Best Time to Visit - 14 min read

Best Time To Visit Colorado (To Ski, Hike, & Relax With Family)

Nicole Abbott

Nicole Abbott, Updated October 1, 2022

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Have you been wanting to plan a trip to Colorado, but are unsure of when to visit? Colorado is filled with scenic terrain and is attracted by millions of travelers that are looking to brave the natural elements. With many cities and towns that have their unique activities you’ll be amazed by the number of attractions there are to explore.

The best time to visit Colorado is April through May and September through October. During these times, you’ll be able to experience Colorado in peak spring and during the fall in its cooler season. Since you’ll be traveling during this time, these are the less-crowded seasons so you’ll have more time to appreciate its cities, mountains, and other attractions.

When traveling to a destination such as this Colorado, you’ll want to weigh the factors that help you know when to plan your vacation. Let’s dive into the best time to visit Colorado.

Worst Time to Travel to Colorado

Credit: Jacob Boomsma

When traveling to Colorado, you’ll want to take into consideration the current season, climate conditions, and busiest time of year. The worst time to travel to Colorado is March because of the cold weather and unpredictable travel conditions.

Colorado’s weather is still very unpredictable with snowy conditions even occurring into early spring. Flight and hotel rates will also be much higher due to travelers for spring break. In addition to weather conditions and higher rates, you’ll also need to deal with the influx of crowds.

If you plan on traveling in March, you can still go skiing, and snowboarding, and get a glimpse of the snow-covered mountains. You may need to pay higher rates during this month, but they won’t be as high as in December. If you’re in Colorado in March, just make sure you have a vehicle that can withstand the weather conditions.

When is the Cheapest Time to go to Colorado?

If you’re planning a trip to Colorado on a budget, you’ll want to know when the cheapest time to travel is. The cheapest time to go to Colorado is early to mid-September. Colorado has different seasons that attract different types of visitors, so depending on the activities, some seasons will be more expensive than others.

If you’re more interested in saving money than adding attractions to your list, you’ll want to travel at the beginning of fall. During this time, air travel is likely to be cheaper and you may be able to save extra money when purchasing tickets for any activities, especially outdoors. During early fall, you may find flights as low as $400.

The least expensive times for hotels in Colorado depend on the area of where you’re going. In December, hotels are cheaper in the Denver area. However, if you’re planning on traveling to Colorado for skiing or snowboarding, December prices will be at their highest.

Related Read: 20 Best Romantic Getaways In Colorado

What Time of Year is the Best Weather in Colorado?

When planning your vacation to Colorado, you’ll want to go when the weather is permitting and deals are at their lowest. Below, we discuss the weather by month so that you can choose the best time to visit for you and your family.

January: Best For Skiing

Credit: LanaG


Temperatures average 45 degrees during January in Colorado
. January experiences constant cloud cover around 41% of the time with the clearest day being on January 12th. As for rainfall. this month receives barely any rain.

If you’re going to travel in January, you’ll want to pack plenty of warm layers and your skiing/snowboarding gear. January has the perfect elements for skiing, snowboarding, or sledding. During this month, you’ll have a wide variety of winter events and festivals to choose from.

If you’re into sports, you’ll want to check out Aspen‘s Winter X Games. This is a great competition featuring the world’s best skiers and snowboarders. January is one of the coldest months in Colorado.

  • Winter X Games
  • Winter Brew Fest
  • MusicFest at Steamboat
  • Ouray Ice Festival

February: Best For Ice Fishing

Credit: Kevin Kopf


Temperatures average 50 degrees during February in Colorado
. In February, cloud cover essentially stays the same remaining at 44%, with the clearest day being on February 1st. As for rainfall, February has about an 8% chance of rainfall for the month.

If you’re planning to travel in February, you’ll still want to pack plenty of warmer clothing. February has the perfect weather for ice fishing because of its colder temperatures. Also this time of year, the towns have some kind of winter festival. 

These festivals are filled with ice sculptures, climbing, and other sports. One event held in Colorado is the Lake City Ice Climbing Festival. Both men and women compete in this speed competition.

  • Lake City Ice Climbing Competition
  • High Plains Snow Goose Festival
  • Steamboat Winter Carnival

March: Boulder International Film Festival

Credit: Mr.Music


Temperatures average 57 degrees during March in Colorado
. The month of March experiences essentially constant cloud covers around 46% of the time with the clearest day being on March 2nd. As for rainfall, the chance of rain for the month increases to 18%.

If you’re planning on traveling during March, you’ll want to pack layers, fleece, and other water-resistant clothing. During this month, Boulder also has its Boulder International Film Festival. If you’re a film fanatic, you won’t want to miss out on this event.

At this event, you’ll be able to participate in activities such as film screenings, panels, and other workshops.

  • Boulder International Film Festival
  • Mile High Beer Festival
  • Frozen Dead Guy Days

April: Taste of Vail

Credit: Laura Gangi Pond


Temperatures average 67 degrees during April in Colorado
. April receives around 46% cloud clover for the month with the clearest day being on April 28th. As for rainfall, this month ends the month with a 28% chance of rain.

If you’re traveling during this month, temperatures begin to warm up so you can pack a sweater and lightweight clothing. During this month, Colorado has their Taste of Vail Festival. This festival is considered one of the best spring food and wine tasting events in the country.

It brings focus to and highlights the Vail lifestyle through food and wine. At this event, you’ll be able to sample from thirty of Vail’s chefs and fifty different winemakers from all over the country.

  • Taste of Vail Festival
  • Colorado Tartan Day Festival
  • HESTIVAL
  • Mountain Plover Festival

May: Denver Arts Festival

Credit: BestPhotoStudio


Temperatures average 74% during May in Colorado
. In May, cloud cover begins decreasing with the clearest day being May 31st. As for rainfall, this month will see almost two inches of rain.

If you’re planning to travel during this month, you’ll want to pack lightweight clothing for warmer temperatures, but still bring a light jacket or sweater for cooler evenings. During this month, Colorado has their Denver Arts Festival. This festival celebrates art and promotes some of Denver’s local artists.

This festival is such a large event that they normally expect around five hundred thousand people to attend. It showcases arts and crafts, along with music and other art activities that children can enjoy.

  • Denver Arts Festival
  • Durango Wine Experience
  • Film on the Rocks
  • Canon City Music and Blossom
  • Festival

June: Colorado Medieval Festival

Credit: GChristo


Temperatures average 87 degrees during June in Colorado
. June experiences a decrease in cloud cover having mostly cloudy skies 27% of the time, with the clearest day being on June 30th. As for rainfall, June receives around one and a half inches of rain for the month.

If you’re planning on traveling during this month, you’ll want to pack shorts, t-shirts, tank tops, sneakers, boots, and plenty of sun protection. During this month, locals celebrate the Colorado Medieval Festival.

The Colorado Medieval Festival takes place over three days and has performers like magicians, belly dancers, and sword fighting. There are also plenty of food and drinks for guests.

  • Colorado Medieval Festival
  • Kids Adventure Games
  • Colorado Shakespeare Festival

July: Aspen Music Festival

Credit: Melinda Nagy


Temperatures average 84 degrees during July in Colorado
. July experiences an increase in cloud cover with the clearest day being July 2nd. As for rainfall, Colorado sees around one inch of rain for the month.

If you’re planning on traveling during this month, it is in the middle of summer so you’ll want to pack lightweight clothing to stay as cool as possible. During this month, Colorado has the Aspen Music Festival.

The Aspen Music Festival is known as one of the best classical music festivals in the country. If you’re a classical music lover, you’ll want to make sure you stop by for this event.

  • Aspen Music Festival
  • Cherry Creek Arts Festival
  • High Mountain Hay Fever Bluegrass Festival.

Related Read: Best Time to Visit Aspen, CO

August: Yoga on the Rocks

Credit: My Good Images


Temperatures average 84 degrees during August in Colorado
. The month of August experiences 32% cloud cover with its clearest day being on August 31st. As for rainfall, the month of August will see around one and a half inches of rain.

If you’re planning on traveling during August, the temperature will drop a bit, but will still be relatively warm. You’ll want to still pack lightweight clothing. During this month, Colorado has Yoga on the Rocks.

Yoga on the rocks is for those who are experienced in all levels to do yoga in an outdoor setting at Red Rock Amphitheater. You will get an exhilarating workout led by top leaders to bring peace and center to your lives. You can purchase tickets online in advance.

  • Yoga on the Rocks
  • Breckenridge Main Street Art Festival
  • Leadville Boom Days

September: Colorado State Fair & Rodeo

Credit: Nat ChittaMai


Temperatures average 74 degrees during September in Colorado
. September experiences cloud cover for about 26% of the month with the clearest day being September 16th. As for rainfall, Colorado will see around one inch of rain during this time.

If you’re planning on traveling during this month, you’ll still need to pack lightweight clothing, but bring a jacket or sweater for cooler evenings. During this month, Colorado has the Colorado State Fair & Rodeo.

The state fair and rodeo are fun for people of all ages. You’ll be able to see the rodeo, demolition derby, carnival games, and competitions. There are also plenty of food options with food vendors and fine arts with antiques.

  • Colorado State Fair & Rodeo
  • Highlands Farmers Market
  • Denver Chalk Art Festival

October: Mile High Horror Film Festival

Credit: Melanie Lemahieu


Temperatures average 61 degrees during October in Colorado
. The month of October experiences 36% cloud cover during this time with the clearest day being October 1st. As for rainfall, Colorado will see less than one inch of rain.

If you’re planning to travel during this month, make sure to pack plenty of clothing for cooler days and nights. During this month, Colorado has their Mile High Horror Film Festival.

This festival gives its fair share of scares. Not only do you get to watch some great films, but you get to vote on which one is best! Get your tickets early because this event always sells out.

  • Mile High Horror Film Festival
  • Handmade in Colorado Expo
  • Bloody Mary Festival

November: Denver Arts Week

Credit: Checubus


Temperatures average 48 degrees during November in Colorado
. Colorado experiences cloud cover for 39% of the time in November with the clearest day being on November 1st. As for rainfall, November is one of the driest months of the year.

If you’re planning to travel during this month, make sure you pack plenty of warm clothing and a coat. During this month, Colorado has Denver Arts Week. This is the week that Denver shows off its creativity in its museums, galleries, and neighborhoods.

You’ll be able to search the city for public art, murals, and exhibitions. You can purchase tickets online for this event.

  • Denver Arts Week
  • Snowbound Festival Rockies
  • Denver Fashion Week.

December: Holiday Chocolate Festival

Credit: Victoria Chudinova


Temperatures average 43 degrees during December in Colorado
. Colorado experiences cloudy skies and overcast for 41% of the time with the clearest day being on December 26th. As for rainfall, the month of December sees very little rain.

If you’re planning on traveling during December, pack plenty of warm clothing and other winter gear. During this month, Colorado has their Holiday Chocolate Festival. There is no better way to celebrate the holiday season than with treats.

The Holiday Chocolate Festival has been going on for twelve years in Colorado. At this event, there are more than one hundred thousand chocolates to taste. Also at this event kids will be able to see Santa, do crafts, holiday gift booths, and face painting.

  • Holiday Chocolate Festival
  • Polar Express Train Ride
  • Vail Snow Days

What is the Best Time to Visit Colorado With Family?

Credit: Margaret.Wiktor

Have you been thinking about wanting to travel to Colorado, but are unsure if it’s a great place to bring the whole family? Not only is traveling to Colorado with family possible but there are many activities and outdoor adventures you can take. The best time to visit Colorado with family is early fall.

During this time, temperatures stay at a comfortable temperature making this more family-friendly, especially if you have young children. Colorado has a lot of outdoor activities, especially when it comes to hiking, snowboarding, and skiing. Certain activities will require colder temperatures.

When is the Best Time to Avoid Crowds in Colorado?

Credit: Francisco Blanco

If you’re traveling to Colorado and want to avoid crowds, you’ll want to travel in April and May, and then again from October through December. Even with the holidays, December is going to be your least crowded month because people want to travel during the warmer months. Those with smaller children may want to plan accordingly.

If you’re not a fan of the colder temperatures you can still get away with traveling during April and May. During this time most places are already experiencing spring-like temperatures. It is very rare for snow to last into April, but it has happened before.

Related Read: 15 Best Aspen Hiking Trails

Best Time to Go Skiing and Snowboarding in Colorado

Credit: Masherov

In terms of skiing and snowboarding, Colorado is one of the most sought destinations for this outdoor activity. The best time for skiing and snowboarding is between late November to mid-April.

The skiing and snowboarding season lasts longer in Colorado. Here are some resorts you’ll want to add to your list.

Aspen

Credit: Charles Taylor

Aspen is one of the most popular areas in Colorado and you’ve probably already noticed that many celebrities go there. It has four different skiing areas which are Ajax, Snowmass, Buttermilk, and Aspen Highlands. It is one of the best-ranked resorts in the United States.

Vail

Credit: VladoZg

Vail is one of Colorado’s largest skiing and snowboarding resorts. It gives visitors a variety and sees who is up for the challenge.

Breckenridge

Credit: 12019

Breckenridge has Colorado’s highest lift. Since it’s one of the most popular resorts in the United States it can become crowded so you’ll want to research which times are best to go. Along with skiing and snowboarding, you’ll be offered gourmet dining and other activities such as snowshoeing and Race of the Santas.

Telluride

Credit: longneckerunlimited

Telluride is located in the San Juan Mountains and is one of the most scenic towns for skiing in the United States. The resort itself has over two thousand acres of terrain and a maximum elevation of 13,150 feet. This mountain offers a great variety of skill levels and even offers more for extreme skiing.

Related Read: 11 Best Places for Snowtubing in Colorado

Beaver Creek

Credit: Danor

Beaver Creek is owned by Vail Resorts and is located just a short distance down the road. At this resort, you’ll be provided with top-notch customer service and a friendly atmosphere. This resort is located any two hours from Denver so you can make a quick trip whenever you need to.

This resort has over a one thousand and eight hundred acres of terrain and has a full range of runs for all skill levels. The mountain has one of the lowest elevations out of the resorts in the area, with a base elevation of 8,100 feet and a summit elevation of 11,400 feet.

Elevations of this height, makes it a great option for those who come in from lower elevations and are worried about altitude sickness. If you are planning a trip to Colorado for skiing or snowboarding, we recommend starting with Beaver Creek to help lower the effects of the altitude.

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