thankful

The Maroon Bells in September 2016.

As summer fades into autumn, millions of aspen will turn from green to gold. If you’re brave enough to face the chill of the mountain air, get out there and pitch a tent this fall. Here are some of our favorite camping destinations to explore this fall in Colorado.

1. Maroon Bells - Marvel at the beautiful foliage as you backpack your way through the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness. Sleep among the golden aspen groves found around Crater Lake. If trail conditions allow, push on for scenic beauty that delights – all 29.1 miles of it. Be warned, the hike is steep and strenuous!

Please note that permits are required for anyone planning to backpack through Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness. Additional fees including parking and shuttle rides may also apply. Aside from the “Bells,” you’ll find a buffet of camping options nestled in White River National Forest.

2. Twin Lakes - Experience beautiful scenery along the hiking trails surrounding Twin Lakes. If weather and summit conditions allow, add bagging a Colorado 14er to your fall bucket list. Mount Elbert sits at 14,433 feet, just waiting to be explored. Mount Princeton and Huron Peak also lie right around the corner for those who are feeling extra eager and adventurous. Camp out and enjoy the colors while they last.

3. Guanella Pass - Fall colors will dazzle your soul along Guanella Pass. Nestled just outside of Georgetown, campers will have convenient access to several in-town attractions including gas stations, convenient stores, restaurants, and bars, making this the perfect spot for your next fall camping adventure. Mornings in the mountains are frigid, but the beauty of the changing colors is worth it. Please note: Dispersed camping along the road just north of the pass (Georgetown side) is no longer allowed unless you are in a designated campground. Just south of the pass lies abundant camping opportunities in Pike National Forest at Geneva Creek Road #119 and Forest Road 118E. This is a great option for when designated campgrounds close down for the season.

4. Last Dollar Road - Located near the colorful mountain town of Telluride, this is an iconic spot for catching a rainbow of fall colors. From brilliant yellow to fiery shades of red and dazzling purple, expect to be awed. The mountain scenery is truly unbelievable. Campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please note high clearance 4WD vehicles are recommended.

5. Kebler Pass - A color-drenched adventure awaits along Kebler Pass near Crested Butte. From picturesque scenery to rare wildlife sightings to countless hiking trails offering spectacular fall scenery, you’ll love camping along Kebler Pass. Zip open your tent door and take in all the morning fall glory.

Kebler Pass is one of the most popular spots for seeing fall colors in Colorado. While reservable campgrounds are a great option for families or larger groups, you’ll find plenty of first-come, first-served campsites along the pass.