While some people consider Labor Day to be the end of summer and hence, the end of camping season, reconsider these reasons to be excited about fall camping in Colorado.
The weather in September is practically perfect for getting into the woods. Mountain high temperatures are in the perfect mid-60 to mid-70 range with lows staying above freezing for perfect sleeping bag comfort. Even into October, average highs range from the upper-50s to mid-60s. And our high-altitude sunshine is always perfect for maintaining a warm glow. At the same time, the average number of rainy days continues to drop in the autumn, leaving less risk for a dampened camp out experience. I’m not saying you shouldn’t check your weather app for the possibility of something different, but overall, it’s a great time to go.
Because most people haven’t read this (yet), and aren’t acquainted with the pleasures of fall camping … well, they stay home … creating more availability at popular campsites and less crowded conditions for those of us who know to go. Right now, I’m even seeing September and October availability in Rocky Mountain National Park – you’ll know that’s practically a miracle if you’ve tried to get a site there over the summer.
Colorado is one bright and glittering place from mid-September to mid-October, thanks to our glorious aspen trees. Pick a site near one of these spots for jaw-dropping beauty: Guanella Pass, Kebler Pass, Kenosha Pass or Trail Ridge Road, just to name a few.
Truly an amazing thing: check out the annual bugling of the rutting elk near Rocky Mountain National Park from mid-September to mid-October. Heard from your spot near a crackling campfire, the sound will give you chills of delight.
Spots Too Hot for Summer
Although I’m a pretty hearty camper, there are a few places I try to avoid during the hottest parts of the summer, but camping there in the fall is amazing. Check out Dinosaur National Monument, Mesa Verde, Great Sand Dunes, and Grand Junction, where it’s a whopping 30 degrees cooler in October than in July, when it averages 93 degrees.
Convinced yet? Whether you’re a full-blown trailer camper kind of person, or a minimalist tent-er, there’s no reason not to try Colorado camping in the autumn. Sheila Summers and Nancy Montgomery can get you going. 9/17–Camping 101: Tent Camping for Novices.
Don’t have the gear to go but ready to try it? Check out this simple solution to have you on your way with one simple purchase: The Camping with Colleens Kit.
Ready. Set. Camp!