Denver Colorado is one of those cities that what you expect from the weather is often not what you get. In Denver, since moving there, the one thing I learned is that Denver’s weather is unpredictable. Find the best time to visit Denver can be tough for those who’ve never been.
It’s also surprising. Not just because you can have multiple seasons in a day, from sun to rain to snow to hail. But that your expectations of Denver in the summer and winter may not match reality.
There’s lots to do in Denver as well. And so we explore our take on the best times for you to visit. We explore the weather year round in Denver as well as activities and how to make the most of your trip.
What Month is the Best Time To Visit Denver
There’s no bad time in Denver for sure. But the weather definitely changes and can be tough to visit places during different months.
For me, the best time to visit Denver I’ve found is in September and October. Also I really like mid-May to mid-June as well for weather (and still lower crowds).
Why? Well temperatures tend to be more moderate during these times. You’ll still get the occasional hot day, but no where near the summer temperatures. You’ll still have rather long days.
Mid September to Mid-October is also a beautiful time in Colorado for fall with the changing of the leaves. However, with the trees (many Aspens) you’ll get some beautiful yellow colors throughout Denver and the mountains and less so other colors. Not quite the color smorgasbord of New England and other places but still beautiful.
Summers in Denver
Summers in Denver can be very hot. Expect temperatures to routinely be in the 90s and 100s. No joke. The one saving grace for Denver in the Summer is that Denver is quite dry. Shocking to me is that its drier than many parts of Texas (such as Austin / San Antonio) that I used to think were dry. Denver is actually drier.
Given that Denver is a desert (high desert region), you get lower precipitation than many other places, less humidity, and generally lots of sun.
If you plan to be in Denver during the Summer, be sure to bring sunscreen, drink lots of water, and prepare for the heat. Such as do your activities early or late in the day.
Also, with Colorado, the higher you go in elevation, the cooler the temperatures will be. You can still routinely find snow in the mountains during the early summer. Or at the very least great temperatures for most of your activities.
Denver Weather in June
June is among my favorite month to visit Denver. The weather tends to settle down, you often get routinely warm days. You can occasionally get frost and snow but its rare (in particular compared to the mountains).
Many of the areas outside of Denver in the mountains are also opening up. You’ll likely be able to explore places like Rocky Mountain National Park late in the month. Yet, you won’t get the summer crowds generally.
The Denver weather in June generally starts pretty cool. With highs of 60s in the early days, and generally into the 80s and sometimes 90s by late month. Lows tend to be in the 40s early month to 60s late month.
Denver Weather in July
July is getting into peak summer. Early July you can tend to have more moderate temperatures but my mid to late July expect some searing temperatures.
The Denver weather in July tends to be warm to hot. You’ll routinely get temperatures in the mid to high 90s and sometimes 100s. Lows tend to be in the 50s – 70s depending on the time of the month. Mid-day will be hot for outdoor activities, however early morning or late afternoon evening will be great. It’ll also be crowded. There will be lots of concerts and other activities going on in the city.
July is a great time to explore areas of the mountains if you are in Denver. All of the mountain activities for summer should be open. There may still be some snow, but much of it will be melted. You’ll get the crowds in Rocky Mountain National Park and in other areas. It’s a great time to drive up to the various mountain passes that will now be open.
Denver Weather in August
The weather in Denver in August tends to be hot. Yes very hot. There were plenty of times especially in 2022, that the weather was too hot to want to be outdoors. Think highs in the 100s. Rain is sporadic but welcome as it cools things down. Also rain in Denver generally comes in and leaves quickly so it doesn’t often ruin the full day.
August is a great time to be in the mountains though. Everything is open and in full swing. You can hike and explore anywhere. It tends to be a popular time for folks to head out of Denver to hike 14ers, explore lakes, camp, and more. It’s also super popular so you’ll need to make reservations ahead of time for most anything (camping, etc.), such as Maroon Bells hiking which is popular now as well.
Denver in the Autumn
Fall is a great time to be in Denver. Early in the Season you’ll still have summer-ish weather. But as the months go on the heat will break and you’ll get a good mix of warm and cooler days and nights.
In Late September and October the trees will start to show the beautiful golden colors of leaves. In Colorado you mostly get Yellows on the trees, with some occasional reds and oranges. I find there’s more diversity of trees in Denver than in the mountains.
Autumn is a great season for lots of activities in the state as well. October during Halloween is also a fun time to be in the city. The town has some fun haunted houses and other activities. I recently did a ghost tour through Capitol Hill which is also a great way to explore history and horror stories in the town as well.
Denver Weather in September
September is one of my favorite months in Denver. It starts out pretty warm, with still summer temperatures. Later in the month things start to cool down and you’ll begin to feel more fall weather and colors.
Expect highs in September to still be in the 90s early in the month with high 70s and 80s later in the month. Lows will likely be in the 60s – 70s early month and 50-60s late month.
September is a great time for exploring Denver and the surrounding area. Places in the mountains are also still open. You’ll be able to hike 14ers and still explore Rocky Mountain National Park. It’ll be getting late in the season for things like whitewater rafting, so be sure to check on weather before you go. Late month things will definitely start to close down. Snow can certainly happen at high elevations however, weather in Denver will generally be great still.
Denver Weather in October
Early October is one of my favorite times in the city. Actually, overall October is great weather in the city. It’s cool, fall weather, with still great amounts of sunlight.
Expect early October to be in the 70s and 80s high (50s low), and mix of 50-70s in the late month (high) and 30-50s lows. It’s overall a great time, but sometimes can be confusing with days of heat and days of cold one after another.
Halloween is a fun time in the city, there’s a lot of places that decorate. You can do quite a few fall activities. I love the haunted houses and ghost tours especially, but you can certainly get out for hayrides and other things. I don’t feel that Denver does fall activities as well as the northeast but its still pretty good.
Most people are getting set for winter here, and for ski season. You might get a mountain or two that has some runs open, but its generally still pretty bad. Expect lots of passes and parks to start to close.
Denver Weather in November
November starts to feel way more winter. It’s weird, its almost is if the city suddenly just turns into colder weather. It’s like where’s the transition?
You’ll likely still get a few warm days in the 70s but expect more days in the 30s and 40s. Also you’ll likely get snow this time of year. It’s been a bit crazy to wake up and see several inches of snow on the ground. Sometimes it melts right away or in a day and sometimes it holds on a bit longer.
You’ll get a bunch of days in the 40s and 50s, so snow doesn’t stay permanently, but you’ll be always packing various forms of cold weather gear. In the sun things still feel really nice, but in the shade or during windy times it can be brutal.
With daylight savings, you’ll hit some short days, which can be a tough adjustment. Things don’t feel to be as open as they used to be in the summer. Oddly, much of Denver isn’t well lit, so night feels incredibly dark in a lot of places. It feels far later than you’d expect, and early places tend to close even earlier.
Many more mountains are open, although still not quite at full capacity. You’ll likely get some huge storms in the mountains this time which you can benefit from if you are into skiing. Snow plowing often feels a bit sluggish this time of year though so expect potentially bad road conditions.
Denver in the Winter
Winters in Denver are cold. But, generally not as cold as you expect. One thing that shocks friends back east, is that Denver is generally not as cold as the Northeast during the winter. Yes that’s true.
You’ll get snow in Denver, often a lot of snow at times. However, I find that snow does not stick as longa s other parts of the country. Also even if the temperature is cold, you’ll still feel relatively warmer in areas of sun.
And, there’s a lot of sun in Denver. One of my favorite aspects of Denver is the amount of sun in the winter. It’s often the wind that will get you. Windy days in Denver can be brutal, so be sure to dress appropriately.
Many things in Denver will be quieter during the winter. It’s a slow month during the winter. While Colorado in the Winter is very busy (for skiing), the ski areas tend to be a distance from the city. Unless you live in Denver, it’s not wise to commute to the areas from there (in particular due to I-70 traffic). So you can expect shorter days, cheaper hotel prices, and quieter things.
Denver Weather in December
December is when the weather really starts to feel like winter in the city. At least consistently. You’ll get regular cold days, and more often snow. December can be a big snow month in Colorado and Denver.
You’ll likely get some pretty cold days in December with occasional snow. Although you’ll still get some warmer days that will melt the snow as well. You can expect things as always in Colorado to be inconsistent.
Overall the city will be quieter, it feels like things really calm down overall in the city. Weekends and whenever there’s snow in the mountains more people will leave the city to head into the mountains for day trips or multi-days if they have ski houses.
I find prices in the city for housing to be cheaper, more indoor activities seem to be popular. Restaurants and other places tend to be a bit calmer this time of year. Overall it’s a good time to get to the city if you want to avoid crowds. If the weather is good, you can still do quite a bit outside with the sun.
Denver Weather in January
January is cold. However, shockingly not as cold as most people from out of state would expect. It’s definitely not as cold as when I lived in New York or Pennsylvania. Which is what always surprises me about Denver.
You can expect more snow this month. It can definitely still melt fast as there is still the opportunity for warmer days interspersed with the colder ones. January is also a bit busier with people coming and going from Denver for the mountains. You’ll see a lot of traffic on I-70 in particular during the weekends as Denver goes to the mountains.
It’s not one of my favorite times in the city unless you are planning on getting away for skiing. People and things shift in that mindset and because many of the mountains in Summit Country are within a day trip of the city, traffic and crowds are crazy. This is a good time to think about destination locations if you ski or other cities if you don’t.
Prices are definitely cheaper in Denver for hotels than the mountains, but then again if you are visiting you don’t really want to commute.
Expect temperatures to be in the 30s-40s (high) and teens-20s (low). With the occasionally warmer and colder days.
Denver Weather in February
February is the heart of the winter. You’ll get some decent snow, but shockingly the bigger snows in Colorado and Denver tend to be earlier or later. I’m not sure why that is? I’ve definitely noticed March to be a bigger snow month.
Weather in Denver will be generally cold, however as with always you’ll get some warm and cold snaps. I’ve seen some good 60F days in February.
You’ll be in full swing with skiing in the mountains. There’s some busy weekends these days especially around President’s day. Every weekend tends to be wall to wall traffic which is exhausting. You’ll need to leave super early if you want to get to the mountains and not be stuck for 3 hours on the road.
Denver prices are generally fine for hotels, but not worth it if you are here to sightsee or visit the slopes. The closer to the mountains and in the mountains prices will be high, although you can still get some good deals in Summit County at times.
It’s one of my favorite times of the year in Colorado but not as much because of Denver but for the mountains outside of it.
Expect temperatures in the 30s and 40s (high) and below 20s (low) with the occasion higher or lower days. Sunny days have a tendency to feel pretty nice at this point maybe for the acclimation to the colder temps.
Denver in Spring
Spring in Denver is quite beautiful. However, spring is also an unpredictable weather time for the city as well. Denver is still under the winter fog much of this time, which is great for those who are visiting or live here. You can often get some great weather days, but given that you don’t know when, crowds tend to be lower everywehre.
You’ll find more locals in places and doing activities. One of my favorite things in spring (especially late spring) is weeknight concerts at red rocks amphitheater. It feels super peaceful as everyone there tends to be locals, crowds managable, temperatures decent, and the feeling very relaxed.
Denver Weather in March
March is still pretty wintery in Denver and in Colorado in general. Actually, March can be one of the months with the most snow in the area. It’s routine to see some big snowfalls in the month of March. Weather can be warm many of the days though, so expect that snow can and will melt pretty quickly in the city.
In the mountains however, its another thing. This can be one of the best months to ski in Colorado ski areas. Its not even yet “spring skiing”, so expect so great snow, cold temperatures, and often lower crowds than January and February.
Expect to find temperatures generally in the 30s and 40s in the city. However, having days of 60s and 70s isn’t out of the question and does happen regularly. You’ll feel that the weather can’t make up its mind and alternate between warm and cold.
Denver Weather in April
April is a crazy month weather wise in Denver. You can get several inches of snow one day and the next day it can be all melted. I’ve seen this happy many a time. There was even a day I looked outside and saw crazy snowfall and by the time I went outside later in the day it was all gone. It was as if it never snowed!
I’ve often seen April being the start of hail in Denver as well. Hail season in Denver generally extends from mid-April to mid-September/early October. I’ve seen some terrible ones in the summer where I was like is it really summer?
April is still a good month to go skiing in much of Colorado. You can expect some cold temperatures in the mountains and pretty reasonable ones in Denver. I’ve gone skiing where it was 8F in the mountains and then nearly 80 in Denver! I kinda of like that though, it makes it feel like you can just go and still “visit” winter when you feel like it but then enjoy great weather when you don’t.
April is still slow in Denver. Much of the mountain and parks are still not yet fully opened. Don’t expect to get to visit Rocky Mountain National Park yet, as roads still may be closed. Prices for hotels etc. in Denver are still relatively lower than in later months too. So it can be a good time to visit. Mountains can be more Spring skiing weather this month as well.
Expect temperatures in the 60s-70s (high) and 30s to 40s (low) in Denver. It makes it hard to properly dress.
Denver Weather in May
May is one of my favorite times in the city and in the state. May the weather is generally pretty good.
You’ll get times when the weather is really nice and temperatures in the high 70s. Lows will be in the 40s and 50s which is still quite manageable, especially when the sun is out.
Overall the city is still quiet, things haven’t picked up for summer yet. Things in the mountains are starting to open. Mid-may is a great time to be in the mountains, especially areas that have thawed pretty well. I find prices cheaper in a lot of mountain towns like Vail and Aspen that otherwise will be expensive in summer and winter. It’s also a great time to visit popular places like Maroon Bells which will still allow you to drive and often still have tickets to visit. If the roads in Rocky Mountain NP are open it’s a great time to be there too.
I find may a great time to explore Colorado. It’s fun to drive around the state and see much of the state before crowds get big. You can do a lot outdoors and Denver is really coming alive. It still feels more local than touristy at this point as well.
Denver is a great city year round for sure. While temperatures at times can be pretty cold, especially in the winter, shockingly in Denver things don’t feel as cold in the sun. Even in the winter I find the ability to walk outside shockingly high, and sometimes even my coat too warm.
Going out of tourist-season in Denver is great, it’s a way to experience more of the town without the crowds. Denver, surprisingly doesn’t feel as tourist busy as other places. Perhaps because people use it as a jumping off point to the mountains. Which I recommend for those who haven’t been.
There’s always something to do in Denver and the area no matter what time of year you are here. It’s what brought me here, the great mix of city and nature. Hopefully this information helps with planning your trip.
If I missed something or if there’s something else you want to know, comment or email. And I’ll try to respond/update the post.
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