The aspen trees in Golden Gate Canyon State Park have already turned bright goldenrod yellow, which means prime viewing time in Colorado is almost up! So, don’t delay. Located just 16 miles northwest of Golden, and a one hour drive from the Denver area, you don’t have to travel far to be in the thick of the lush Colorado landscape and majestic mountain-top views.
From green mountain meadows, to evergreen pines the park boasts more than 12,000 acres of beauty ranging in elevation from 7,600 to 10,400 feet, with the multitude of aspen groves their crowning glory. There are more than 35 miles of hiking trails in the park for everyone from families with small children to serious hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders to enjoy.
Panorama Point scenic overlook can be reached by trail or by car for stupendous views and photographs of the Fall color display and the Continental Divide. And, be sure to pack a picnic, there are more than 125 scenic picnic sites located along the park’s trails and creeks to take advantage of.
Between hiking, fishing, hunting and camping there are ways for everyone to enjoy the beautiful Fall weather at Golden Gate Canyon. There are even cabins, yurts and the Harmsen Ranch guesthouse set in a mountain meadow available for rent year-round.
Once winter arrives, there are still plenty of ways to enjoy the park, including snowshoeing, sledding, snowtubing, cross-country skiing and ice-skating!
All visitors to the park are required to display a current Colorado State Parks Pass on their vehicle’s windshield. Daily and annual passes are available at self-service dispensers. A separate permit is required for camping in addition to the Parks Pass.
Photo credit: Melissa Armstrong