The 5 Best National Parks to Visit In Fall Time

Well, it’s that time of year again...when we make the big transition from sweaty hikes and sunburns to chilly mornings, hot coffee, and fall colors.

It’s been an odd summer to say the least, with cancelled travel plans, but luckily made up for with many more outdoor adventures than usual.  But we’re certainly ready to close out the summer of 2020 and see what autumn has in store for us. 

Since big travel plans are still on hiatus, it’s a perfect opportunity to embrace all the changes that the great outdoors has to offer. So we’ve decided to make a list of 5 National Parks that you can visit this fall to see maximum foliage beauty!

1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The best time to see Great Smoky Mountain fall foliage is anywhere from early October to mid-November. The landscape here is populated with sugar maples, hickories, scarlet oaks, and nearly 100 other species of native trees. Like a flowing cascade of autumn hues, the fall colors in the Smoky Mountains start at the highest elevations, then spread down the slopes in a matter of weeks.

2. Yosemite National Park
October brings spectacular fall colors throughout Yosemite NP as the big-leaf maples, black oaks and other deciduous trees turn beautiful shades of orange, red, and yellow. Since Yosemite is also one of the country's most visited national parks, October is a great time to visit since it is part of the "shoulder season" and you can beat the big crowds!

3. Rocky Mountain National Park
We had to include this one (as Coloradans we may be a bit biased), but to us nothing beats those golden aspen shining among the pines. Tricky to time it just perfectly, but we would recommend visiting during first or second week of October to have the best chance at seeing the majestic Rocky Mountains in full fall action.

4. Shenandoah National Park
Do you consider yourself a fall foliage fanatic? If so, you must visit Shenandoah NP. During autumn, the park comes alive with colorful trees, auburn sunsets, and golden rolling hills. The best way to experience the changing colors is to drive down the Skyline Drive. It's the only public road in the park, and offers 70 overlooks with mind-blowing views of fall bliss in the Shenandoah Valley.

5. Acadia National Park
Situated in Maine, Acadia NP is known as the crown jewel of the North Atlantic Coast. It's an epic destination any time of the year, but for one of the best experiences, you have to go during fall time! Acadia is famous for its fall colors and leaf-peeping possibilities, with peak foliage in mid-October. Bold reds, striking oranges...all set against the backdrop of a rugged coastline. What's not to love?