Fall foliage is in full swing! And there’s no better place to catch the changing of colors than in Park County, Colorado. But that’s not the only thing this gorgeous section of the state has to offer this time of year. From fishing adventures, to epic hiking and biking excursions, to some of the best camping in the area — Park County is the place to be this time of year. Need more convincing on why you should skip the I-70 mountain traffic and explore Park County’s 11 picturesque communities and 12 wildlife areas instead? Follow along all week as Explore Park County takes over EO’s Instagram account with stunning images and scenery of what makes this beautiful part of the state truly special.

It’s leaf peeping season! Where are some of the best places in Park County to catch fall colors?

The best places to see fall colors are on Kenosha Pass right off Hwy 285, and Guanella Pass just north of Grant. And fall colors are closer than you think – both these areas are just over an hour from Denver. The leaves are changing now, so make sure to get out there soon!

Where are some of the best places to grab a hearty post-hike lunch in the area?

Depends on where you are! The county is home to several fantastic restaurants that are perfect for hungry hikers. If you’re near Grant, head to the Shaggy Sheep — a “casual mountain cookhouse” known for serving up a wholesome meal and experience in a true-West atmosphere. If you’re in the Fairplay area, the Dream Stream Café is a great place to refuel with pizzas, sandwiches and more! There are also plenty of vegetarian options. Headed further west? The Highline Café & Saloon in Hartsel has a wide variety of burgers and sandwiches to choose from, along with must-have biscuits for breakfast. 

Tell us one thing a first-time visitor to Park County absolutely must do while in the area?

Eleven Mile State Park in southern Park County near Lake George is the perfect place for a first time visitors to explore. The area includes Eleven Mile Canyon, unique mountain views and a reservoir with fishing, boating, camping and hiking. There’s something for everyone!

Give us a few tips on how to blend in like a local.

For starters, fill your 4-wheel drive car with all types of outdoor equipment including fishing poles, hiking boots, tents and paddle boards. Be sure to taste some beers from the local breweries. Take time to enjoy some of the historic sites that celebrate Colorado’s history, and most importantly: be willing to drive some dirt roads to get to the best recreation spots

What is the main outdoor attraction that lures nature-lovers to Park County every year?

Park County is known as the trout capital of Colorado. With several large reservoirs and plenty of small streams to choose from, fly fishers flock to Park County every year. Whether you’re an expert fisher or want to give it a try for the first time, Park County is the place for you.

What’s the best time to visit?

Summer into fall is the best time to visit Park County and enjoy all the outdoor activities it has to offer, from hiking and camping to fly fishing and leaf peeping. Staying a little cooler than the Front Range, this is a great area to bring the family and get away from it all. In the winter, there are great snowshoeing and cross-county skiing options if you want to avoid the busy resorts.