Colorado: The New Golden State

  Photo courtesy Visit Colorado Springs

Photo courtesy Visit Colorado Springs

As the season shifts to fall, the color gold begins to dominate the area in several different forms, allowing for many opportunities to explore Colorado’s golden amenities. 

 Photo courtesy Old Hundred Gold Mine Tour

Photo courtesy Old Hundred Gold Mine Tour

During the gold rush, Colorado was a popular location to pan for gold in the waterways. With the correct permits or tour group, panning is a great fall activity, which can lead to one’s own gold nugget as a takeaway at the end of the day. If interested in the history of Colorado’s mining industry, a tour is available at One Hundred Gold Mine Tour as well as the museums in Leadville and Colorado Springs. Permits, museums and tour groups are available year-round while the Gold Mine tour is available until Oct. 8. 

In addition to the gold in mountain creeks, it also waves above as aspen trees transition into fall colors. The color change usually begins in early September at elevations of 8,000-10,000 feet, although some gold leaves are showing up early this year. To capture the beauty of this change, one can catch a ride on the Leadville Colorado & Southern Railroad and the free Telluride gondola, or ride trails on horseback. The horseback trails are only available through October, whereas the train and gondola are available year-round. 

 Photo courtesy Black Hawk Colorado

Photo courtesy Black Hawk Colorado

If unable to find gold in the waterways or in the trees, another location to check is at Colorado’s many casinos. With about 40 casinos to try, anyone could walk away with a gold mine! Casinos in the area include Cripple CreekCentral CityBlack HawkIgnacio and Towaoc.  

Liquid gold is also available throughout Colorado during fall. Many of the native breweries produce seasonal golden beverages to accompany the cooler weather. Meadery of the Rockies offers a golden wine, Golden City Brewery created a Clear Creek Gold Kolsch and Montanya Rum Distilleriespromotes its barrel-aged, amber-hued Montanya Oro. To taste several breweries, the Colorado Spirits Trail has more than 70 craft-distillery stops to please the palate of all who partake. 

Finding gold throughout the state appears to be easier than in the mid-nineteenth century with the multiple opportunities available to people of all ages. This fall, be sure to include the golden activities into your schedule to be in awe of Colorado’s gold in any and all forms. 

The change in seasons also brings many other chances to explore Colorado. The YMCA of the Rockies has a long list of ongoing activities to explore the change of season in the mountains. Colorado Springs continues to offer many events to engage in during the fall season. The landscape is laced with history, which can be discovered at any of these tours and trips. If taking the Telluride gondola, be sure to look into Telluride’s condominium properties. When faced with an unusually hot day this fall, take a trip to Alamosa, which has lower temps and the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve

While Breckenridge is famous for skiing, the area also is enjoyable during the fall season with various events.  

- Jordyn MacDonald