• Activities:

    Chillin, Photography, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Autumn

  • Trail Type:

    Point-to-Point

  • RT Distance:

    55 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    705 Feet

Family Friendly
Forest
Picnic Area
Scenic
Wildlife

The Peak to Peak Highway in Colorado is a must-see experience, especially in the fall months.

The Peak to Peak Highway is a 55-mile stretch of road that winds its way from Nederland to Estes Park (or Estes Park to Nederland). This road connects to many points of exploration, Indian Peaks Wilderness Area and Rocky Mountain National Park to name a couple, but the drive itself is an adventure on its own. During the fall, the road is engulfed in yellow and orange thanks to the changing leaves of aspen trees.

From Boulder, drive up Boulder Canyon until you come to the town of Nederland. In this quaint little town you can grab a cup of tea and a scone before continuing on your drive. At the roundabout, take the W 2nd Street turn and continue on this road, it will become the Peak to Peak Highway. It's really as simple as that - drive, revel in the beauty, take a few photos, and pop out on the other side in Estes Park for a tea refill. Repeat in reverse if you so choose.

If driving with the windows down on a crisp fall day doesn't quite do it for you, feel free to detour to Brainard Lake Recreation area and enjoy a nice hike, or do the same in Rocky Mountain National Park with the sound of bugling elk in the distance. In any permutation of this adventure, you can't go wrong.

Pack List

  • Camera
  • Solid playlist
  • Good company
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Reviews

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I drove this on my own one day when my plans with family fell through and it was beautiful. It was early October and the aspens were so bright. I drove it to Estes Park and back again and it was incredibly relaxing and I got some great pictures!

3 months ago
3 months ago

We drove this on a rainy and foggy Sunday morning in September. The fall colors were amazing, and we even had a moose cross the road in front of us as we got closer to Estes. Look out for a rather humorous sign on the road. You’ll know it when you see it 😅

5 months ago
5 months ago

If you can manage to go during the fall, GO! It's the best. You're surrounded by the Rocky Mountains the entire drive, lots of places to stop and hike, take photos, or explore a small mountain town. A beautiful drive that never gets old. Take your binoculars to pull over and see wildlife all around. It's stunning from start to finish. Drive safe!

7 months ago
7 months ago

You wont want to spend too much of your time in Colorado inside a car but this is a beautiful scenic drive. We rolled down the windows and appreciated the long drive we had ahead of us. If time allows pull off whenever you want and take in the view. I found myself stopping to take pictures or simply look at the mountain side.

9 months ago
9 months ago

This is a relaxing way to see fall colors near Denver. There's no iconic shots but some nice compositions can be found.

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

Annie Rumbles

23. Denverite. Photographer. Hop-head.

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