Autumn Leaves

The best leaf peeping destinations in the US


eaf peeping, i.e. viewing and photographing, the autumnal foliage, is not just a pride and a tradition in the US, but also a great excuse for a road trip. Come fall, the opportunities for traveling across the country following the color wave that turns the leaves yellow, red, purple and brown are endless.

New Salem, Quabbin Reservoir, Lake Placid, Rocky Mountain National Park, Sun Valley, Gola del Columbia

New England is the most popular foliage destination, with foliage maps and forecasts at your disposal to help you plan your trip

New Salem, in west central Massachusetts, is a great location for enjoying the New England foliage season. The area around Quabbin Reservoir, a body of water created in the 1930s to supply Boston with water, is absolutely stunning in October, with leaves in astonishing shades of red and yellow. The park is crossed by miles of drivable roads and hiking trails and absolutely not short of breathtaking views.
New Salem, Massachusetts
If you’re based in New York City, you don’t need to ride a long way to get a glimpse of the beautiful foliage spectacle: Lake Placid, 290 miles north of the city in the Adirondacks, boasts several hiking trails and one of the longest fall foliage seasons in the country, with a colorful array of reds, purples and yellows. And while you’re there, you may also want to explore some of the wineries, breweries, cideries and distilleries that abound in the area.
Rocky Mountain National Park
Heading west, fall in the Rocky Mountain National Park (Denver, Colorado), is a feast for the eye. Starting from September, this incredibly varied landscape of rocky crags, rolling tundra, and crystal clear streams and lakes literally bursts with the golden yellow color of aspen leaves, plus the additional treat of the hundreds of elks migrating down from the high country to find a mate for the winter.

Autumn is often looked over in Sun Valley, Idaho, because it is most famous for skiing in the winter and river activities in the summer. Fall shouldn’t be underrated because there are lots of ways to enjoy the colors and changing of the seasons at your own pace. The most common activities are hiking and biking. There is no shortage of hikes at varying intensities so you can surround yourself by the bold orange foliage of the Aspen trees.

Finally, the Columbia River Gorge, Oregon, offers some beautiful views from September well into early November. The Gorge is the largest national scenic area in the United States, a land of natural contrasts between rain forest and desert, sea-level passage and alpine meadows. Home to countless trails and hikes, it turns colorful with the autumn foliage of big leaf maples and oaks.

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