By Rich Mohr
Aaaahhh. Breathe in the crisp air. Pull out your hooded sweatshirt. Fire up the grill for the football tailgate party. Experience the wonder of Colorado during this majestic time. Many people say fall is their favorite season. Whether you agree or not, here’s a list of things to do over the next few months that captures the Colorado lifestyle and might point you toward some new high-altitude adventures.
Get Up There
Colorado at roughly 10,000 feet hosts the action for those seeking to experience the amazing fall foliage. Colors start peaking in late September but can be seen well into October. Here are a few spots worth checking out.
Trail Ridge Road – Expect beautiful colors, majestic views and wildlife, such as bugling elk. Experience Estes Park on the way back down, where you can check out Rock Cut Brewing or Estes Park Brewery. I like the Renegade IPA and recommend a Stinger Wild Honey at EPB. It’s a Colorado classic!
Kebler Pass – Perhaps the most beautiful and secluded place to see the colors this fall is Kebler Pass, near Crested Butte. If you want a brew while in the area, try the Aspen Brewing Company, Crazy Mountain Brewing in Edwards or Eddyline Brewery in Buena Vista. Fall is the perfect time for an Eddyline Pumpkin Patch Ale.
La Veta Pass – Southern Colorado doesn’t get enough credit for its incredible mountain vistas and spacious colorful valleys. Escape the Front Range and enjoy this area, as well as the San Luis Valley Brewing Company in nearby Alamosa. The Alamosa Amber hits the spot after a long day of hiking and nature viewing, and if the Sweet Cherri Blonde is on tap ... imbibe!
October means Halloween!
There are many haunted houses full of zombies, ghouls, witches and spirits to curdle your blood this season. Check out a few of our favorites.
The Asylum, 6100 E. 39th Ave, Denver – Voted Colorado’s favorite, it’s downright terrifying. If you need to calm the nerves after you change your pants, take a short walk to Station 26 Brewing. Feeling complex? Try a Flight of the Zythos IPA. Need something smooth? A Colorado Cream ale will soothe your soul.
Ghouls Gulch, 3910 Palmer Park Blvd., Colorado Springs – The best haunted house in southern Colorado is celebrating its 13th year. Can you imagine a better time to check it out? There are many great breweries in the Springs, so try them all. If you don’t have time for each one, don’t miss Bristol Brewing, Nano 108 Brewing or Red Leg Brewing.
Central City Masonic Cemetery and the town of Blackhawk – Want to avoid the crowds and just get freaked out? Look for the woman in black leaving flowers for her beloved or the ghosts in the many casinos, hotels and cemeteries in Central City and Black Hawk. Hungry for pizza and a craft brew? Stop by Dostal Alley in Central City and take the edge off with an 1874 Smoked Porter and an excellent pie known as The House.
When temperatures start dropping, it means winter and the holidays are close behind. Colorado comes alive when snow starts falling and Jack Frost begins his annual nipping. Get the season rolling with friends and family by visiting one of these annual shindigs.
Lighting of Civic Center Park – The place to be at 6 p.m. Nov. 27 is downtown Denver. There’s really no better way to ring in the season. Warm up by stopping at any number of breweries or with some Fireside Whiskey or Elevate Vodka at Mile High Spirits after the show. The Punching Mule is a favorite Denver cocktail.
Pueblo Parade of Lights – The Nov. 26 parade route travels past the Union Avenue shopping district, Pueblo City Hall and the Pueblo Riverwalk. If you’ve never experienced the city’s Riverwalk, you need to take it in from the balcony at Brues Alehouse. The Leadhead IPA is one of the best I’ve ever tasted.
Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade in Telluride – Arguably one of the most beautiful settings in the entire state, Telluride hosts a torchlight parade on the mountain Dec. 24. It doesn’t get much more idyllic, and with Telluride Brewing Company and Smugglers Brewpub in town, it’s sure to be a winter wonderland.
Rich Mohr is an Evergreen writer and marketing professional.