Fall brings a beautiful array of reds, oranges, and yellows as tree leaves change with the new season. You can see these color variations in your neighborhood, but they are best viewed at certain national parks. These parks have miles of trees and other fauna that light up the countryside with their leaves.
We have uncovered the best national parks that you can visit to view the leaves this fall season. They vary in location, but they all will give you the fall show you were looking for. Keep reading to learn about 10 American national parks that are great to visit in the fall!
10 10. Cuyahoga Valley National Park
This park is located in Ohio teeming with natural wonders and wildlife that will make any travelers day. There are so many trees along the hiking paths that will immerse you in the spirit of fall.
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You can even bring a bike and ride along the towpath trail to see even more of what this park has to offer. If a day on the river sounds more like your style then you can rent a canoe or kayak and scour the riverbanks for the best fall sightings.
9 9. Rocky Mountain National Park
The trees at this park begin their transformation in late August that gives the landscape a fiery burst of color. The aspen trees will begin their change as more wildlife emerges as the seasons change.
The best places to view these colors are in Hidden Valley, a hike to Twin Sisters, or even by taking a simple drive down Bear Road. The moment you enter the park you will be filled with joy as the natural world around you fulfills your weary spirit with the rejuvenation of the fall season.
8 8. Yosemite National Park
The great thing about the fall time is that there is less traffic on the roads and trails you might be taking in a national park, and this one is no different. You should aim to visit during October and November, but be wary of forest fires caused by lightning.
The colorful display might not be as phenomenal as in some other parks due to their extensive evergreen tree population, but there are still plenty of trees and ground flora that will show their colors.
7 7. Denali National Park
This is a park with a short window between September and October as after this point snow generally begins to accumulate and cover the landscape. You can witness snowcapped mountains that are accentuated by the red and orange landscape.
Visitors can spend a night in the backcountry surrounded by the essence of fall, or they could simply take a hike down one of the many trails. You can even drive 30 miles into the park, so if the weather isn't optimal for walking around, you can do all of your sightseeing from the comfort of your vehicle.
6 6. Glacier National Park
The trees change at different sides of the park at different times, which extends the window you have to see the magnificent fall colors. The services in this area might be limited once October passes by, but that doesn't mean you can't have a great time.
You can visit the Headquarters for information on where to have the best views and you can even camp free of charge after November 1st. There are plenty of hiking trails that span in all directions so you have every chance to breathe in nature this fall season.
5 5. Acadia National Park
The peak time to visit this park and see the leaves is in early October when they are at their peak. The weather might be a bit nippy depending on the day in Maine, but if you wear the proper clothing it can turn into a grand adventure.
Many people choose to visit during this season by taking a cruise up to this location, while others decide to make the drive and walk a few of the trails. The fun ends at the end of November when the stores shut down for the winter, but if you miss the window this year, you can always plan ahead for the next.
4 4. Grand Teton National Park
This park creates its own special type of magic in the fall as the atmosphere here is relaxed and inviting to visitors. The exact peak of the fall foliage season varies from year to year based on rain and temperature patterns, but no matter what you see, you won't be disappointed by the sight.
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This park harbors deciduous trees across its countryside that portray spectacular arrays of color. You are also more likely to see moose and elk during this season as they search and spar for mates. There is elk-hunting that begins during mid-October, so be sure to pick up a brochure so you can avoid these certain areas.
3 3. Shenandoah National Park
This might be the most popular park where people travel to see fall colors. The campsites are usually booked before the start of the fall season as families make the trek across the country to this beautiful place. There are over 100 miles of land that is covered from head to toe in color-changing trees.
It is recommended you stop by during the week if you want to avoid a crowd and every year they keep visitors updated on the change through their website so they can plan when to arrive for the perfect day to see some pretty leaves.
2 2. Mount Ranier National Park
There are so many things to do at this park in the fall in conjunction with your goal to see some epic fall color changes. You can take an elk bugling tour, visit the museum for an alcohol-sponsored event, pick some wild mushrooms, or take a guided lantern walk.
Hiking is always an option if none of these other activities excite you, because some people just want to enjoy the peace and quiet of the natural world around them. You will feel the full extent of the weight of fall by the time you leave this area as you wave goodbye to the fall colors disappearing in your rearview mirror.
1 1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Prospective guests can visit the park's social media pages for updates on the fall color situation throughout this park. The different elevations make the trees change at different times throughout the season and the lower elevations generally see a change late in the season.
They have a variety of trees on display like sugar maple, scarlet oak, and sweetgum which offer a spectacular array of colors for guests to enjoy. The green pigments deteriorate and allow the other colors to shine through and plaster a smile onto any onlooker's face.