Twin Lakes Reservoir to Salida
This route follows the Continental Divide and the massive fourteeners—part of the Sawatch Range—that form its backbone. Here, recreation is almost always part of the conversation, whether the talk is of summiting Mt. Princeton or rafting the rapids of the Arkansas River. If that weren’t enough, nearby Mt. Antero contains actual gems (aquamarine, a precious stone). Come to play in the wilderness, but stay to explore the road that carries you to its trailheads.
By fall, the mighty Arkansas River has usually slowed to a point at which rafting through Browns Canyon National Monument becomes a little less wild. (Read: You’ll have even more time to gaze at the trees along the riverbanks and all of their changing colors.)
Swing into the interpretive pullout by Nathrop to capture views of Browns Canyon National Monument and the nearby Collegiate Peaks.
Sunday brunch (with beignets!) starts early—8 a.m.—at Wesley & Rose, the lobby bar inside the Surf Hotel in Buena Vista. 1012 Front Loop, Buena Vista, 719-966-7048
If you prefer to put miles on your Hokas, sign up for the Flaming Foliage Relay, an epic 165-mile race that starts in Idaho Springs, traverses three passes, and ends in Buena Vista. Sept. 6 to 7