6 Best Mountain Ranges for Fall Foliage


6 Best Mountain Ranges for Fall Foliage

The United States is fortunate to have some of the best mountain ranges in the world—places with nothing but colorful trees as far as the eye can see. From the Great Smoky Mountains to Maroon Bells in Colorado, read on for the best mountain ranges for fall colors.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee
The Great Smoky Mountains is the most visited park in the United States, and for a good reason. Visitors can view the best foliage during mid-September through early November. The best foliage spots include Cade’s Cove, Clingman’s Dome, Newfound Gap, and Chimney Tops. You can keep up with current foliage updates here.

©istockphoto/David Sucsy

Maroon Bells to Aspen, Colorado
The Maroon Bells are some of the most photographed mountains in North America—when you see the picture-perfect mountains in the background and streams in the foreground, you’ll want to go and take another one yourself. Located southwest of Aspen, enjoy fall colors and falling ski-resort prices in Colorado’s most chic mountain town.


Cedar Breaks National Monument to Dixie National Forest, Utah
If you want to beat the extreme Utah summer heat, fall is second to none. Once you escape Utah’s quintessential red dirt landscape, the mountain community of Brian Head is a breath of fresh air. One popular foliage drive includes the UT 143 from Panguitch up to Cedar Brooks. Along the way you’ll discover fields of yellow and red aspen groves.


Blue Ridge Mountain Range, North Carolina
Located near Asheville, the Blue Ridge Mountain Range offers one of the longest-running foliage displays in America. It’s so popular that an annual fall leaf color show attracts thousands of visitors from around the world. Peak season is hard to depict, but locals say that October to early November is the best season. The Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the best driving routes, and be sure to stop at the lookout to see Looking Glass Rock.


Snoqualmie Pass, Washington
Snoqualmie Pass is a short 45-minute drive east of Seattle. Explore festive fall colors, accessible hiking trails and the notable Snoqualmie Falls. Easy to difficult hiking trails are located off the expressway between North Bend and Cle Elum. Expect to see every color from deep red to bright yellow leaves. Popular hikes include Rattlesnake Ridge, Snow Lake and Franklin Falls.


Acadia National Park, Maine
For one of the best foliage views in New England, visit Acadia National Park. Acadia is one of the most popular parks in the nation and during the fall visitors can see spectacular contrast between the foliage, sky, and the ocean. Peak foliage in the northern half of Maine is mid-October, with the southern half taking a few more weeks to get there. Follow the fall foliage updates on the Maine website.

©istockphoto/Ken Brown