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5 Road Trips to See Fall Foliage

Fall road trips are the best.

By: The Outbound Collective + Save to a List

There is no better time for a road trip than the leaf-peeping season. Why? Flexibility is the name of the game when it comes to finding the very best of fall foliage. Chasing foliage requires a bit of work, a fair amount of patience, and a sense of adventure...the exact ingredients for a perfect road trip. 

When you're out hunting the colors of the season, look for KOA campgrounds along your route. With their KOA app for Android and iPhone, you can find a nearby KOA and easily make a reservation. Spend more time leaf-peeping, and less time chasing down a place to spend the night!

The White Mountains, New Hampshire

Photo by Chris Mongeau

When many people think of fall foliage they think of New Hampshire...and for a good reason! For the best of the best, drive the 100-mile White Mountains Trail through Franconia Notch, Bretton Woods, the Mount Washington region, Crawford Notch, North Conway, and—the crown jewel of scenic drives—the Kancamagus Highway.

KOA campgrounds in New Hampshire

The Upper Peninsula, Michigan

Photo by Kaden Staley

The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is a hidden gem of spectacular fall foliage. Cross into the Upper Peninsula at St Ignace and make your way to Tahquamenon Falls State Park for a view of the tea-colored falls surrounded by changing leaves. The drive from Tahquamenon to Munising is no less gorgeous, as the two-lane road winds through dense forest. Don't miss a side trip to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore!

KOA campgrounds in Michigan

The Adirondacks, New York

Photo by Sara Sheehy

The leaves start to turn early in the Adirondacks...you'll want to plan your trip for late September to catch the best colors. Head to Lake Placid either for a quick stop or to make it your home base—there are plenty of day trips to see the foliage from this resort town. If you'd rather drive a loop, make a weekend out of the drive between Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake, Long Lake, and Indian Lake.

KOA campgrounds in New York

The Columbia Gorge, Oregon and Washington

Photo by Hannah Kemp

For an epic road trip that includes foliage, waterfalls, craft beer, and farm to table food, drive along the Columbia Gorge from the quaint town of Hood River all the way out to the Pacific Ocean at Astoria. Not only will you see some of the prettiest scenery in the Northwest, but you'll also be following the historic route of the Lewis & Clark expedition.

KOA campgrounds in Oregon and Washington

The Flathead Valley, Montana

Photo by Mike Fennell

It's no secret that Glacier National Park is one of the most beautiful corners of the United States, but what may be a secret is how gorgeous Glacier and the surrounding Flathead Valley are in the fall. From aspens to larch trees, the display of foliage against the dramatic landscape makes for an unforgettable road trip. Start in Kalispell and make your way up the Valley and through Glacier on the Going to the Sun Road before it closes in mid-October.

KOA campgrounds in Montana

Cover photo by Jess Fischer

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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