Fall travel in Colorado – Ouray & Telluride

Fall in Colorado rivals many other states that are well-known for leaf peeping. I’ve been to some of those states and I have to say that while I might be a teensy bit bias, Colorado holds her own against the best of them.

I am an October baby, so I’ve done a lot of fall travel in Colorado. I love traveling in the autumn for many reasons. Towns are less crowded, the air is crisp and there’s always a chance that we’ll experience the first snow of the season. That’s exactly what happened a number of years ago in Leadville. We woke up to six inches of snow on October 10.

I thought I’d share a few great Colorado fall getaways for those who’d love to leaf peep along the way. This is the first in a three-part series of blog posts about fall travel around Colorado.

Be astounded by fall in Ouray & Telluride

I got to experience the wonder for an Ouray/Telluride fall last year in early October while at a conference. The most amazing scenic overlook, an overlook that has been featured in many calendars over the years, is located between Ridgeway and Telluride.

There will be a line of professional photographers, and wanna-bes like me, lined up along the fence taking photos so you can’t miss the pull out. I took the two following photographs at this overlook just two days apart.

between ridgeway and telluride. Colorado iin the fall of 2013. HeidiTown.com

scenery between Ridgeway and Telluride Colorado. HeidiTown.com 2013
Same spot a few days later on my way back from Telluride after a freshly fallen snow.

Telluride or Ouray would make a great home base for this trip. Of course, I’d recommend a night or two in each place. The towns are located about one hour apart.

Ouray has hot springs, so you can go wrong with a stay here. Places like the Historic Wiesbaden Hotel & Spa have their own or try the public hot springs pool. The bonus in Ouray is that the hot springs are sulfur free, so no rotten egg smell. Your kids will want to stay and play all day and you might too.

Reflection of the mountains in the hot spring pool at the Wiesbaden in Ouray. HeidiTown.com
Reflection of the mountains in the hot spring pool at the Wiesbaden in Ouray, Colorado.

If the evenings are getting chilly, stop at O’Brien’s Pub for Guinness beef stew. This stew gets two thumbs way up from me. And breakfast is always delectable at Backstreet Bistro.

In Telluride you must ride the gondola between the town and the ski resort. During the fall it’s like traveling through a golden tunnel. I was there during peak color and it was truly a spectacular experience.

Riding the gondola in Telluride, Colorado in the fall. HeidiTown.com

Riding the gondola in Telluride, Colorado after a fresh snow in the fall. HeidiTown.com
Same gondola ride the next day after a snow fall.It’s blurry because the photo was taken through the window of the gondola.

Also, even if you don’t stay there, be sure to stop by the The Peaks Resort and take a photograph from their patio.

the view from The Peaks Resort in Telluride, Colorado in the fall. HeidiTown.com

I’ve only visited once Telluride during a conference last year, so I was busy doing conferencey things, but I really need to get back there with Ryan in tow. I did have an amazing meal at Talay in Mountain Village and I enjoyed a drink at The Last Dollar Saloon, where I was treated like a regular.

This is the first in a three-part series on fall travel in Colorado. Subscribe to HeidiTown.com on the upper right hand side of this page in order not to miss the next installment.  


  1. I haven’t been to Telluride is so long, but it was GORGEOUS when we visited. We really need to get back there. Sometimes you forget what is right in your backyard!


    1. Telluride is pretty amazing. Sounds like you need to put it on your trip list! Thanks for stopping by town!


    1. Lucky! I’ll be in Ouray in mid-September and I CAN’T WAIT! Thanks for stopping by town, Darren.


    1. Sounds like a trip is in order, Censie! Thanks for stopping by town and tweeting this post!


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