Durango is beautiful all year round, but if you’re a lover of long walks in the cool autumn air or scenic drives through mountains covered in red and gold, you can’t miss seeing Durango in the fall. The best time to see the leaves change in southwest Colorado is typically between mid-September and early October. So book your fall getaway with us now, and check out this list of the best places to enjoy Durango’s fall foliage while you’re here!
Before you set out to enjoy the Durango fall scenery, indulge with a delicious meal! Download our free Vacation Guide to get our recommendations for the best restaurants in town. Our Vacation Guide has helped so many guests plan their trip in no time. Download a copy today to get started!
Our Favorite Places to See the Autumn Leaves in Durango
During the summer months, Cascade Creek is a popular spot for both locals and adventurous visitors, who hike through the creek itself and jump several waterfalls on the way down. In the fall, Cascade Creek transforms into a tranquil mountain escape, covered by beautiful fall foliage. The best part about the Cascade Creek area is that you can enjoy the stunning views from your car or on your feet. The Cascade Creek trail is located right off of Highway 550, 2.3 miles north of Purgatory. The highway winds through the mountains, giving even passersby a front seat view to some of area’s most gorgeous views. For those looking to get up close and personal, the hiking trail has a moderate rating and is a great destination for dogs. Check out this map before you head that way and you’ll be sure to have a blast!
This stunning reservoir draws visitors to fish, hike, boat, horseback ride and more. Just like Cascade Creek, you can get gorgeous views of the fall foliage around Vallecito by driving the road that circles it or by choosing a walking path. There are several signs that mark suggested walking paths, which stay close to the water’s edge and offer plenty of great photo opportunities. This year-round destination is located just 18 scenic miles northeast of Durango. Surrounded by mountains, Lake Vallecito has endless, breathtaking views that the whole family will love (including the dog!). Plan your daytrip using this map and enjoy those one-of-a-kind views.
Animas River Trail
If you’ve been to Durango, you know about the wonderful walking and biking path the stretches from one end of town to the other. The Animas River Trail is a paved, seven-mile path that follows the river and connects the public library, downtown Durango and the famed Smelter Rapid behind Santa Rita Park. The river trail is easy to access at several different points and is good for getting from one place to another or simply enjoying the nature that surrounds it, from the foliage in the fall to the Animas River running swiftly alongside it. Not only are pedestrians, dogs and bikes welcome, but the trail also sees its fair share of rollerbladers. Some of the best parts of the trail to admire the changing, fall leaves are behind the public library and in Rotary Park. See the full map of the trail here.
Highway 160/Hesperus Area
A little bit off the beaten path is the quiet and beautiful Hesperus Ski Area, off of Highway 160 to the northwest of downtown Durango. It’s only an 11-minute drive and trust us when we say, every second is worth it to enjoy these views in the fall. This one is just as much about the journey as the destination. The highway hugs the mountains and has tall trees in every direction. In the fall, this drive is completely red and gold and will leave those who love fall in awe. If you head this way on a weekend, be sure to check out the Kennebec Café for a delicious brunch with no shortage of views.
Stay in a Rental Home from Durango Colorado Vacations
Are you ready to explore Durango’s beautiful fall foliage? Then book a home with Durango Colorado Vacations! We have an amazing selection of rental properties, from gorgeous estates to quaint cabins. No matter the reason for your visit, we’ll have the perfect accommodations for you.
Consider booking Cliffside Family Retreat, a beautiful five-bedroom, three-bathroom property that’s a perfect fit for the whole family—even the dog! Nestled between the Rocky Mountains and Electra Lake, this log cabin-inspired destination will feel like your home away from home. A few miles north of downtown Durango, Cliffside Family Retreat offers an escape from the ordinary with gorgeous mountain views and wide open spaces. This property is sure to please adventure and relaxation-seekers alike. Ready to book what will become an unforgettable trip? Take a look at the rest of our homes and reserve one today! We’re thrilled to have you.