Fall fun abounds in and around Glenwood Springs

Carla Jean Whitley |

As if by magic, the first day of fall swept in with lower temperatures, blustery winds and rain showers. The season is here in full force, and there are so many ways to celebrate. We’ve got a few ideas to get you going. Mix and match these activities to customize your experience — and then show us the results by tagging #piharvest on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. We might use your photos in a future issue of Go!

Leaf peeping

Pull on your hiking boots, get in the car or hop on a shuttle for some of the season’s best colors. Maroon Bells is a popular option, of course. In a previous interview with the Post Independent’s Sallee Ann Ruibal, White River National Forest spokesperson Kate Jerman suggested the following additional routes:


  • Drive Colorado 133 from Carbondale for a beautiful variety. There are a number of pullouts along the way to allow for a picnic or photos.
  • Take Buford New Castle Road and the Flat Tops Scenic Byway to Trappers Lake. It’s also a popular place to camp.
  • Head south of Silt to West Divide, where scrub oak trees abound.
  • Drive Four Mile Road to Thompson Divide. You might spot wildlife, as well.


  • Three Forks Trail up Rifle Creek
  • East Elk Trail
  • West Elk Road
  • Grizzly Creek Trail
  • Thomas Lakes
  • Avalanche Creek Trail
  • Perham Creek Trail


New Castle Gardens Pumpkin Patch

Daily Sept. 3- Nov. 1 Fall fun abounds at this pumpkin patch. In addition to selecting your favorite pumpkin, you can decorate it and then take a hayride, play in the Copper Mine and climb Straw Mountain. There’s also plenty of fall décor and photo opportunities.

New Castle Gardens, 6501 Peach Valley Road | $5-$8, children 3 and younger free | 984-3850 |

Octoberfest on the Mountain

Daily through Oct. 29 Amp up your adventure during Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park’s Octoberfest. The park will offer a pumpkin patch, photo opps and food and drink specials. Head up Saturdays between noon and 5 p.m. for even more: hayrides, children’s games, face painting and pumpkin decorating. On Oct. 14 and 21, take it another notch with polka dancing from noon to 4 p.m.

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, 51000 Two Rivers Plaza Road | All activities except pumpkins included in park admission; pumpkins $3 each | 945-4228 |

Osage Gardens Pumpkin Patch

Daily in October Visit the pumpkin patch, feed the chickens and take in the fun at Osage Gardens. The farm store will be open Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and weekends 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the fall.

Osage Gardens, 36730 River Frontage Road, New Castle | Free | 876-4554 |


Parachute Oktoberfest

Saturday, noon to 11 p.m. Parachute’s Oktoberfest schedule is packed, with concerts from Dylan Scott, Diamond Rio and Jerrod Niemann. The event will also feature a beer garden and a kids area with activities such as inflatable slides and a zip line.

Cottonwood Park, Parachute | $10 unlimited access kids area, $25-$40 concert |

GSMS Fall Festival

Friday, 5 p.m. Celebrate the school’s second-annual fall fundraiser with games, prizes, a cake walk and more.

Glenwood Springs Middle School, 120 Soccer Field Road, Glenwood Springs | Free |

Harvest Festival

Saturday, noon to 8 p.m. Celebrate the city with local art, food and fun during this downtown event.

Eighth Street and Grand Avenue and surrounding areas | Free | 618-3650 |

Bronco Tailgate

Sunday, 2 p.m. For some folks, football is one of fall’s highlights. Get into it with a Broncos tailgate party in downtown Carbondale. Open Fire Catering will provide food, and Roaring Fork Beer Company will be on hand, as well. Colorado Animal Rescue will also host a football pool with prize packages; all proceeds benefit CARE. Doors open at 1 p.m., and kickoff is 2:25 p.m.

Marble Distilling Co. & The Distillery Inn, 150 Main St., Carbondale | $25 for food, a cocktail and a beer | 963-7008 |

Little Shop of Horrors

Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 29, 7:30 p.m. For some, horror is king during the days leading up to Halloween. Get your fix with this rendition of the classic horror comedy rock musical about a plant that feeds on human blood. Doors open an hour early for dinner and drinks.

Glenwood Vaudeville Revue, 915 Grand Ave. | $30 | 945-9699 |

Harvest Party at Rock Bottom Ranch

Oct. 14, noon to 4 p.m. Celebrate the season with Aspen Center for Environmental Studies. The party includes lunch from Smoke Modern BBQ, music by the Caleb Dean Band, pumpkin carving, apple cider pressing, farm tours, ranch games and more.

Rock Bottom Ranch, 2001 Hooks Spur Road, Basalt | Nonmembers: $18 adults, $8 children 10 and younger; members: $15 adults, $5 children 10 and younger; children 3 and younger free. All ticket prices increase after Oct. 7. | 927-6760 |

Ghost Walk Glenwood

Oct. 13-14, 20-21 and 27-28, 7, 7:45 and 8:30 p.m. Don’t miss one of Glenwood’s classic events: ghost tours led by the “spirits” of some of the area’s most notorious residents.

Frontier Museum, 10th and Colorado Ave. | $20, $18 seniors, $12 members | 945-4448 |

The Harry Potter Movie Experience for Teens

Oct. 27, 2:30 p.m. “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” becomes interactive during this afternoon event. The library will have props, activities and spells to amp up the magic, and attendees are encouraged to come in costume. RSVP, as the event is capped at 30 people.

Rifle Branch Library, 207 East Ave. | Free | 625-3471 |


Many Oktoberfest celebrations are behind us—the event is traditionally held in September. But you’ve got time for several seasonal beers from local breweries.

Start with this weekend’s Capitol Creek Oktoberfest (371 Market St., Basalt). The event kicks up at 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and will feature the brewery’s marzen-style beer. Bavarian-style cuisine will fill out the menu.

We happen to think rye beers are perfect for this transitional season, and you’ll find several on tap at Carbondale Beerworks (647 Main St., Carbondale). There’s the brewpub’s Misbehavin’ Rye Blonde, of course, or you might turn your attention to Big Daddy Ryeder. It’s an 8 percent alcohol by volume beer with 125 international bitterness units, so slow down and take your time.

Just down the street, Roaring Fork Brewing Company’s Oktoberfest is on tap at Batch (358 Main St., Carbondale), the tap room that features its and guest beers. The malty beer uses Saaz, Mt Hood and Magnum hops. More of a hophead than a malt fan? Try the Fresh Hop Triple IPA, the second release in the brewery’s new North Fork Beer Project. That effort features beers brewed with hops, fruit and other ingredients from the valley around Hotchkiss and Paonia. The first release was a hoppy apricot and peach wheat.

Speaking of fruit, it’s among Casey Brewing and Blending’s (3421 Grand Ave., Glenwood Springs) specialties. The brewery fermented its Saison on whole Palisade peaches. The results are available at Cooper Wine and Spirits and 82 Liquors.

Are lighter beers your preference? Glenwood Canyon Brewpub’s Crystal River Helles is the way to go. The lager is brewed with a small amount of rice and Noble hops. It’s 4.9 percent ABV and 14 IBUs, so this is an easy drinker.

Glenwood Canyon (402 Seventh St., Glenwood Springs) is also preparing to release an all Colorado batch of its alpha Beta project. Amsden Hop Farm in Rifle provided whole-leaf Chinook, Centennial, Willamette and Cascade hops, which brewmaster Todd Malloy will use to dry hop bomb the beer. On the front end, the beer will incorporate Cascade and Citra hops. The malts are also a Colorado product, coming in from Colorado Malting Co. The beer is a bit more robust than the Helles, with 6.9 percent ABV and 60 IBUs.

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