown Aspen, effortlessly combines Victorian elegance with modern luxury.
Established in 1889, the hotel showcases beautifully appointed rooms and suites with plush furnishings, curated art, and mountain-inspired decor.
Guests can enjoy the hotel’s stylish restaurants and bars, including the renowned J-Bar and Prospect, or relax at the Auberge Spa.
Hotel Jerome is conveniently located within walking distance of the Aspen Art Museum, Wheeler Opera House, and Aspen Mountain’s Silver Queen Gondola.
Garden of the Gods Resort and Club – Colorado Springs
Garden of the Gods Resort and Club is an exclusive retreat offering breathtaking views of the iconic Garden of the Gods Park and Pikes Peak.
The property features luxury villas, cottages, and estate homes with stylish decor, modern amenities, and private outdoor living spaces.
Guests can take advantage of the Resort’s 18-hole golf course, two swimming pools, spa treatments, and on-site dining options.
For added convenience, Garden of the Gods Resort offers complimentary shuttle service to nearby attractions including the Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center.
The Brown Palace – Denver
The Brown Palace, one of Denver’s most iconic hotels, offers a unique blend of grandeur and modern luxury.
Located in the heart of downtown, just steps from Union Station, the hotel features elegantly appointed guestrooms and suites complete with custom furniture, marble bathrooms, and unique artwork.
The Brown Palace also offers a range of dining options, including the award-winning Ship Tavern & Brewery and Ellyng’s Bar and Restaurant. Spa services are available for those wishing to relax after a day exploring the city.
Colorado is home to a wealth of luxurious mountain resorts and city hotels, allowing visitors to experience the best of what the state has to offer.
From classic accommodations in rustic cabins to contemporary luxuries at world-class resorts, travelers can find a variety of lodging options that will suit their budget and taste.
Whether seeking an outdoor adventure or simply a quiet retreat, Colorado has something for everyone.
Whatever your destination, you can be sure that your stay in the Centennial State will be nothing short of extraordinary.
What is the best month to visit Colorado?
The best time to visit Colorado is from mid-June to October, when the weather is pleasant and the days are long. Peak tourist season runs from June to August, and while it can be crowded during this time, there are many festivals and events that take place throughout the summer months.
What is the hottest month in Colorado?
The hottest month in Colorado is usually July, with temperatures reaching up to the 90s in some areas. In mountainous regions, however, temperatures may remain cooler and fluctuate greatly depending on altitude.
Is Colorado a safe place to visit?
Yes, Colorado is a generally safe place to visit. However, like any destination, it’s important to exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings. Be sure to research safety tips for the areas you plan to visit, and always trust your instincts if something feels off.
What is the best month to see snow in Colorado?
The best time to see snow in Colorado is typically from late October to mid-April. Ski season in the state usually runs from November to April, when resorts such as Breckenridge and Vail are open for skiing and other winter activities.
How long should I visit Colorado?
If you would like to explore multiple cities and attractions, then a week or more is recommended. However, if your goal is to relax in the mountains or take part in outdoor activities such as skiing or hiking, then one weekend can be enough time to make the most of your visit.