How to Get Out and See Fall Colors

No one is ever ready for summer to end, but it's not all bad news. It's time for sweater weather, cider, pumpkin spice everything, and best of all, seeing the leaves change from the lush greens of summer to the bright golds, oranges, and reds of fall. Fall lasts such a short time, but is one of the most special and cherished times of the year. 

Over the next few months, each state will experience its own, unique view of fall. While most people associate fall colors with the historic bridges across New England, fall colors can be found almost nationwide. The classic fall postcard views can be found in Maine, New York, and across New England, but you can also find amazing leaf peepin’ action in states like Georgia and New Mexico!

With crisp morning winds starting to make appearances, it’s time to start planning your fall adventures. So get your hiking boots out, your favorite flannel, and start firing up your smartphone camera because it’s time for the greatest show on earth. 

And one final note before you head out adventuring, check out our five last minute (but highly recommended) travel tips below.

    1. Make a parking reservation! While this is a new trend for 2021 due to COVID regulations, most parks are limiting the number of visitors per day. This goes for parking lots, as well. Be sure to check out to get all the information you need for your upcoming trip.
    2. Pack one more layer than you think you’ll need. While forecasts show a general overview of weather trends, you never know when the mountain weather will take a turn. Best to be prepared and pack one more layer than you think you’ll need. (Shop our hiking & backpacking collection for great autumn hues to complete your picture perfect moment)
    3. Find local attractions. One of the best things about fall is the amount of local festivals that take place. From pumpkin carving and apple picking to folk music events and artisan markets, you’ll definitely want to enrich your trip by experiencing local culture. 
    4. Look for potential refunds. While we never suggest cancelling adventures, we do understand that the current pandemic climate causes event dates and travel opportunities to change on a whim. Look into cancellation policies and refunds for the worst case scenario.
    5. Be present. Fall only lasts for the blink of an eye and you don’t want to spend it staring at your screen. Take your phone for photo opportunities, but try turning off notifications or put it on airplane mode to fully take in the views and be present with the people around you. Trust us, you’ll remember the experience much more than the text you replied to. 

....and now for our top ten picks on best places to view fall foliage

  • Acadia National Park, Maine
  • Looking for beautiful fall foliage? Head to Acadia during October when the leaves are nearing their peak. The crowds will also be much more slim compared to the warmer summer months, just be sure to bring a heavier jacket- especially if it’s late October.

  • Stowe, Vermont
  • The fall season is a unique time of year in Stowe, Vermont. With vibrant shades of red, orange and yellow transforming the hillsides, leaf peeping in Stowe is an experience you’ll never forget. The best time to  venture here is mid September to mid October. Be sure to make any travel reservations in advance, as it is named by Travel + Leisure as one of “The Best Places to See Fall Foliage in the United States.” 

  • Highlands, NC 
  • The fall foliage show in the mountains and foothills surrounding Western North Carolina brings a kaleidoscope of leaf colors for many weeks. In fact, the Blue Ridge and the Great Smoky Mountains have one of the longest autumn color seasons in the country! Experience a 5-week span of color from the end of September to the start of November.

  • Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
  • Fall in Virginia is arguably one of the most beautiful places in the country. Virginia’s expansive woodlands, famously blue-tinged mountains, and rambling scenic byways are the place to be when fall foliage is at its fiery peak. The leaves begin turning here mid September and reach their fiery peak the first weekend of October. 

  • Blue Ridge, GA
  • Late to the leaf peeping game? You’re in luck if you can make it to Georgia by November! Usually, North Georgia's autumn hues are at their peak of prettiness from late October through mid November. While it's likely to catch some colors in mid-October, if you want to play it safe you should plan for a fall vacation in November. Be sure to head to Vogel State Park, Brasstown, and downtown Blue Ridge for a true small town mountain experience. 

  • Aspen, CO
  • The autumn colors that appear around the soon to be ski slopes are truly outstanding. Aspen is one of the best places to watch the fall foliage in Colorado, as their beautiful Aspen trees turn bright gold, with yellows, oranges, and reds from September to October. While the late weekends in September are typically the peak pop of the leaves, you’ll get an Instagram worthy photo at any moment during the fall. 

  • Santa Fe, NM
  • While most people don’t associate autumn colors with New Mexico, the Carson National Forest is home to the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway and offers spectacular views of golden aspens. If you plan your trip towards the end of October, you can check out the Taos Mountain Hot Air Balloon Rally.

  • Kenosha Pass, CO
  • Kenosha Pass is a part of the Colorado Trail near metro Denver. It provides easy access to fall colors without driving too far from the city. While this tends to make it heavily trafficked and oftentimes difficult to find a parking spot, it’s popular for a reason. There are miles and miles of aspen trees and it's easy to take great pictures. 


  • Kebler Pass, CO
  • Kebler Pass in Crested Butte, CO provides a wonderland of fall colors and is home to the largest aspen grove in Colorado. Not only is there an awe-inspiring sea of yellow, but with this size comes variety. An area known as “The Dyke '' near the top of the pass, contains some aspen stands, which turn a striking red. There are trails, camping sites, and plenty of pull-offs to grab your own spectacular photos. Aim for mid September to Mid October for peak foliage. 

  • Grand Teton, WY
  • The Teton Range is host to a large population of deciduous trees that turn yellow, red, and orange along the steep and rugged slopes of the Tetons. From aspen groves along the park’s wavering hillside filled with vibrant yellows that line the banks of the Snake River, there are plenty of reasons to love Grand Teton National Park in the fall. Be sure to visit during early September through early October before the start of snowfall. 


    Happy Adventuring!