Brookside, Colorado: Scenic Town with Outdoor Adventures


Brookside Colorado is surrounded by national forests and wilderness areas and provides easy access to breathtaking nature trails, scenic drives, and family-friendly mountain resorts.

Whether you’re looking to make Brookside, Colorado, your home, visit loved ones, or plan a vacation, there is plenty to do. Both those with loved ones and individuals alike can take advantage of the quality events and amenities this state has to offer.


  • Brookside, Colorado, is a scenic mountain town known for its natural beauty, outdoor recreation, and cultural events.
  • Iconic drives like the Million Dollar Highway and Alpine Loop showcase the area's soaring peaks and forests.
  • Visitors can hike mountain trails, ski world-class resorts, or attend local festivals and fairs.
  • The town offers family-friendly attractions, cozy lodges and cabins, and excellent dining options.

Overview of Brookside, Colorado

Located in Fremont County, Brookside, Colorado, is a quaint community nestled in the southern region near Canon City. Known for its picturesque landscapes, Fremont County in central Colorado offers a plethora of outdoor activities and is renowned for its historical landmarks, including the iconic Royal Gorge Bridge.

Brookside lies in a valley carved out by the Colorado River, with the Collegiate Peaks forming a stunning backdrop of 14,000-foot summits. The surrounding San Juan National Forest offers pristine wilderness to explore, while the town itself retains its old-fashioned small town charm.

The Colorado River begins its journey in the rugged Rocky Mountains of Colorado, meandering through various parts of the United States for about 1,450 miles (2,330 kilometers).

Outdoor enthusiasts and adventurers flock to Brookside for its hiking, biking, fishing, national parks, and both water and winter sports. As the seasons change, there are so many possibilities! Families enjoy the area’s dude ranches, parks, and seasonal festivals like the annual Hot Air Balloon Rodeo. The rich mining history of nearby ghost towns also makes Brookside a hit with history buffs.

No matter the season, Brookside captures Colorado’s natural beauty and pioneer spirit with its abundance of scenic vistas, adventurous activities, and cultural traditions.

Experiencing Local Culture

Beyond the mountain landscapes, Brookside offers visitors a taste of authentic local culture through its cuisine, arts, and community events.

The town is known for its Brookside gardens and hearty mountain fare, with family-owned restaurants dishing up elk stew, bison burgers, and rainbow trout. Be sure to also try Brookside’s famed huckleberry pie or sample local beers like Avalanche Ale.

Visitors can browse the galleries along Artisan Row, showcasing jewelry, paintings, photography, and pottery by regional artists. Don’t miss the summer art fair in June, when artists gather to display their works against a backdrop of dazzling wildflowers.

Throughout the year, Brookside hosts parades, rodeos, concerts, and fairs that give visitors a fun glimpse into local traditions and mountain culture. The annual Snow Ball in January brings communities together to dance, dine, and celebrate the winter season.

Scenic Drives Showcasing Natural Splendor

Some of Colorado’s most spectacular mountain scenery can be seen along the scenic byways near Brookside. These iconic drives offer breathtaking vistas around every hairpin turn.

The famed Million Dollar Highway clings to sheer cliff walls as it winds past abandoned mines and ghost towns north of Brookside.

To the south, the Alpine Loop National Scenic Back Country Byway traverses 65 miles of high mountain passes, pine forests, and wildflower meadows. The rugged four-wheel drive road summits at 12,700 feet, with panoramic views of the Rockies the entire drive.

For scenery closer to town, take the easy 8-mile drive up Guanella Pass. The road winds through a landscape of aspen groves and mountain lakes before reaching panoramic vistas at the 11,669-foot summit.

Seasonal Activities for Every Interest

One of Brookside’s biggest draws is the variety of seasonal activities available right in town or a short drive away.

Summer brings endless options for outdoor fun, from family rafting trips to hiking past wildflower-filled meadows. The summer rodeo and county fair also promise old-fashioned entertainment for all ages.

In fall, the blazing golden aspens set the stage for scenic drives to see the fall foliage, while festivals like the Harvest Hoedown celebrate the season. Don’t miss the chance to hike through the autumn colors along trails like the scenic Boreas Pass.

Once winter hits, Brookside transforms into a winter wonderland perfect for hitting the slopes. Nearby resorts like Breckenridge offer downhill skiing and snowboarding for all skill levels. Families can also try snow tubing, ice skating, or scenic gondola rides.

No matter when you visit, Brookside serves as the gateway to some of Colorado’s most spectacular and varied landscapes.

Outdoor Adventures in the Rocky Mountains

When it comes to outdoor recreation, Brookside is a paradise for nature lovers. The surrounding San Juan National Forest offers endless opportunities for adventure against the backdrop of the Rockies’ soaring peaks.

In summer, hikers can explore hundreds of trails that wind past mountain lakes, through wildflower meadows, and up to rocky summits. Popular hikes include the four-mile round trip to Crystal Lake with its family-friendly terrain or the more challenging ascent of 14,000-foot Mount Elbert.

Mountain bikers can test their skills on the steep single-track trails crisscrossing Tenderfoot Pass. For a more leisurely ride, pedal along the car-free Tennessee Pass trail through the Continental Divide.

In winter, downhill and cross-country skiers flock to the slopes at Ski Cooper or Loveland Basin. Families will love sledding or tubing at Frisco Adventure Park. No matter how you choose to play in the snow, be sure to take avalanche safety precautions when venturing into the backcountry.

With stunning scenery in every season, Brookside makes an unforgettable basecamp for Rocky Mountain adventures.

Attractions and Activities for Families

Brookside offers families plenty of attractions and activities to please kids of all ages. Start by exploring the dinosaur tracks and fossils at Dinosaur Ridge, one of the world’s most famous dinosaur fossil sites. Interactive exhibits let kids imagine life in the prehistoric age when Stegosaurs and Apatosaurs roamed Colorado.

At the Gold Rush Mini Golf course, families can play 18 holes of mini golf surrounded by an abandoned mine theme, complete with rustic buildings, covered wagons, and even a ghost town jail. Kids will love exploring, and parents will appreciate the historical details.

When it comes to accommodations, families can pick from cozy cabins and lakeside resorts like Elk Run Lodge, which offers kids’ programs and a huge heated pool. The all-inclusive Red Sky Ranch even has its own petting zoo and horseback riding for kids.

No matter how you spend your days, Brookside offers families the chance to bond over everything from fossil hunts to campfire s’mores under the Colorado night sky.

Where to Stay and Dine in Brookside

Brookside offers a variety of comfortable accommodations whether you’re looking for an outdoor adventure or a relaxing mountain getaway. Families can choose from spacious cabins tucked into the pine forests around town, while couples may enjoy the scenic views from a cozy inn or boutique hotel along the river.

Many ranches in the area also offer all-inclusive stays with horseback riding, fishing, and evening campfires under the stars. For a true taste of the Old West, consider staying in the historic log cabins at Vista Verde Ranch.

After a day of mountain activities, Brookside’s restaurants offer the perfect place to unwind over a delicious meal. For the best steaks in town, visit the Brookside Grill or sample creative cuisine made from local ingredients at The Bitterroot Bistro. No visit is complete without trying one of the huckleberry masterpieces from Maggie’s Bakery or a craft beer at one of the local brewpubs.

Planning an Unforgettable Visit

A trip to Brookside lets you step back in time to enjoy natural splendor and small-town charm. To make the most of your visit, here are some tips:

The best times to visit are June-August for warm weather and September-October to enjoy the fall foliage. Winters offer great skiing but be prepared for cold temps and heavy snow at high elevations.

Pack layers so you can adjust to Colorado’s varied daytime and nighttime temperatures. And don’t forget the sunscreen—the high altitude means UV rays are stronger.

Getting around by car is easiest, but a shuttle service connects Brookside to nearby towns and trailheads.

Create an itinerary mixing outdoor adventures like hiking the West Elk Loop with relaxing evenings enjoying local cuisine and entertainment.

Brookside truly offers an unforgettable Colorado experience filled with natural beauty and mountain culture around every corner.


What is there to do in Brookside?

Brookside offers endless outdoor recreation like hiking, biking, fishing, skiing, and wildlife viewing. The area also features historic attractions, family-friendly dude ranches and resorts, scenic drives, and local fairs and festivals.

What is the best time of year to visit Brookside?

Summer and fall offer the most pleasant weather for activities, with winter popular for skiing and snow sports. June to October tend to be peak visitor season.

What scenic drives are near Brookside?

Must-see scenic drives include the Million Dollar Highway, Alpine Loop Historic Backcountry Byway, Guanella Pass Scenic Byway, and Trail Ridge Road through Rocky Mountain National Park.

Does Brookside have family-friendly attractions?

Yes, top attractions for families include Dinosaur Ridge Park, Gold Rush Mini Golf, Vista Verde Ranch, and numerous outdoor activities like horseback riding, rafting, and hiking.

Where are the best places to stay in Brookside?

Brookside offers a variety of lodges, cabins, ranches, and small inns, with family favorites like Elk Run Lodge and couples’ favorites like the River Rock Inn. Vista Verde Ranch offers all-inclusive dude ranch experiences.


About the author

James Ranson

I’m an editor, traveler, and fan of the great outdoors. I’ve been to all 48 continental US states, and my drives through Colorado’s rugged peaks and snowy forests (not to mention whiskey tastings in Denver!) still stand out in my memories. I’m excited to use my ten years of editing experience to develop engaging and informative guides and articles that enhance the outdoor experiences of both Colorado residents and visitors. Whether a piece is about exploring the best ski resorts, uncovering scenic trails for hiking, or finding the most inspiring drives through the Colorado Rockies, my aim is to provide comprehensive and accessible content that encourages adventure and exploration.