Around Denver in late October

Old Sep 1st, 2018, 08:44 AM
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Around Denver in late October

A friend and I are off to Denver for my 40th, we are flying in for around a week in late October (22nd) and I'm trying to figure out what to do whilst we are there. The only really fixed thing we have at the moment is that we need to be in Aspen on the following Saturday (27th) before flying home the next day.

At the moment we are looking at spending our time in around Breckenridge, Vail and Aspen. Maybe having a go at a 14er and doing some other outdoor activities but I was looking for any alternative suggestions/recommendations from folks who know the area. we'll have a car so can go pretty much anywhere from Denver so long as we get to Aspen on the 27th.
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Old Sep 1st, 2018, 09:49 AM
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Rocky Mountain National Park, of course.
Vedauwoo, a bit over the Wyoming border, if you like to muck about on rocks. Very scenic drive via 287.
Waterton Canyon, south of Denver.
Blackhawk/Central City casinos?
There's too much to list in and around the city unless you get specific.
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Old Sep 1st, 2018, 10:31 AM
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Spend some time in Denver too--Botanic Gardens and the Art Museum (wonderful native American exhibits). Great dining.

Aspen is a 4 hour drive to DIA and allow enough time through the security.

Vail is a "manufactured town" at the base of a great mountain for skiing. We have LOVED it for skiing. It is now a shopping/restaurant place so please yourself there.
RMNP would be a must and the season should be gorgeous. But be prepared for all kinds of weather--dress in layers when needed. Our son was married on October 15 in Denver with 75* azure blue skies. On the 16th there was 3" of snow on the ground in Denver and when we arrived in Breck for our after wedding vacation the temp was 17^ with 8" of snow.
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Old Sep 1st, 2018, 11:52 AM
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I wouldn't count on having good enough weather to do a 14er. That should be a tentative plan depending on the latest forecast when you arrive.

I would spend a couple days in Denver/Boulder (one each is good). Drive to Estes Park for a night, spend most of a couple days in RMNP and (hopefully) drive over Trail Ridge Road to the west side. Spend a night in Glenwood Springs (soak in the hot springs, bike through Glenwood Canyon) then head to Aspen.

That gives you some time to acclimate to the altitude before ending up in Aspen.
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Old Sep 1st, 2018, 03:56 PM
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I would not count on Trail Ridge Road being open after its usual closing date, Oct 23.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2018, 01:18 PM
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You need a better perspective of Denver and the mountains in late October. Late October is the beginning of winter in the mountains.

Today, by the way, is the earliest date that we have had snow in Denver. That was in 62. By the third week in October the probability of snow in the mountains is very, very good and some possibility for Denver. That will be the week that most of the Summit Cty ski areas try to open. Aspen will open nearer to Thanksgiving. Climbing a 14er is out of the question and too dangerous at that time of year. The probability of Trail Ridge Road being open is very low. Also most likely Independence Pass into the back side of Aspen will be closed along with the road to Mt. Evens. Those roads are closed with the first serious snow fall.

I would play close attention to the weather if you are in Aspen on Saturday and have to return to Denver on Sunday. Personally I would plan a Monday departure or see if you could fly out of Aspen. Couple of big issues -- It is a solid four hour trip from Aspen to DIA in good weather and light traffic. In bad weather it can be tough because of Vail Pass. Unfortunately the first couple of early snows will create havoc on the pass because the idiots - truck drivers, four wheelers -- forget how to drive on snow. This is the time that pass is often closed by accidents. Second, normal traffic back into Denver on Sunday can be very heavy and slow even when the weather is good. I would plan for at least a six hour trip to Denver on Sunday.

I know I sound very negative but just want to alert you to the wide range of possible problems at that time of year. Weather in Denver at that time can be great with wide range of activities and sights to keep you busy the whole. Boulder will be hopping with the students and football. Should be catching the tail end of the fall leaves in Denver. We might even still be playing baseball -- if we can just get the bullpen to have three good outings back to back.

Leaves have already started turning in the high country - about two weeks early. So don't know if that means anything or not. Early winter -- maybe, maybe not. We have had a hot dry summer in Denver. Some long range forecasts are suggesting early winter and lots of snow. We could use lots of snow.

Bring warm clothes or at least a number of layers that can be added or deleted as the temperature indicates.

Last edited by fmpden; Sep 2nd, 2018 at 01:50 PM. Reason: adding
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Old Sep 2nd, 2018, 08:36 PM
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It snowed today on Pike's peak
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Old Sep 3rd, 2018, 06:48 PM
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No way should you attempt a fourteener at that time of the year
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Old Sep 4th, 2018, 07:03 AM
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I echo fmden's concern about traveling to Denver on a Sunday. I've seen it basically at a standstill as Denverites etc. return from their mountain condos. (Now that was probably in an afternoon; maybe early morning is better).

FWIW, I've gone skiing in December, and saw golfers on the courses in Denver. So different.
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Old Oct 8th, 2018, 03:49 PM
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We have had our first, very light, snow fall in Denver. Headed for a cold week with our first frost warning tonight. Expected temps in high 20s to low 30s with snow accumulations above 6,000 feet. Bring your long underwear. This will probably pass through and should be nice by next weekend during your travel dates. What the weather and be prepared.
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Old Oct 8th, 2018, 04:20 PM
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Last night we had our first snow up here at 8,500 feet - yea! Cold week ahead. Bring it on!
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Old Oct 11th, 2018, 07:33 AM
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Bring it on ????? Still too early. I will have a better attitude in a month. We are about 6600 and had snow yesterday. Didn't stick. Shifting to winter mode. All flowers in garage and being prepared for the winter storage. Although the first snow date was about average, it still seems early. Time to get ski gear in order. The season passes auto renewed last week. Taking it one more year at a time. This will be my 55th year of skiing. Really need new skis but have been putting off that decision for the past couple of years. Afraid that I cannot get my usual eight to ten years of usage from new skis.

Bring it On!! Time for one more downhill run.
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Old Oct 11th, 2018, 09:13 AM
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Not ready f
or winter. We haven't even had fall yet.
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Old Oct 11th, 2018, 03:59 PM
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Not too early for me, especially after the near snow-free winter we had last year. Hoping an early winter will drive some of the Texans back south

Last edited by Melnq8; Oct 11th, 2018 at 04:05 PM.
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Old Oct 13th, 2018, 09:43 AM
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Unfortunately this shaping up to be a potential bad weekend for our visitor. Watch the forecasts carefully.
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