Labor Day, a glorious 3-day weekend where you can get out one last time and enjoy summer in the mountains. Before long, the leaves will turn from green to red, orange, and yellow, a sign that winter is just around the corner.
Take advantage of your long weekend and get out and do some exploring in our beautiful state. We’ve put together a list of some of the top destinations for Labor Day fun in Colorado to help you plan your ideal vacation.
The Best Mountain Towns to Visit This Labor Day
Our list combines unique geographical sites and towns that have fun festivities for Labor Day weekend, allowing you to choose what type of experience you’re looking for during this end-of-summer celebration.
One of our favorite Colorado bucket list items is to walk across the Royal Gorge Bridge, the highest suspension bridge in North America. The Royal Gorge Bridge & Park, located right outside of Cañon City, has a host of attractions fun for the whole family. This includes zip lining, a sky coaster, a gondola ride, and more.
Plus, Cañon City boasts some of the greatest rafting in Colorado thanks to the gorgeous, rushing Arkansas river that carves through our town. If you want to visit Cañon City and stay in luxury, try our cabin rentals or glampsites.
Steamboat Springs is just far enough from Denver that many locals never get to experience the beauty and fun that this small city has to offer. During Labor Day Weekend, you’ll find lots of events going on here, including:
- Wild West Air Fest
- Yampa Valley Crane Festival
- Farmers Market
- End of Summer Jam
- Downtown Sidewalk Sale
- 10K at 10,000 feet
Plus, there are hundreds of miles of trails and wilderness to experience. You can find a good campsite or stay in town to make the most of a celebratory weekend in the mountains.
Head down to Colorado Springs for its annual Colorado Springs Labor Day Lift Off held August 31 – September 2, 2019. The event itself is free and you can enjoy watching over 70 colorful balloons take off at once. During the rest of the weekend, eat and drink local cuisine from vendors and enjoy things like chainsaw carving and skydiving demonstrations.
When you’re not at the festival, try visiting some of the nearby attractions that Colorado Springs is known for. These include Pike’s Peak, Cave of the Winds, and Garden of the Gods.
Estes Park is found right along the edge of the Rocky Mountain National Park, a favorite amongst wildlife seekers and trail enthusiasts in Denver. Take advantage of a long weekend to explore some of the 350+ miles of trail that make their way through dense forests and along alpine lakes. In town, enjoy their annual Estes Park Labor Day Arts & Crafts Show where you can pick up some locally-crafted souvenirs.
If you’re a fan of mountain scenery and country music, visit Copper for their 2019 Copper Country Music Festival, a free event with music and art. With a stage at the base of Copper Mountain Ski Resort, you get to enjoy blue skies and pine trees as your backdrop while you strap on your boots, put on your cowboy hat, and get down to some fun music.
There is also a Copper Kid Arts & Crafts Fair and a Copper Country Makers Market for some more family fun during Labor Day weekend. Plus, if you come early on Friday, August 30th, you can enjoy a day full of exciting mountain activities at Center Village with activities like an alpine zip line, Rocky Mountain Coaster, go karts, quad power bungee jump, scenic chair ride, and more.
Great Sand Dunes National Park
Did you know that Colorado is home to the tallest sand dunes in North America? At the Great Sand Dunes National Park, you and your family or friends can have a great time hiking or sandboarding along tall, fine, white sand that gathers at the base of the Sangre de Cristo mountains. And don’t think that the sand dunes are the only thing to explore here. This park is home to varied landscapes, including alpine lakes, tundra, aspen forests, grasslands, and wetlands. It’s truly a beautiful and unique Colorado experience.
You can either camp at the park itself or stay in the nearby town of Alamosa. It can get a bit chilly at night during this time of year, so be sure to bring clothing for warm days and cool nights. In Alamosa and the surrounding San Luis Valley, there are balloon rides, a vintage car show, and other fun events.
Every Labor Day, Aspen hosts its annual Jazz Aspen Snowmass music festival. This 3-day festival includes more than just jazz, with artists like Weezer, Sting, John Mayer, and Portugal the Man making an appearance. Or you can visit JAS cafe for intimate jazz performances throughout the weekend. Buy your tickets and accomodations early as this event is expected to sell out. Between the sets, you can take advantage of boutique shopping and great hiking and mountain biking trails.
Planning Your Vacation
Labor Day is one of the busiest times during the summer in Colorado’s beautiful mountain towns and vast national parks. If you just roll in on Sunday hoping to find a good camp spot, a fun last-minute rafting excursion, or a nice cabin for you and your family, you might be out of luck.
When it comes to booking accommodations, you want to do so well in advance of Labor Day weekend itself. Places sell out quickly, particularly the nice glampspots and cabin rentals within a few hours drive of the Denver metro area.
If you want to avoid the largest crowds, try getting out and about on Saturday and Monday as Sunday is historically the busiest day of this three-day weekend.