When Is The Best Time To See Fall Foliage?
Cool crisp air, delicious seasonal treats (hello, pumpkin spice!), and the incredible beauty of the leaves changing colors. Yes, we’re talking about everyone’s favorite season: fall! There are so many reasons to get excited about the autumn season, but perhaps the most exciting is nature’s gorgeous display of fall colors.
Even better, fall colors make the perfect excuse to hop in the RV and take a road trip. But when (and where) should you go?
We’ve got you covered with the answer to just that question! Let’s go in-depth on the best time to go RVing to see fall colors, plus some of the best spots to check out.
When to see fall foliage in North America
The exact timeline will differ depending on where exactly in North America you are, as well as a few other factors.
For those further north and at higher altitudes, including much of Canada and the far northern US, the leaves start to change in late September and early October.
For RVers in the central latitudes of the US, including large parts of the East Coast, mid-October to early November is when you’ll experience peak fall colors.
Finally, for those further south, early to mid-November is when you’ll see the majority of the leaves change, although, for those especially far south, you may see leaves changing as late as early December.
Of course, different factors, like your altitude, latitude, and local weather, will affect the exact timeline of fall colors near you. So, use these times as just a general guideline when planning your fall color-seeking seeking trip.
Tips for enjoying fall colors in your RV
If you want to get the most out of seeing fall colors in your RV, there are a few tips we recommend following.
Popular fall destinations, like the Adirondacks or the White Mountains, can get crowded when fall colors peak. If you’ll be traveling far enough to need one, consider booking your RV campground in advance to be sure you can get a spot.
Also, consider traveling during weekdays for a bit more of a peaceful experience. If you can’t travel during the week, do your best to get out the door early to beat the crowds.
To ensure a smooth and RV-safe journey, consider utilizing RV LIFE Trip Wizard, a feature of the RV LIFE Pro suite. This indispensable tool assists travelers in meticulously planning RV-safe routes, finding campgrounds along the way, and discovering nearby points of interest that might otherwise be overlooked.
Once the itinerary is set, seamlessly transition to the RV LIFE App, which offers GPS-guided directions tailored for the dimensions and specifics of your RV. Together, these tools not only enhance the trip planning process but also ensure that every twist and turn of your fall foliage adventure is as mesmerizing and trouble-free as the landscapes you’re exploring.
Nature can be unpredictable, and sometimes, the leaves don’t change quite when you expect them to. Due to this, try to be flexible about your plans. If the leaves are still green at your chosen spot, consider extending your trip or exploring nearby areas.
Fall weather can be unpredictable. Be sure to dress in layers so you can be prepared for anything nature throws at you. As a bonus, layers are perfect for a cute autumnal look.
Don’t forget your camera
A good camera is essential when you go see fall colors. The vibrant landscapes created by the leaves changing make for the perfect pic. Plus, it makes the perfect backdrop for some shots that show off your fall looks.
Best fall foliage destinations
Looking for some inspiration for your next trip to take in the fall colors? Here are some destinations we recommend, plus the best times to visit.
The White Mountains, New Hampshire
Fall colors in the White Mountains peak between late September and mid-October.
Acadia National Park, Maine
Maine’s Acadia National Park is known as the “Crown Jewel of the North Atlantic Coast” and it’s an amazing place to see the leaves change! Here, you can see a beautiful juxtaposition of coastal landscapes and fall colors.
The best time to see the leaves change in Acadia National Park is from early to mid-October.
The Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia and North Carolina
The Blue Ridge Parkway, often called “America’s Favorite Drive,” is the perfect place for a scenic RV drive to check out some fall foliage. The highway stretches 469 miles through the states of North Carolina and Virginia, offering gorgeous panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The best time to see fall colors on the Blue Ridge Parkway is from mid to late October.
The Rocky Mountains, Colorado
Many think of Colorado as a winter RVing destination, but it’s also the perfect place for some autumnal adventure. The state’s Rocky Mountains offer an amazing place to see the leaves change.
Late September to early October is the best time to visit.
The Sierra Nevadas, California
California might be most famous for its beaches, but this huge state has tons more to offer, including gorgeous fall colors. The Sierra Nevada, particularly around Lake Tahoe, is the best spot in the state to see the leaves change.
For peak colors, plan your visit for mid to late October.
The Adirondacks, New York
One of New York’s best-known getaways is also one of its best places to see fall colors. The Adirondacks offer beautiful fall foliage, plus recreation opportunities like hiking, rock climbing, fishing, and much more.
The best time to see fall colors in the Adirondacks is from late September to mid-October.
Start planning your trip today
There are so many reasons to get excited about fall, but few are as exciting as the arrival of fall colors. Every year from late September to mid-November, the leaves change to show stunning hues of red, yellow, and orange.
With our tips (and our list of great destinations), you’re ready to plan your next RV trip to check out some beautiful fall foliage.
For all of your camping and trip planning needs, look no further than RV LIFE Campgrounds and RV LIFE Trip Wizard. Campground Reviews is a trusted source of campground and RV park reviews offered by camping and RV enthusiasts just like you. With its accompanying RV LIFE App, RV Trip Wizard gets you to your camping destinations utilizing RV-friendly routes specific to your RV and travel preferences.