Leaf Peeping Guide to Summit County, CO

Dated: September 10 2023

Views: 169

Fall in Summit County, Colorado, holds an enduring charm. Many of us wish for an extra month of this season. It may be brief, but it's arguably the most magical. The Colorado activity of the season is leaf peeping. If you are new to the activity, leaf peeping is going out and finding changing leaves to look at or photograph.

Don't miss the chance to witness the season's changing and bask in the vibrant transformation of the Aspen Trees. Explore some trails below to enjoy while you are leaf peeping in Summit County.

Keystone Gulch



Rating: Difficult

This is a great trail if you are looking for a long hike or mountain bike ride. It is a beautiful 15.5-mile loop with 2,240 feet of elevation gain. Check it out on All Trails.

Ptarmigan Trail


Rating: Moderate

Ptarmigan is a stunning out-and-back trail. Enjoy expansive views of Lake Dillon and see patches of bright fall colors throughout the county. There is 1,143 feet of elevation gain, and it is 4.6 miles. Learn more about this route on All Trails.  

Lily Pad Lake


Rating: Easy-Moderate

This is a great little hike for the whole family. Enjoy a more relaxed walk up with 403 feet of elevation gain to the beautiful small lake. It is a 3.3-mile out-and-back hike. There are two routes to hike to the lake. You can take the Lily Pad Trail from Silverthorne or access it via the Meadow Creek Trail > Lily Pad Trail from Frisco. Plan your adventure on All Trails here.

Rainbow Lake


Rating: Easy
Rainbow Lakes is an excellent spot to go if you have little kids and want something short yet beautiful and right out of Frisco. Take a picnic for the whole family and enjoy the changing leaves. It is only a 1.5-mile out-and-back hike with minimal elevation gain. Check out more on the trail here.

Sapphire Point

Between Keystone and Breckenridge

Rating: Very Easy

If you are not in the mood for a hike, this is more of a viewpoint where you can stroll. You will have stunning views of the county. To get there, drive up Swan Mountain Road; the viewpoint is at the top. Be careful of bikers as it is also a popular road bike area.

Aspen Alley 


Rating: Moderate

If you are looking for an enjoyable, short mountain bike trail that will make you feel like you are riding through gold, this is the one. Not only is it one of the best leaf-peeping spots in the county, but it is also a fun trail to ride. Bike up Boreas Pass Road and then bike down the trail. Check out more about this trail here.

Boreas Pass Road


Rating: Long but Easy

Drive to the top of Boreas Pass on the dirt road. You will experience the changing colors of the Aspen Trees and expansive views of the Ten Mile Range. Make it up before they close the road for winter.

Wheeler Lakes 


Rating: Moderate

Hike up to these beautiful lakes with 1,496 feet of elevation gain. It is a 6.6-mile out-and-back hike. Enjoy the open meadows and Aspen forests full of color. Plan your trip here.  

French Gulch Road


Rating: Easy-Difficult

There are many trails in this area right outside of Breckenridge. There is also a lot of mining history, including Country Boy Mine. You can explore the vast trail system and make your adventure as short or long as you wish.

I hope to see you in Summit County this fall!

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Jeff Moore

Knowledgeable - Trustworthy - DrivenJeff found an outlet for his love of architecture and homes when he started in Real Estate 30 years ago in Summit County. Jeff's well-rounded experience in the Wyom....

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