7 Outdoor Challenges in Colorado to Watch this Fall
Fall Events for the Family in Southern Colorado
As the summer heat dies down and the air turns crisp, Coloradans are keeping the outdoor spirit alive straight through fall! The thrill continues with an exciting lineup of autumn adventures in Southern Colorado and beyond. Whether you’re a marathon maven or a mountain biking enthusiast, there’s no shortage of exhilarating challenges to tackle or cheer on from the sidelines.
And speaking of adventure, don’t miss the crown jewel of fall races in Southern Colorado – the Rim to Rim Race at the Royal Gorge! Picture yourself dashing across the iconic Royal Gorge Bridge, suspended 956 feet above the Arkansas River, with breathtaking views all around. It’s not just a race; it’s an unforgettable journey that perfectly captures the essence of autumn in Colorado.
So gear up, gather your crew, and let the good times roll as you dive headfirst into a season bursting with outdoor excitement and unforgettable memories. Cheers to fall adventures that’ll keep your heart racing and your spirit soaring! In this month’s blog, read about fall marathons to sign up for or watch the fun from the sidelines with your family at these seven outdoor fall challenges in Colorado, including Cañon City:
Profits from the Rim to Rim Royal Gorge race in Cañon City benefit Starpoint. This local organization serves the Southern Colorado community by supporting families, adults with disabilities, and senior citizens to live as independently as possible. Bring your whole family along to the race. Racers get free park admission and their families receive discounted admission to the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park on race day, October 7th, 2023!
Fall Outdoor Challenges around Colorado in 2023
1. Pikes Peak Apex September 8th – 10th, 2023
The Pikes Peak Apex is one of Colorado’s newest mountain bike races! Held in Colorado Springs, this biking event takes racers throughout the Pikes Peak Region’s best trails over three days of riding. Enter to race in this fall biking event or bring the family to America The Beautiful Park in Colorado Springs to enjoy the exciting festivities! The Pikes Peak Apex in Colorado Springs also features a 10K running course and a family (and stroller) friendly 5K course.
2. Pikes Peak Ascent September 16th, 2023
Despite being only a half marathon, the Pikes Peak Ascent is Southern Colorado’s most challenging running event. This 13.3-mile race takes extreme runners nearly 8,000 feet up in elevation from Manitou Springs to the summit of Pikes Peak! The running course follows Barr Trail, featuring an average of 11% grade over rocky, rutty terrain to the 14,115-foot summit of America’s Mountain. Racers must pass a qualifying event to register for the Pikes Peak Ascent, but anyone can participate in the excitement! Watch the racers from the start line in Manitou Springs or drive up Pikes Peak to cheer them on as they run their way up the mountain. Learn more about watching the Pikes Peak Ascent here.
One of the best running events for families this fall in Southern Colorado is the Rim to Rim Royal Gorge Race! This outdoor fall challenge near Cañon City hosts a 5K, an 8-mile Trail Run, and a Half-Marathon Trail Run on local favorite trails around the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park. These courses are well known for incredible views as racers cross the finish line at the end of the America’s Highest Suspension Bridge!
4. Imogene Pass Run – September 9th, 2023
Deep in Southern Colorado’s famous mountain range, the Imogene Pass Run takes runners just over 17 miles through the San Juan Mountains. This backcountry road used to be a route for Pikes Peak Ascent runners to train, but it has since turned into a rugged running race itself. The course starts in Ouray and ends in Telluride, reaching a high point of 13,114 feet above sea level. Visit this charming Colorado town, known as the Switzerland of America, to watch the racers start from Main Street at 7 a.m. on race day.
3. Denver’s bRUNch – October 6th, 2023
A fun challenge for the whole family this fall is Denver’s bRUNch run, which combines a 10K, 5K, and kids run with food festivities. Runners are served a collection of brunch items from local eateries after the race. This fun running event fundraises for Metro Caring, an organization that aids people’s immediate need for nutritious food. Denver’s bRUNch is a family friendly event where you can feel good, run good, and eat good all in one place!
Outdoor Fall Events in Cañon City and Beyond
5. Rim to Rim Race – October 7th, 2023
A family running race like no other, the Rim to Rim Royal Gorge Race offers fun challenges that will leave you breathless with excitement. The 5K and 8-mile Trail Run both finish across the iconic Royal Gorge Bridge, which is the highest suspension bridge in America at 956 feet over the Arkansas River.
Whether you’re a seasoned runner or a first-timer, the Rim to Rim Race caters to all levels of fitness and promises an unforgettable journey. Dash across the breathtaking Royal Gorge Bridge to the finish line, conquer mountainous terrain, and soak in panoramic vistas that Southern Colorado is known for. Families of racers get discounted park admission the day of the race to cheer them on!
So lace up your sneakers, channel your inner adventurer, and join the Rim to Rim Race for an unforgettable day of fun, camaraderie, and triumph. Let’s make this an epic chapter in your fall adventure story!
6. Bear Creek’s Bear Trail Fun Run – November 5th, 2023
Families love Colorado Springs’ annual Bear Creek Bear Trail Fun Run! Great for the whole family to get outdoors in fall, the short 3K run or more challenging 5K run both offer new runners a bear suit to wear while racing and keep for future races. Embellish your bear suit to enter the costume contests for adults, kids, and even your dog! All proceeds of this race help fund nature and education programs at Bear Creek Nature Center in Colorado Springs.
7. YMCA Holiday Races – October 28th, November 23rd, and December 9th, 2023
Get ready to lace up those sneakers for the whole family and join the YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region for an awesome 5K race series through fall! Mark your calendars for the spine-tingling Creepy Crawl in October, the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning, and the jingle-all-the-way Jingle Jog in December. These are great opportunities for family holiday events through the fall, and spending a day outdoors in Colorado Springs!