The Mystic San Luis Valley is beautiful year-round, however, fall sings a glorious song here. The endless trees surrounding and inside of the Valley offer a unique experience that shows fall in an intense glow of reds, oranges, and yellows. No matter where you go, one is sure to be in awe of this picturesque season, but we are here to set you on route to some of the best views that the Valley has to offer. Get ready to voyage to places that seem unreal, as you listen to the trees and crisp air sing goodbye to summer, and hello to Fall.
Conejos River Valley
15 miles South of Alamosa you will find the Conejos River and River Valley. This stretch of river runs just over 92 miles--that's a lot of leaves to see! Take a drive into this beautiful area and take in all the area has to offer! Get out, take a walk and breathe in the cool Fall air, dip your toes into the cool waters if you are brave enough! Listen to the river flow as the breeze makes the leaves shiver as you watch them fall one by one, slowly saying farewell to Fall. Find more information about this area and directions here.
Beaver Creek Road, South Fork
Just before you head out of South Fork to make your way over Wolf Creek Pass, hang a left and head up Beaver Creek Road. Here, the aspens offer a tunnel vision experience as they cover every inch of the roadside. Find pull off areas for the perfect picnic. Follow trails and side roads into a serene world where the squirrels are playing in the leaves and the sun peeks through the thick woods around you. Find a perfect spot by the river and take in some of the best fishing of the year while it lasts! Choose to follow the road all the way up to the beautiful lake that is encased in fall colors and offers a fishing opportunity for the whole family. Allow the crisp air to fill your lungs as you breathe in the unique scents of the forest in fall. This otherworldly experience is sure to make you want to freeze time, and take in more. Click here to learn more and find a route to this stunning location.
Silver Thread Scenic & Historic Byway, South Fork, Creede
Looking to spend an entire day surrounded by fall foliage? This is the route for you! With 117 miles to explore, this road trip will give you all the warmth you need to beat the cool temperatures. You will start your historic journey in South Fork and by the evening, will find yourself in Creede, CO. Follow the instructed route to fully engulf yourself in all the trail has to offer. Avid fishermen will want to take their chances fishing for trophy trout in the Blue Mesa Reservoir before heading on the final stretch of the drive. You will go through historic towns, gaze upon gorgeous lakes surrounded in Fall glory and truly have a one-of-a-kind experience! Click here to learn about this route, historical sites and stops, and find a map to get you to all the best places.
Bachelor Loop, Creede
Looking for a great way to spend a morning or afternoon? Hop in the car and head for Bachelor Loop in Creede, Colorado. This 17-mile trail is calling your name and even has trail options for ATV's should you wish to go that route. The West Willow Creek route is suited for vehicles while the East route is only accessible by ATV travel. Loop your way through ghost towns, stop at historical markers, and see the remnants from a time far before us surrounded by flawless fall landscapes that create the perfect backdrop for photographers. There is a trail map available for purchase in the Creede Visitors Center with all the information needed for $3.00. You can find all the information for the historical tour you will need here. You can find a map of this trail here.
Rio Grande Trail, Alamosa
Grab a coffee and the family and make your way to the Rio Grande Trail, just a few miles outside of town. With nothing around you to enjoy but nature, this mild hike is the perfect escape be it solo or with family and friends. Much of your journey will be right up against the river. Crisp leaves will encapsulate you as you go and the soothing sound of the calm river will fill your ears. Spot wildlife along the way and watch them play in the Fall Breeze and catch a glimpse of the seasonal birds before they make their way to warmer weather. As you go, listen to the leaves crunch beneath your feet and dance in the rain of leaves sure to be falling all around you. Grab a few pictures, but be sure to take the time to grab all the mental images possible. Learn more and find a map of this trail here
Walk the Gold Medal Waters, South Fork
There is really no may for this scenic journey. Simply head into South Fork and find a safe place to park your vehicle on the roadside and start walking! Be surrounded by the sounds of Fall in minutes and enjoy them for as long as you would like. There is no rush to this stop and allows you free reign of the stretch. Pack a rod and try your luck catching a trophy trout, commonly known to frequent the waters. Bring a picnic and enjoy it on the riverside. Bring your camera, because you are sure to come across plenty of wildlife and different beautiful photo opportunities. While on this walk, if you find yourself in the area of homes or come across posted private property, do be respectful and continue in a different direction. While you are free to roam, there are still restricted areas. Be sure to read up on the section you plan to walk and be aware of private property!
Hannah Lane, Del Norte
This is another viewing opportunity you will not need an itinerary for. Make your way up the road to the pull off point by the river. The dirt lot is sure to be filled with fallen foliage as you will be surrounded by what is left on the trees to gaze upon. As a favorite fishing spot, you are sure not to be the only one in the area. Though not secluded, it is still quiet and offers views of yellows and oranges right on the river. Explore, breathe deep, and embrace this location as the brisk air tickles your nose and birds fly overhead. This is the perfect location for a romantic fall evening or a sunrise family moment, and maybe even to catch that family photo you have been looking for. There is no limit to the enjoyment of this viewing stop! Find directions to this location here.
Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge, Monte Vista
Well known and loved by locals and visitors alike is the Monte Vista National Wildlife refuge. Some of the most well-known local photographers select this location for its natural beauty, water features, wildlife viewing, and this time of year, the fall colors. With over 14,000 acres to take in, you will enjoy a full day of fun drinking in the fall colors as well as wildlife and surrounding nature. The ever famous Sandhill cranes are making their way through the refuge now and will be gone by the end of October until their glorious return in the Spring. Brush up on your photography skills and see how to take the best photos here. To learn more about the refuge, click here.
Mosca Pass Trail, Great Sand Dunes, Great Sand Dunes National Park
You haven't truly experienced Fall in Alamosa until you have experienced it from the Great Sand Dunes National Park. This trail makes you work a little big for the big-picture view, but is stunning the entire way there. Pack you day trip hiking bag complete with sunscreen, water, snacks, and layers for the various temperatures throughout the day. Head up the trail and instantly be transported to a Fall wonderland. Listen to the trees as they dance in the light breeze, and hear birds and other surrounding wildlife along the way. What waits for you at the end? A view that host mountains, sand dunes, and fall foliage all in one image. Take your time at the top, hydrate, eat, and appreciate the magic right before your eyes. For more information about this trail, click here.
North & South Clear Creek Falls, Creede
These unique falls are a bit of a drive from Alamosa, but more than worth the trip it takes to get to them! This two-hour drive alone will leave you in awe of Fall in Colorado. On your way from Alamosa, you will go through 4 different towns that all offer incredible views of the leaves. The stretch between Creede, CO, and the final destination will leave you speechless. Try to find your words however, because either one of the two falls will have you again, lost for words. Waterfalls. wildlife, and shimmering leaves of gold and red all await you when you reach the falls themselves. The afternoons can be brisk, so be sure to bring a jacket and something warm to drink, it will be hard to pull yourself back to the car with the view in front of you! Learn more and find a map to the falls here.
No matter where you go this Fall, always remeber to follow the leave-no-trace principles and keep the landscape beautiful for all visitors and locals. View wildlife at a safe distance and be sure not to disturb them. Know before you go, always be prepared for various types of weather and pack accordingly! If you choose to hike, pack sunscreen, snacks, and plenty of water, just because it is cooling off doesn't mean you don't still need the basics!
All of us here at Visit Alamosa wish you a happy Fall filled with countless hours of enjoying the season that gives meaning to "Colorful Colorado"