Want to See the Most Stunning Fall Foliage in the US? Here’s Where to Go!

Pathway through the autumn forest

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As the summer heat subsides and the days grow shorter, a spectacular transformation occurs across the United States. The lush green leaves of spring and summer turn into brilliant shades of red, orange, and gold, creating a breathtaking natural spectacle. This annual phenomenon, known as “leaf peeping,” is a beloved tradition for nature enthusiasts and travelers alike. We’ve compiled a list of the best places in the US to experience the beauty of fall foliage, each with its unique charm.

Denali, Alaska

Autumnal Denali Nt Park Scenery with mountain range
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

While Alaska might not be the first destination that comes to mind for leaf peeping, Denali National Park and Preserve offers a unique opportunity to witness the vibrant fall colors against the backdrop of North America’s tallest peak, Denali (formerly known as Mount McKinley).

Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

Paradise meadows covered with autumn colors at Mount Rainier national park
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

The towering Mount Rainier provides a majestic setting for viewing fall foliage. The vibrant reds and oranges of the vine maple and huckleberry bushes contrast with the evergreen conifers, creating a stunning display.

Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Washington

Leprechaun Lake in autumn, Alpine Lakes Wilderness on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Located in the heart of Washington State, this national forest is a paradise for leaf peepers. The Eastern Cascades are filled with colorful larch trees that turn a brilliant shade of gold in the fall.

Silver Falls State Park, Oregon

Leaf Peeping at South Falls in Silver Falls State Park in Autumn
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Known as the “crown jewel” of the Oregon State Parks system, Silver Falls State Park is a wonderland of waterfalls surrounded by a dense forest. The foliage comes alive in autumn with warm hues, making it an ideal spot for hiking and photography.

Columbia River Gorge, Oregon

Fall Color Foliage at Vista house on Crown Point along Columbia River Gorge
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

The Columbia River Gorge is famous for its dramatic landscapes and the scenic beauty of the Columbia River. In the fall, the maple trees along the riverbanks turn into a fiery spectacle that’s a sight to behold.

Lake Tahoe, California

Freshwater lake with mountain in the background, Lake Tahoe, Sierra Nevada, California, USA
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Lake Tahoe is more than just a summer destination. As autumn descends, the aspen trees surrounding the lake burst into a golden blaze, creating a serene and picturesque environment.

Moscow, Idaho

By the pond during Autumn at the Arboretum in Moscow, Idaho.
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Nestled in the Palouse region of Idaho, Moscow offers a unique setting for leaf peeping. The rolling hills and farmlands come alive with vibrant colors during fall.

Taos, New Mexico

New Mexico fall mountain sunset featuring golden aspens and rays of sunlight
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Known for its stunning desert landscapes, Taos takes on a new character in the fall. The cottonwood trees that line the Rio Grande River turn brilliant yellow, contrasting beautifully with the adobe architecture of the town.

Breckenridge, Colorado

A rural mountain road with a winding "S" curve. Autumn landscape in Colorado.
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

In the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Breckenridge is a favorite destination for leaf peepers. The surrounding aspen groves create a breathtaking tapestry of gold, creating a picturesque backdrop for outdoor activities.

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Aspen, Colorado

Fall in Aspen Colorado
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

True to its name, Aspen, Colorado, is a prime location for witnessing the stunning transformation of aspen trees in the fall. The vibrant yellow leaves against the backdrop of rugged mountains are simply enchanting.

Zion National Park, Utah

Fall color in Zion National Park, Utah
Photos Credit: Deposit Photos.

Known for its red rock canyons, Zion National Park also offers an incredible display of fall colors. The cottonwood and boxelder trees alongside the Virgin River provide a striking contrast to the sandstone cliffs.

Jackson, Wyoming

Jackson Wyoming
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Nestled in the Teton Range of the Rocky Mountains, Jackson offers breathtaking vistas of aspen groves and the majestic Teton peaks, making it a top-notch destination for leaf peeping.

Clifty Falls State Park, Madison, Indiana

Clifty Falls State Park, Madison, Indiana
Photo Credit: Flickr.

This charming state park boasts stunning waterfalls, rugged canyons, and an impressive display of fall colors. The deep ravines come alive with the vibrant red and orange leaves of sycamore and maple trees.

Hocking Hills State Park, Ohio

Upper Falls in Hocking Hills State Park, near Logan, Ohio
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

The lush landscapes of Hocking Hills State Park transform into a kaleidoscope of colors in the fall. Unique rock formations, caves, and waterfalls are even more picturesque when surrounded by vibrant foliage.

Ozark National Scenic Riverways, Missouri

looking at the alley spring mill house missouri in fall
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

This national park provides a remarkable backdrop for leaf peeping, with the Ozark Mountains and the winding rivers offering a colorful journey through the heart of Missouri.

The Ozarks, Arkansas

Ozark National Forest Arkansas
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

The Ozarks region, known for its natural beauty, is a prime spot for fall foliage. The rolling hills and dense forests become a captivating mosaic of reds, yellows, and oranges.

Tallulah Gorge State Park, Georgia

Tallulah Falls, Georgia, USA overlooking Tallulah Gorge in the autumn season.
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Tallulah Gorge is a striking canyon with waterfalls and vibrant foliage. The view from the suspension bridge is particularly breathtaking in the fall.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee

Sunrise at Smoky Mountains. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, USA
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

As one of the most visited national parks in the US, the Great Smoky Mountains are a leaf-peeping paradise. The dense hardwood forests burst into vibrant colors, creating a visual masterpiece.

Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina

Blue Ridge Parkway National Park Sunrise Scenic Mountains Autumn Landscape
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

This iconic scenic byway offers some of the best leaf-peeping opportunities in the Southeast. The Blue Ridge Mountains are awash in red, orange, and gold hues in the fall.

Coopers Rock State Forest, West Virginia

Changing leaves in autumn reflected in calm reservoir in Coopers Rock State Forest near Morgantown, WV
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Coopers Rock State Forest offers a combination of rugged terrain and colorful foliage. The overlooks provide stunning views of the Cheat River Gorge, especially striking during the fall.

Stillwater (St. Croix River), Minnesota

Fall Colors Along the St. Croix River near Stillwater, Minnesota
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Minnesota’s St. Croix River is a picturesque location for fall leaf peeping. The riverside bluffs and forests are transformed into a vivid tapestry of colors.

Door County, Wisconsin

Winding road in Door County, Wisconsin.
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Nestled on the shores of Lake Michigan, Door County is famous for its cherry orchards and stunning views of the fall foliage along the peninsula’s winding roads.

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Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

fall camping with two tents on campsite in early morning light
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Known for its unique sandstone formations and waterparks, the Wisconsin Dells region is equally captivating when the trees burst into vibrant hues in the fall.

Tahquamenon Falls State Park, Michigan

Incredible aerial photograph of the upper waterfall cascade at Tahquamenon Falls with beautiful autumn foliage on the trees with green, yellow, red and orange leaves surrounding the river.
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is a hidden gem for leaf peeping. The park’s namesake falls, and the surrounding forests create a stunning autumn landscape.

Wye Island, Maryland

Autumn color along Carmichael Road, near Wye Island, Maryland.
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Wye Island, located on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, is a tranquil oasis for leaf peeping. The native hardwood trees offer a serene and colorful experience.

The Poconos, Pennsylvania

Delaware Water Gap panorama in Autumn with colorful foliage with forest and mountain over river.
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

This popular getaway destination comes alive with fall colors. The Pocono Mountains offer an enchanting landscape for leaf peeping.

Keystone State Park, Pennsylvania

Keystone Lake in Keystone State Park in West Moreland County in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania in the fall right before sunset with the fall foliage and trees reflecting in the water.
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Keystone State Park, nestled in the Laurel Highlands, provides a picturesque setting for experiencing the fall foliage in Pennsylvania.

Bucks County, Pennsylvania

A rural mountain road with a winding "S" curve. Autumn landscape in Colorado.
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Bucks County is a picturesque region with a charming blend of small-town life and natural beauty. The rolling hills and historic towns are perfect for fall exploration.

Watkins Glen State Park, New York

A small brook flowing through a ravine within watkins glen state park in new york in autumn.
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

This renowned state park is famous for its stunning gorges and waterfalls. The park is adorned with vibrant foliage in the fall, making it a must-visit destination.

Adirondacks, New York

Fall in the Adirondacks, New York
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

The Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York are a classic destination for leaf peeping. The dense forests and numerous lakes create a beautiful canvas of colors.

The Berkshires, Massachusetts

Autumnal Mountain Landscape under Overcast Sky. A Grassy Field is Foreground.
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

The Berkshires in western Massachusetts are a leaf peeper’s paradise. Colorful forests surround the rolling hills and charming towns in the fall.

White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Pond in White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire, USA.
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

The White Mountains of New Hampshire are renowned for their natural beauty. The dense forests, waterfalls, and mountain vistas are breathtaking in the fall.

Stowe, Vermont

Stowe, Vermont, USA at Emily's Bridge with fall colors.
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Vermont is famous for its fall foliage, and Stowe is no exception. The town, nestled in the Green Mountains, is surrounded by vibrant maples and picturesque landscapes.

Acadia National Park, Maine

Cadillac Mountain Acadia
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Acadia National Park is a stunning coastal destination for leaf peeping. The park’s rugged shoreline and mountainous terrain are adorned with vibrant foliage in the fall.

Concluding Best Places in the US to See Fall Foliage

Wooden dock with chairs on calm fall lake
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

These are just a few of the many breathtaking places in the United States to experience the magic of fall foliage. Whether you prefer the rugged beauty of the Rocky Mountains, the serene charm of New England, or the unique landscapes of the Pacific Northwest, there’s a leaf-peeping destination to suit every taste. So, plan your autumn getaway and immerse yourself in the vibrant colors of nature’s grand finale before winter’s chill sets in.

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