6 Soundtracks for Fall Hikes

Jessie Jacobs/CPR
The only way to make the Flathead Loop even better? Bach’s Brandenburg No. 3

The time of year has come to chase the changing colors in Colorado’s high country. Whether you’re hunting for aspens or looking to get in some beloved evergreen hikes before winter, fall is a popular time to hit the trail throughout the state. The only thing better than stunning Colorado views is music to go along with them, and for that, CPR Classical has you covered. 

Grab your pumpkin spice-scented hiking poles, favorite listening device and download these playlists for the ultimate fall hike soundtracks.

Silver Dollar and Murray Lake - Guanella Pass

Length: 4.1 miles
Difficulty: moderate 

While many other hikes lead you through a maze of aspens or evergreens, the Silver Dollar and Murray Lake trails give you the chance to take in a panoramic view of the seasonal trees from above. The drive up Guanella Pass is memorable, the hike is moderate and the alpine lakes are the perfect companion to changing leaves. 

For this hike, the panoramic view is reminiscent of the perfect golden sunrise and the music will be just as inspired. Make room for Grofe, Ravel and Respighi.

First and Second Flatirons, Chautauqua Trailhead 

Length: 2.6 miles
Difficulty: moderate

The Flatirons are a beloved hike year-round, but this time of year, the green meadow has turned golden, and the tree line is dotted with changing colors. The First and Second Flatiron Loop takes you up into the trees for an even better look at the famous rock formation through flashes of autumn color.

This trail is easy to locate, welcoming from the start and sure to provide a lot of smiles along the trail, which calls for the friendliest music. Mozart, Percy Grainger and Jose Pablo Moncayo are coming along on this hike. 

Rainbow Gulch Trail near Woodland Park

Length: 2.6 miles
Difficulty: easy

While cheery wildflowers line Rainbow Gulch Trail earlier in the year, this trail is an excellent spot to hunt down color changing aspens. The trail is especially great for families to take in the beauty of nature — the wide dirt path winds through a mix of aspens and evergreens and ends at Rampart Reservoir, with even more trails for exploring. 

This means extra fun and imaginative music for the whole family — Saint-Saens’ “Carnival of the Animals,” Rossini’s “William Tell Overture” and Vivaldi’s “Autumn” will all keep you good company. 

Fountain Valley Trail - Roxborough State Park

Length: 2.3 miles
Difficulty: easy

Walking amidst Roxborough’s giant red sandstone pillars can feel like a perfectly built sci-fi/fantasy world here on earth. The unique geography of “fountain formation” red rock is surrounded by pine trees and brush and home to stunning wildflowers and woodland creatures. The Fountain Valley trail winds through the towering rocks, trees, wildlife, even the ruins of a forgotten house. The best novelist couldn’t write a better setting for sci-fi adventure.

We’re dealing with a sci-fi mood, so we’re going to need help from the movie soundtracks of Stephen Price, Max Richter and John Williams. 

Glacier Gorge to Sky Pond, Rocky Mountain National Park

Length: 9.0 miles
Difficulty: difficult

If Roxborough is a sci-fi setting dream, Glacier Gorge to Sky Pond in Rocky Mountain National Park is fantasy perfection. The stunning Alberta and Timberline Falls, multiple lakes and the majesty of the Rockies all beckon you to keep hiking until you reach Sky Pond and the Sharkstooth.

For music, we’re calling in the best “fantasy-come-to-life” tracks. The Overture to Purcell’s “King Arthur,” Mendelssohn’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream” and Sibelius’s “En Saga” will help you through the difficult nine-mile hike! 

Maroon and Crater Lakes, Maroon Bells

Length: 3.6 miles
Difficulty: moderate

No surprise that the Aspen area is one of the best places to see the fall colors, and a must-visit spot is Maroon Bells in the White River National Forest. You’ll need a parking reservation or bus ticket to access the Maroon Lake area for this incredibly popular hike — an easy three-mile round trip hike that serves jaw dropping sights year-round, and becomes even more memorable in autumn. Past Maroon Lake you’ll find Crater Lake — less crowded, but with equally brilliant fall colors reflected in glasslike water. 

For the Rockies covered in fall colors, our picks for your soundtrack include bright and warm works to bring comfort to the soul! Beethoven, Coleridge-Taylor and Bach are all must-includes for your hike. 

Stay hydrated, bring snacks and however you take in the beauty of the season, bring CPR Classical with you!

For more music to take with you on Colorado's hikes, tune in to CPR Classical.

Hear CPR Classical by clicking “Listen Live” at the top on this website. You can also hear CPR Classical at 88.1 FM in Denver, at radio signals around Colorado, or ask your smart speaker to “Play CPR Classical."