The 6 Best US National Parks to See Fall Foliage

As autumn approaches, nature transforms into a breathtaking display of vibrant colors,

making it the perfect time to explore the great outdoors.

In this article, we’ll guide you through the six best US national parks

where you can immerse yourself in the beauty of fall foliage.

Get ready to witness nature’s stunning spectacle up close!

Acadia National Park, Maine

Located in the picturesque state of Maine,

Acadia National Park is a haven for leaf-peepers.

Its diverse landscape offers a mesmerizing blend of reds,

yellows, and oranges during the fall season.

Don’t miss the iconic Jordan Pond Path,

which offers a serene stroll amidst vibrant foliage, or Cadillac Mountain for panoramic views.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee and North Carolina

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a must-visit in the fall.

With over 19,000 documented species of living organisms,

it boasts one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world.

In autumn, the park’s lush forests come alive with an array of colors,

creating a stunning contrast against the misty mountains.

Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

Shenandoah National Park, located in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains,

offers a fantastic fall foliage experience. Skyline Drive,

a 105-mile scenic byway, provides countless opportunities

to witness the brilliant foliage, especially from late September through October.

Denali National Park, Alaska

If you’re looking for a unique fall foliage experience,

head to Denali National Park in Alaska. While the fall colors

here may not be as vibrant as in the lower 48 states,

the snow-capped mountains and rich wildlife make for a one-of-a-kind autumn adventure.

Zion National Park, Utah

Utah’s Zion National Park is a year-round gem, and fall is no exception.

The park’s red rock formations create a striking contrast against the changing leaves.

Take a hike through the Narrows or explore the Observation Point trail for breathtaking vistas.

Glacier National Park, Montana

Glacier National Park in Montana offers a truly majestic fall experience.

As the temperature drops, the foliage turns golden,

and the park’s namesake glaciers shine against the autumn backdrop.

Drive the Going-to-the-Sun Road for unforgettable views.

As you plan your fall foliage adventure, remember

to check the specific peak foliage times for each park,

as they can vary from year to year. Be sure to make accommodations well in advance,

as these parks can get crowded during the fall season.


In conclusion, experiencing the fall foliage in one of the United States’

stunning national parks is a bucket-list-worthy adventure.

Whether you prefer the rugged beauty of Acadia,

the misty allure of the Great Smokies, the colorful forests of Shenandoah,

the unique Alaskan landscape of Denali,

the red rocks of Zion, or the glacial vistas of Glacier,

you’re in for an unforgettable journey.

Before embarking on your trip,

remember to plan accordingly, respect the environment,

and follow park guidelines to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit.


1. When is the best time to visit these national parks for fall foliage?

The ideal time varies by park, but generally,

late September through October is

when you’ll witness the most vibrant fall foliage.

2. Are these national parks crowded during the fall season?

Yes, these parks can get crowded during the fall,

so it’s advisable to make reservations

and plan your trip well in advance.

3. Are there accommodations available within these national parks?

Yes, most of these national parks offer lodging options

within or near the park boundaries. However,

they tend to fill up quickly during the fall season,

so early booking is recommended.

4. Can I see wildlife during my fall visit to these national parks?

Yes, many of these parks are home to diverse wildlife.

Keep a lookout for animals like deer, elk,

and even bears while you explore.

5. Are there specific hiking trails for enjoying fall foliage in these parks?

Absolutely! Each park offers a variety of hiking trails suitable for all skill levels,

where you can immerse yourself in the beauty of fall foliage.

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