Considering visiting Colorado in August and need some help? We’ve got you covered!
August in Colorado is an ideal month for visiting. Crowds are beginning to phase out this month, but the weather remains warm for great hiking, biking and camping in the Rocky Mountains. Late August is especially good for decent weather and lowering prices.
The month of August in Colorado is absolutely one of the best times for Summer tourists to go. Not only are the crowds beginning to phase out in this month, but the weather is still great for your most favorite Colorado outdoor activities like hiking, mountain biking, fishing and river rafting.
August is the last also the last month where snowfall is nonexistent, so visitors should plan on taking advantage of the warm weather activities before they begin to end in September. If you’ve been eager to plan a trip to Colorado in August, we’ve got all the details you need right here.
No matter what type of vacation you’re interested in taking, this guide will cover every detail you need to have the best possible August trip to the Granite State.
This article is part of Roundtript’s series of expert Colorado travel guides for every month of the year.
Spring in Colorado
Summer in Colorado
Fall in Colorado
Winter in Colorado
For a summary of each Colorado month & season all in one place, check out our big guide to the Best Times of the Year to Visit Colorado.
Colorado Weather in August
Colorado weather in August is hot, dry and sometimes rainy. During the day, most locations will experience highs of around 85°F (29°C) and nightly lows in the high 50’s°F (10°C). Rainfall is expected throughout August, and can come randomly throughout your trip, though most thunderstorms won’t see more than 1″ of rain.
As September approaches, the long summer days begin to fade away and the daylight hours may shorten slightly throughout the month.
No matter the time of year, altitude will always be a factor when traveling to Colorado. Some towns like Alma have an elevation of 10,300′ and others like Wray have an elevation of over 3,000′. As a matter of fact, altitude sickness affects nearly 10% of all visitors. You can prepare your body by eating healthy foods, drinking plenty of water, sleeping well, resting frequently and avoiding alcohol.
Colorado Affordability & Crowds in August
Colorado in August sees the last real boost of Summer crowds and weather before Fall begins to set in. Crowds levels are no rival for the busy month of July, but they are still higher than the upcoming Fall season. Tourists will slowly phase out for the rest of August as students head back to school throughout the United States.
Hotel rates will vary by city, with most ski towns offering a wide range of rates, small towns being the cheapest and the capitol city of Denver averaging around $250 – $350 per night for the best hotels. With the influx of visitors, it’s also possible that booking hotels, restaurants and excursions may be difficult. It’s best to plan in advance, call ahead where necessary and reserve the top things you want to accomplish first.
Colorado Snow & Skiing in August
Colorado snowfall came to a complete stop in July and snowfall in August is a rarity in most places. Skiing is very difficult to do in pretty much all destinations and enthusiasts will have to search the highest altitude regions for the best powder this month. Rain is prevalent through August, making the weather less ideal for skiing even if snow is on the ground in these areas.
Best Things to Do in Colorado in August
Below are some of the best places to visit in the month of August. In addition to these places, other Summer activities available this time of year include ATVing, backpacking, ballooning, boating, camping, canoeing, fishing, golfing, paragliding, hiking, horseback riding, hunting, kayaking, mountain biking, rock climbing, water skiing, water rafting, and ziplining.
Explore Comanche National Grasslands
Comanche National Grasslands is one of the most unique national parks in Colorado, spreading out over 400,000 acres in southeastern Colorado. The interesting terrain is comprised of mostly flat grasslands with rocky ledges, shrubbery and canyons interspersed. This national park is very quiet and not quite as popular as some of the others, but it’s got many interested things to occupy your hike or camping expedition.
Visitors will be pleasantly surprised to find pieces of history sprinkled over the land. Layers of exposed rock showcase dinosaur tracks frozen in time, old stage stops from several hundreds years ago remain standing, and Native American pictographs mark the canyon pathways. There’s no doubt the Grasslands is a treasure trove of artifacts from days gone by.
Summer is one of the best times to visit for nicer weather; the Winter is not quite as pleasant with windy snow storms more prevalent in the area. August in particular is a beautiful time to come, since the weather is still warm and begins to cool ever so slightly toward the end of the month.
Take Mount Evans Scenic Byway
Mount Evans Scenic Byway is North America’s highest paved road, great for driving trips to see the Colorado countryside. It’s nearly impossible to scale the 9,000′ of elevation in the Winter, so it’s recommended to day trip this trek in the Summer between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
August, while not as hot as July, is still hotter than other months of the year. Be prepared with plenty of gas, water for the family and the necessary phone numbers and emergency kits in case of car trouble. For those who love beautiful scenery and revel in the thought of sitting to see it, this trip is well worth it to the 14,264′ summit of Mount Evans.
Some visitors like to combine Mount Evans Scenic Byway with a tour of Red Rocks Park near Denver. If you really want to make a day of it, Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre is another great sight for long range photos and unique scenery. It’s located about 10 miles outside of Denver.
Hike Colorado Trail
The Colorado Trail is 567 miles of manmade pathways, sending travelers through one of the most scenic and highly esteemed trails in North America. This is one of the best ways to see the Colorado Rockies if you’re up for the challenge of long-distance hiking or biking; and this is no small feat. Each person puts their body through weeks of on-foot traveling from Denver to Durango.
Seasoned hikers, bikers and horseback riders set out in July to make this several weeks long trek before the snow storms kick back up after September.
If you end up starting the trail in August, you’ll have a few pros and cons. The pros include long daylight hours with summer conditions in August, cooler weather in September and lighter crowds on the trail. The cons could be snow storms and colder weather rolling in September and potentially cutting the trip short in case of severe weather.
Ride the Durango & Silverton Railways
This Old Western train ride is sure to thrill people of all ages, taking off from the original depot built in 1882. The towns of Durango and Silverton are connected by this preserved railway, which operates using the original methods kept up by the current conductors and railway workers. The train rides are meant to give visitors a beautifully scenic experience along with a history lesson on Southwestern Colorado.
In August, Durango and Silverton host Railfest – a series of railroad themed events for visitors to enjoy. The celebration is meant to recognize the history of railroading, specifically with this unique train ride. Discounts are often given for special trips and the event often includes a nighttime photoshoot with the Locomotive 315.
Tourists will love to experience any of the multiple train rides available with the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railway, taking you to various destinations in close proximity to Durango. The tours will wind through many acres of the San Juan National Forest and give guests glimpses of deep canyons, spans of spruce trees and fields of wildflowers. There are many different packages to choose from, one including a stay at the Grand Imperial Hotel.
Visit Ski Villages
Ski towns and villages completely transform from the Winter months to the Summer months. No longer are the ski runs filled with powdery snow – instead, they’re open for hiking and biking trails, climbing excursions and other similar activities. The best part about going in August is that most of the summer crowds are heading out, but the weather is still great.
Vail has some surprisingly great activities for visitors to do in the Summer. Some of the most notable that differ from the usual hiking and biking include riding the Forest Flyer alpine coaster, exploring the botanical beauty of Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, go tubing at Epic Discovery, hike with a llama through Paragon Guides or take advantage of the whitewater rafting with multiple outfitters.
Boulder is a great place to be in the Summer. Some of the best activities you can do to cool off in the hot weather include tubing down Boulder Creek, drinking around the Boulder Beer Trail, listening to an outdoor concert throughout the month, go boating or swimming in the Boulder Reservoir or let the kids splash in the Pop-Jet Fountain downtown. There are also several events going on in town throughout August, including Boulder County Fair.
Steamboat Springs in August is a great place to experience the Summer warmth. Aside from the typical hiking and biking excursions, try out the Alpine Slide, or enjoy a nice round of golf at one of Steamboat’s three 18-hole courses. Strawberry Park Natural Hot Springs has a dirt road that’s usually hard to maneuver in the Winter, so the Summer months will be the best time to visit with the whole family. Old Town Hot Springs is also an easy-to-get-to relaxation destination for all ages.
Visit Crested Butte
Crested Butte is a quaint and cozy ski town in the Rocky Mountains with beautiful weather in the month of August. During the Winter you can experience the snow sports in all their glory, but the Summer is actually one of the best times to be in town. During the Summer, there’s plenty of live music and shows going on in town and exquisite dining options.
The annual Arts Festival is going on at the beginning of August, featuring local and nationally recognized artists, great food and family fun. In addition to the festival, there are hundreds of miles of bike trails along Crested Butte Mountain Resort include paths for all ability levels, ensuring that even beginners will have a great time on the mountain.
Tour Pike National Forest
Pike National Forest is home to over one million acres of beautifully preserved forests, streams and mountain areas. Visitors love the outdoor activities including hiking, fishing, boating and camping that are great in August. The National Forest is easily accessible from the city of Colorado Springs and is well known for it’s great hike to Pike’s Peak, made of beautiful pink and orange granite.
This is one of the most ideal camping trips for families with kids who love the outdoors. Visitors can hike many of the family-friendly trails that leads to Manitou Park, picnic by the lake, drive along any of the scenic roads or fish in Eleven Mile Canyon. Hiking up to Pike’s Peak is also a great challenge for the brave of heart, but a good alternative would be to climb to Devil’s Head Lookout which ends with a beautiful view of the forest valley from the service tower.
Pike National Forest is surrounded by several small towns that are also worth the trip. Explore Manitou Springs’ cave dwellings and Miramont Castle Museum, see Canon City’s Royal Gorge Bridge Park or hop over to Cripple Creek and experience the Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine.
Hike Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park is easily accessible from the town of Estes Park and just a short drive from the cities of Denver and Boulder. August does tend to be one of it’s busier months though with great weather and beautiful blooming wildflowers swathing the park.
Hiking is the most popular activity in Rocky Mountain National Park, but it isn’t the only way to see it. You can experience the full glory of the Rockies from your car while driving on Trail Ridge Road, finding a spot to camp, going fishing or even rock climbing.
While hiking over 350 miles of trail, you could encounter wildlife such as elk and bighorn sheep, get gorgeous pictures with sweeping vistas and experience a killer workout. For the true western experience, try out one of the Horseback Riding excursions, led by trained horsemen who guide you through the National Park’s lower regions.
Experience Grand Junction
Grand Junction is a city located in Colorado’s Western Slope region; a gateway to some of Colorado’s top attractions like Colorado National Monument and the Grand Mesa.
Colorado National Monument offers more than the typical Colorado Rockies mountain scenery. It’s filled with beautiful landscapes of rock formations, canyons, arid plants and beautiful blooming flowers in August. It’s very popular for long distance biking, trail hiking and off-road driving adventures, but car trips are highly recommended in the summer heat.
The Grand Mesa is the largest flat-topped mountain in the world, stretching over 500 square miles. The Grand Junction gives easy access to the Grand Mesa, which is a great escape from the approaching summer heat (the summit never rises above 80°F (27°C). Hiking, fishing, biking, driving and camping are all easily achieved at the Grand Mesa.
The City of Grand Junction has loads of additional experiences when you’ve had your fill of outdoor activity. Downtown Main Street has many shops, boutiques and stores to meander through and plenty of restaurants to choose from. As a matter of fact, it’s best known for being in the heart of Colorado’s wine country, so there’s no better place to taste wine in the state.
August Events in Colorado
There are many events to experience in Colorado. Below we’ve listed the biggest and most popular long term events that appeal to most travelers in August.
Colorado Shakespeare Festival
The Colorado Shakespeare Festival began in June and typically runs through the first week of August. College actors and actresses from the University of Colorado Boulder perform daily, showcasing the best of Shakespeare’s work on the stage. View the lineup of performances before heading into town as there are many performed over this monthlong period.
Hudson Gardens Summer Concert Series
Hudson Gardens in Littleton, CO hosts an annual Summer Concert Series that lasts over the course of several months (usually ending in September) and hosts a variety of bands on stage. Visitors are invited to browse the playlist for the upcoming concerts to determine which weeks are best to attend according to their taste. The town invites food and drink vendors and trucks to accommodate guests around the outdoor sound stage while enjoying bands from Colorado and beyond.
Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series
Steamboat Springs has hosted the Pro Rodeo Series every summer for over a century. Guests from across the country come to experience this two monthlong show to watch cowboys and cowgirls rope, race and ride. The rodeos are performed every weekend on Fridays and Saturdays from mid-June to early August and come with beer, food and souvenir vendors for fans.
Western Welcome Week
Littleton, CO may be little, but it is mighty in it’s festival hosting abilities. The second week of August often marks the start of the annual “homecoming” event which is open to the public and has been going on for nearly 100 years. Western Welcome Week has many food vendors, games, prizes and shopping, along with a Western dance party and multiple competitions for attendees to participate in.
Boulder International Fringe Festival
The dust hasn’t had much time to settle in Boulder after their annual months long music festival, when they begin the Boulder International Fringe Festival. Artists from around the country come to introduce audiences to unique performances and art pieces. Throughout the week, guests will experience various forms of dance, music and art creation.
Colorado State Fair
Colorado State Fair starts up in the last week of August, running for a full week and open to anyone and everyone who wants to engage in the festivities. Throughout the week, the Fair holds 4H and FFA events, concerts and stage shows, all centered around the premier rodeo show.
Colorado in August: Week by Week
The first week of August will feel very similar to the late weeks of July. The weather is still very warm and dry, rainy days occur fairly regularly and the Summer crowds are still in full swing. There are many events, shows and experiences offered in the month of August, making it one of the last great times for families to visit before school starts.
The Summer activities still revolve around the more adventurous outdoor excursions like hiking through the National Parks and ski towns, biking the mountain trails, and taking advantage of water activities like river rafting, kayaking and tubing while you still can. This is also the very last week recommended for starting the Colorado Trail hike before snowfall begins in September.
In the first week of August, the Colorado Music Festival, Colorado Shakespeare Festival, the Colorado Renaissance Festival and others that have been going on all summer are wrapping up. Denver also has it’s fair share of weekly events and many things to do throughout the capitol city.
The second week of August in Colorado begins to see a little change in crowd levels as visitors go back home for the start of the school year. This is one of the most ideal times for locals to get out and experience the last few moments of the Summer weather and events since Fall is just around the corner.
This is a great time to get out to Colorado National Grasslands while the weather is still very warm and dry with no chance of snowfall ruining the scenic beauty of this flat National Park. It’s best to visit in the Summer since it’s extremely difficult to trek in the colder and snowier months, plus the historical evidence you’ll find on your hikes here is beyond amazing.
Littleton, CO is not only hosting a huge Summer Concert Series, but this week marks the start of their annual “homecoming” event for prior residents and any visitors who’d like to attend. It’s called Western Welcome Week and has many food, games, prizes and vendors, along with a Western dance party for everyone to enjoy.
The third week of August in Colorado may see a slight change in temperature some places, along with a drop in crowd levels. Most schools have started by this time and families have ended their Summer vacations, making it a great time for those not tied to the school year to experience the last few weeks of Summer.
One of the best recommendations for a great experience in this third week is to hike Pike National Forest, or plan to camp, fish or picnic in this gorgeous area while the crowds are low and the weather is still warm. In addition to visiting Pike National Forest, surrounding towns like Manitou Springs and Canon City have loads of great sights and restaurants to experience.
By this time, Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series is coming to a close, wrapping up several months of a hootin’ and hollerin’ rodeo and carnival. Boulder International Fringe Festival is also going on, bringing in artists from all over the country who showcase unique styles of artwork. In addition to these, Durango and Silverton usually hold Railfest in this week, celebrating the history of the American railroad.
As the last week of August rolls around, the Summer is beginning it’s end in Colorado. This is usually one of the last weeks that snow is kept at bay, the weather is warm and the breeze is mild. Getting in those last few moments of warm weather activity are a must when visiting Colorado in the fourth week of August.
Tourists should take advantage of places like Rocky Mountain National Park and the surrounding attractions of Grand Junction before the weather starts getting cold again. Hiking, mountain biking, camping and water sports will probably not be available for much longer, so it’s best to accomplish these before the month of August ends.
Hudson Gardens Summer Concert Series is close to wrapping up for the summer, usually closing out in early September. This concert series takes place in Hudson Gardens in Littleton, CO and hosts a variety of bands on stage. Visitors also will enjoy attending the Colorado State Fair and rodeo which usually starts in the last week of August in Pueblo, CO.
August in Colorado is often the second or third busiest Summer month, seeing more rainfall than other months. While there may be less of them as the month runs on, tourists still make it a point to visit in August to take advantage of the last days of Summer’s heat and great weather.
August is a great time to visit Colorado since many families refrain from scheduling vacations later in the month due to schools coming back in session. There are still many things to do as the National Parks are still fully open for hiking, biking and camping and most restaurants and hotels remain open for the last of the Summer crowds.
If you were planning to visit Colorado in the Summer and wanted to avoid the biggest crowds of the year, August is a very ideal time to go. It’s got the same great warm weather that July had, maybe with a slight drop in temperature later in the month, allowing guests to experience the beauty of hiking, biking, driving and horseback riding through the Rockies before the snowstorms start back up in the Fall.