The crispness of fall is starting to creep into the morning and evening air. The mountains are beginning to discard their summer green in favor of warmer autumnal tones. And the elk, deer, pronghorn, and moose are preparing for their courtship season. Autumn in the Snowy Mountains is nearly upon us. Do you need to recharge after a busy summer? Do you crave one more escape to nature before winter sets in? Come to the Snowies this fall.
Fall is that cozy time of year for warm sweaters, hot beverages, beautiful colors, and crackling fires. And autumn in the Snowy Mountains near Centennial, Wyoming will not disappoint. If the end of summer has you wishing for one more getaway before winter, consider planning a retreat to the Snowy Range Area of the Rocky Mountains.
Stay at the Cozy Mountain View Historic Hotel
The fall nights may be getting a bit chilly for camping, but The Mountain View Historic Hotel and Cafe in Centennial, Wyoming is the perfect warm hideaway for this season (or any season). Spend the weekend (or week) in one of the hotel’s six rooms and suites. A stay at this beautiful and homey hotel is a great way to enjoy the best of the fall weather, without sacrificing comfort. You can hike, fish, and sightsee by day and enjoy a snug bed with all the modern amenities you could want in the evening. (Read more about this amazing hotel here.)
Feed Your Stomach While You Feed Your Soul
Before venturing into the autumn wilderness for a day of hiking, fishing, or nature-watching, fill your stomach with a delicious and hearty breakfast at the Mountain View Cafe. Hot and fresh omelets, breakfast sandwiches, and waffles are the best fuel for a day spent exploring and reveling in the sights of fall. Not to mention the Mountain View Cafe’s signature house-roasted coffee, which is AMAZING! While you are enjoying your cup of joe and morning meal, you can gaze out the cafe windows at the gorgeous autumn mountains.
The Mountain View Cafe is only open for breakfast this fall (open until 11 Tuesday – Saturday, and noon on Sunday), but the mountain town of Centennial offers several other restaurants to top off your day in the mountains. Dinners at the Old Corral Steakhouse or the Bear Bottom Bar and Grill are always fantastic and filling.
Revel in the Autumn Colors
As the temperatures decrease, the mountains adorn themselves with their autumn raiment. This is, of course, the primary incentive to visit the Snowy Range in fall. Whether you are driving the Snowy Range Scenic Byway, hiking the endless forest trails, or fishing the glassy lakes, you will be awestruck by the stunning vistas.
In the autumn the aspen turn to gold and the oak trees become ruddy shades of orange and yellow. While the number of deciduous trees may be less than in other areas of the country, the contrast with the deep emerald of pine, spruce, and fir trees makes their colors explode in a way that is truly exceptional. The sweeping slopes of green, gold, and orange juxtaposed against rocky peaks and a brilliant blue sky make for unrivaled photo opportunities.
Hike the Tranquil Trails
As if the views weren’t enough, hiking in the fall also provides exclusive appeal. The heat of summer has melted away, and the coolness of autumn is a welcome respite. Hiking in the brisk air seems to lend more energy and vitality to a hike. Some higher trails may have early snow, so it is important to wear appropriate layers and adequate footwear. However, the cooler temperatures mean no mosquitoes. (Check out an interactive map of hiking trails in the Snowy Range area here).
What’s more, hiking in the fall is very peaceful compared to the hustle and bustle of the peak summer months. Much like hiking in spring, the trails are less-traveled and crowded and the serenity is palpable. A mountain trail in autumn is the epitome of serenity.
Yet another reason to visit the Snowy Range in autumn is the abundance of wildlife viewing opportunities. This is especially true before the hunting season is in full swing. Pronghorn, elk, deer, and moose are in their fall rut (mating season) and are often less shy as they pursue females. They are also trying to add as much additional weight before the scarcity of winter and will spend long hours grazing in the open. Plus, the fact that the mountains see fewer tourists in the fall means that there is less human encroachment to make them scarce.
Relax, Renew, and Rejuvenate
Whatever it is that draws you to the Snowy Range in autumn—whether it be a cozy stay in a historic hotel, breathtaking views, or a quiet and peaceful hike—the mountains promise serenity and rest. Leave behind the busyness of the everyday hubbub and renew yourself in the mountains.