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    Pearl Street

    Top Fall Activities in Boulder

    Every fall, the cottonwoods, aspen, maples and other trees in and around Boulder put on a dazzling autumn show. Crimson and golden leaves float down to be whisked away by Boulder Creek and set the foothills aglow with brilliant color. Here’s a short guide to enjoying fall foliage — and fall events — in Boulder.

    The Best Time for Fall Colors in Boulder

    While the exact timing is different each year, the fall foliage in Boulder tends to be best Sept. 27–Oct. 25, and it’s at its very best Oct. 5–20. If you want to capture that quintessential Colorado photograph of the golden trees against a snow-capped mountain peak, nearby Longs Peak usually gets its first snowfall around Oct. 5–20.

    Stop by a Farm Stand or Pumpkin Patch

    Boulder is surrounded by acres of farmland, the bounty of which supplies our acclaimed restaurants with the tastiest ingredients. You can go right to the source and shop the following Boulder County farm stands — while enjoying some amazing fall landscapes along the way.

    Explore the Boulder Farm Trail

    Go Leaf Peeping

    Here are just a few ideas on where to see the fall colors in and around Boulder.

    • Mapleton Hill: One of Boulder’s most historic and beautiful neighborhoods, Mapleton Hill bursts with fall color each year. Stroll Mapleton Avenue between Broadway and 4th Streets to admire the stately homes and old-growth trees.
    • Mesa Trail: The south end of the Mesa Trail is a great place to walk among the turning leaves. Yellow cottonwoods and red sumac are prevalent in this area. The trailhead is on the north side of Eldorado Springs Drive. 
    • Wonderland Lake: A gentle loop trail at Wonderland Lake provides reflecting views of the golden cottonwoods and the Flatirons in the distance.

    Wonderland Lake in Fall

    • Boulder Creek: The gentle Boulder Creek Path is lined with trees along its banks and perfect for leaf peeping by bike. Head east to admire foothills views and open space vistas along the way. As you head back to the city, you’ll cross paths with bike commuters, training Olympians and dog-walkers.

    Family Biking Boulder Creek Path

    • Peak-to-Peak Scenic Byway: For a scenic fall drive from Boulder, take Hwy. 119 (Canyon Blvd.) west ScenicDrives2018up to Nederland and you’ll hit Hwy. 72, part of the Peak-to-Peak Scenic and Historic Byway. Be aware there is construction happening on Hwy. 119; check CDOT for updates and consider travel via Lefthand Canyon Dr. as an alternate route. The byway runs from Black Hawk to Estes Park and is one of the best places in Colorado to see fall colors.

    Sip Some Fall Beers

    Boulder has over 20 breweries and many of them serve food and are open for limited seating and have outdoor patios. Special seasonal releases are common, so check the latest tap lists for gems like Avery's Rumpkin (pumpkin-infused with rum notes) or Upslope's Pumpkin Ale. 

    It's also the perfect time for cider, with two new ciders in Boulder: BOCO Cider and Locust Cider.

    Man and woman drinking beer outside at Sanitas Brewing

    Enjoy a Coffeeshop Patio

    Sip a warm, creamy latte or maybe a hazelnut-spiced cappucino while you relax on a coffeeshop patio and people-watch or read a book. Coffeehouse patios include Ozo Coffee on East Pearl, Alpine Modern, Caffe Sole, Beleza Coffee Bar and Amante Coffee on Baseline. 

    Stroll Pearl Street

    With mountain views and a canopy of changing trees, Pearl Street is a sight to see in autumn. You'll likely catch street performers, shop sidewalk sales and grab a patio seat for open-air dining on our chefs' incredible fall flavors.  

    Fall Panorama of Boulder