A Few Of My Favorite Fall Things
Autumn in Colorado still has much to offer for activities and adventure
Photos by Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer
Here in the Rocky Mountains, it's the season for boots, sweaters and bowls of steaming chili. The kids are back in school and daily routines develop. Should you want a get away, the wonderful thing about fall in the Rockies is that while the air gets crisp, the sun is likely shining and you can still get outside to enjoy the scenery.
Ryan and I often travel in the fall, in part, because our birthdays are in October and November. So we have managed to see much of the state during this season of change.
I have lovely memories of being in Crested Butte in the late fall. There were rainbows everywhere. You may think I am exaggerating but I am not. The locals tell me that fall is often a time when rainbows materialize in the area.
I rented a bike and rode the paved rec trail between town and the ski resort. The views along this trail are astounding and you’ll stop frequently for photos. Ducks love the ponds that periodically appear and crows sit on fence posts. While I didn’t make it all the way to the resort (that’s a lot of uphill riding) it was a wonderful outing and a great way to see the countryside without having to travel far from Crested Butte.
A warm drink is just the thing in autumn and no trip to Crested Butte is complete with a stop at Camp 4 Coffee. Its iconic outer wall of license plates has been photographed by every visitor who stops by. Whether soft snow is falling or the sun is warming the patio, Camp 4 Coffee is one of my favorite places in the fall.
The town is quiet at this time of year, and a cozy autumn vacation in Crested Butte is the perfect recharge leading into the holidays.
Grand Lake is another place where I’ve made fall memories. Even when the trees have dropped the last of their leaves, a walk at the lake in the early morning is magical. Especially with a hot cup of steaming coffee from Blue Water Bakery, one of several great cafes in town.
Adams Falls is a short, easy hike that’s nice at any time of year. On my birthday weekend many autumns ago, my husband took me to Grand Lake. We had to dress warmly because even in early October it was chilly, but the hike was invigorating and provided views of the waterfalls of East Inlet Creek.
Another birthday memory was dinner at the Chart House in Genesee. We held our wedding rehearsal dinner here in May 2002, so this restaurant, only about 30 minutes west of Denver, has been around for a while.
The views of Denver are spectacular from a window table at Chart House. If you are traveling the mountains past peak color time, the view more than makes up for it. A meal at the Chart House is a good jumping-off place for travel to Georgetown, Central City/Blackhawk, Evergreen or Golden.
Autumn is a wonderful season in the Colorado Rocky Mountains and I hope you make the most of it this year.