10 Places for Stunning Fall Foliage

Catch fall at its peak.

There is just something about adventuring in the fall. The crowds thin out, campsites are easier to get, the temperature cools down...but really, it's all about the foliage, isn't it? As the leaves turn brilliant golds and oranges, even familiar landscapes look new.

Though New England is known for its spectacular displays of autumn color, fall foliage doesn't just happen in east. You can find beautiful displays throughout the US—from endless aspen stands in Utah to stunning western larch in Montana.

These ten places have some of the best foliage around. The window for peak color across the US may be short, but it's worth chasing. Are you ready to explore?

Colorado

Adventure by Nola Svoboda

Trout Lake is only 20 minutes from Telluride, and the scenery is as Colorado as it gets. Get ready for jagged peaks, pristine waters, and aspen stands glowing in the mountain sun. The lake is big enough for a good paddling workout, or a SUP fishing session.

Montana

Adventure by Zach Wheeler

Straddling the Montana and Idaho border, the Route of the Hiawatha traverses an old railway bed, venturing through 10 tunnels and over seven trestle bridges on its 15-mile journey through the Bitterroot Mountains. Riding this route in the fall, you'll be treated to the changing colors of the mountain larch, a conifer that sheds its needles in the fall. Their bright, golden color is a stunning contrast to the other conifers of the northern forests.

Maine

Adventure by Danielle Tourigny

Fall colors reaching to the very edge of the ocean—that's what you'll get from the summit of Dorr Mountain in Acadia National Park. Short and steep, you'll gain 1,100 feet in 1.8 miles using rock stairs and ladders affixed into the side of the mountain. 

Michigan

Adventure by Kaden Staley

Michigan is a prime destination for fall foliage. Rolling terrain and a diverse mix of trees make for a stunning array of colors. The hike to Hogback Mountain in Marquette rises 600 feet to 360-degree views of the Upper Peninsula.

Missouri

Adventure by Jon King

Hit the highest point and the tallest waterfall in Missouri, all in one hike. For a hike already full of superlatives, the fall leaves might be the topping on the cake. Looking out at the rocky bluffs from atop Mina Sauk Falls will give you an appreciation of Missouri's natural beauty.

New Hampshire

Adventure by Jonathan Elsner

Mt. Monadnock rises alone in the southeastern part of New Hampshire, practically begging you to climb to the top. From the summit, you'll take in big views of the area, with lakes and fall foliage as far as the eye can see. While there are many ways to the summit, the White Dot trail is the shortest and steepest, but worth the effort.

New York

Adventure by Erin Hanczyk

Easy to access, yet surprisingly remote, paddling the Sacandaga and Kunjamuk Rivers is perfect for a peaceful, calm trip. Along the rivers, you'll be surrounded by trees of all colors. Once you break out into Elm Lake, the views open up for a full show of Adirondack beauty.

Tennessee

Adventure by Joshua Moore

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a prime destination for leaf peepers. And there's no better spot to take it in than the Morton Overlook. If you can head up at sunset when the colors really come alive.

Utah

Adventure by Conor Barry

Driving through the Wasatch Mountains, you'll be amazed by the sheer size of the Aspen groves. As a single, clonal plant, whole stands of these trees go off at once, painting hillsides a brilliant golden yellow. Don't miss the Alpine Loop near Sundance Ski Area, where you'll find some of the best groves in Utah. 

Virginia

Adventure by Sarah Giek

The Pinnacle is a little know outcrop on the Appalachian Trail, and it offers unparalleled views of Shenandoah National Park. Starting from the Pinnacles Picnic area on Skyline Drive, this hike is a short 2.2 round trip to some prime fall foliage viewing. 

Cover photo by Sara Sheehy

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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