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Colorado in November???

Tulsa, Oklahoma
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Colorado in November???

My wife & I love Colorado but have really not been there much outside of the summer months.

We were talking about taking our Anniversary trip there in November.

My questions are regarding "typical" November weather and suggested location/activities that time of year.

We are thinking Estes Park or???

Mainly we just want scenery, wildlife, & each others company!


Park City, Utah
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for Utah, Winter Sports
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1. Re: Colorado in November???

Probably not the most ideal month. Depends a bit on when in November. But in general, Trail Ridge Road through Rocky Mountain National Park will be closed. So you can base in Estes Park and have some access, but it will be limited. Definitely off season so prices will be right. Typical temps in mountains in November are sub-freezing at night and 30s/40s daytime, maybe 50s earlier in the month. Snow possible at any time.

It's also a time when you can get great rates at ski resorts like Vail, Aspen, etc.

Have fun.

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for Colorado
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2. Re: Colorado in November???

Weather's pretty unpredictable in November. Sometimes it can be snowy (which of course can be beautiful and romantic) or blustery & rainy/snowy/sleety. Sometimes the weather is mild and sunny and families are tossing around footballs in tee shirts at Thanksgiving. It's a good time for wildlife spotting, as deer and elk are beginning to move down from the higher elevations. It's also a good time for mountain scenery, IMO, if you like the rocks, canyons and crags, as they are often highlighted by early snows.

It's off season at the ski resorts, so you'd find great deals but also maybe reduced hours (or even closed) restaurants and shops, so someplace that is also a town and not just mainly a ski resort would be a good option, IMO. I'd say November is a good time to visit for "scenery, wildlife, and each other's company."

Estes Park would be a great choice...uncrowded at that time and you're sure to see elk and mule deer. Steamboat Springs, Breckenridge, Aspen, Durango, and Ouray all come to my mind, as well. Grand Junction is a great November location, because you have the likelihood of weather mild enough for outdoor activity and the option of red rock country with Colorado National Monument and nearby Moab and Gateway plus Grand Mesa where there's likely to be snow, and the Black Canyon and Ouray near enough to visit, too. And you have the wineries! Speaking of Gateway, Gateway Canyons would be a nice spot for an anniversary, too.

Edited: 9:59 am, June 15, 2013
Windsor, Colorado
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for Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park
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3. Re: Colorado in November???

Yes, averages do not mean much in November and it depends on when in November you plan to visit.

I LOVE Estes Park and RMNP in the low season!! Trail Ridge Road in RMNP is open to Many Parks Curve and all other major roads are open. Closed side roads (including Trail Ridge) make great places to walk. The east side of RMNP sees snow at upper elevations but lower elevations get more snow in the Spring than in the late fall and early winter. November is a great time to see wildlife, much better than the summer months as wildlife has moved to lower elevations. You can visit all the favorite places in RMNP like Bear Lake, Horseshoe Falls at the Alluvial Fan, Sprague Lake, Lily Lake (better Lily Ridge), Alberta Falls, etc. without the crowds. Especially during the week, you may be the only ones there in places. You can download the RMNP winter newspaper from last year to give you some ideas about visiting RMNP. Do know that Bear Lake Road construction will be completed this summer so that will not be an issue.


In addition to taking the Peak to Peak Scenic byway from DIA to Estes Park, here are more scenic drives from Estes Park.

Additional scenic drives in the area:

South St. Vrain Canyon Loop

The Peak-to-Peak Scenic Byway near Estes Park starts on Colo. Hwy. 7, and travels south where you’ll climb over 1,500 feet through densely forested areas as snowcapped mountains, including Longs Peak and Twin Sisters, parallel the road. Follow Hwy. 7 south to Allenspark and on through colorful boulder-lined South St. Vrain Canyon to Lyons. Then take U.S. Hwy. 36 from Lyons back to Estes Park. This 57-mile trip takes about 2 hours without stops.

Big Thompson-Glen Haven Loop

Travel the dramatic Big Thompson Canyon east on U.S. Hwy. 34 from Estes Park. About 16 miles from Estes, you’ll enter “The Narrows,” a spectacular winding gorge. At The Dam Store, return west along the same route to Drake before turning right on CR43/Devil’s Gulch Road to Glen Haven. There are several scenic pulloffs and national forest service picnic areas along this North Fork of the Big Thompson River. South of Glen Haven at the top of the switchbacks, you’ll encounter Overlook Point, a locally-favored spectacular view of the Estes valley. Devil's Gulch Road becomes MacGregor Avenue and returns to Estes Park. You will pass the Lumpy Ridge Trailhead on the way. If you do not take the Gem Lake hike, be sure to drive to this TH for the views of the balanced rocks and these impressive boulders. Round trip driving time is about 2 hours. Big horn sheep are often seen in Big Thompson Canyon along highway 34 between Estes Park and Drake.

Lodging rates in Estes Park in November are a deal. $99 a night specials are common. I know last year Riverwood on Fall River, Woodlands on Fall River and Murphy's River Lodge ran $99 specials. Rams Horn Village, the cabins at the YMCA (great views and grounds with wildlife), Stonebrook and others offered buy 2 nights get the 3rd free.

Other fun things to do in November in Estes Park/RMNP--horseback riding, ghost and history tours at the Stanley Hotel, Snowy Peaks Winery, Wildlife Safari with Yellow Wood Guiding, ranger programs, snowshoeing at Bear Lake (depends on the snow), music--check the Estes Park Happenings at www.visitestespark.com during your visit.

If you want to see more of Colorado, here is an itinerary I mapped out for someone planning a late October/early November trip.

This sample itinerary would let you visit Colorado National Monument, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, and Rocky Mountain National Park if you do not mind some driving. You could adjust it to spend more time in some locations.


Day 1--DIA to Grand Junction. I-70 may be the most beautiful interstate in the country and there are lots of stops along the way. Driving time 4 1/2 hours. Overnight Grand Junction.

Day 2--Tour Colorado National Monument and drive 1 1/2 hours to Black Canyon National Park and tour it. Drive about 2 1/2 hours to Salida for the night.

Day 3--Drive Salida to Estes Park along part of the Collegiate Peaks, Top of the Rockies and Peak to Peak Scenic Byways to Estes Park. Driving time 4 1/2 hours. Overnight Estes Park.

Day 4--Tour RMNP. If you have an early flight, drive back to Denver for overnight or overnight in Estes Park.

Fruita, Colorado
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4. Re: Colorado in November???

November here in the Grand Junction area, as mentioned is like paradise. Great temps, plenty of sunshine and friendly people. http://www.visitgrandjunction.com/

You don't mention how long your trip will be but there's lots of things to do in CO. Let us know your time frame so we can let you know more about what's available.

5. Re: Colorado in November???

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