Fall may bring shorter days and cooler nights, but that’s easy to look past when admiring the colorful leaves and getting excited for Halloween and pumpkin spice everything. Not to mention it’s the perfect time for a road trip. Without those high summer temps, it’s more comfortable to get outside and explore. Plus, is there a more aesthetic backdrop for outdoor adventure than seasonal foliage?
If you’re considering a fall foliage road trip, you won’t want to miss peeping our tips.
Timing is everything.
Timing can change from year to year, but the most colorful leaves typically become most visible at some point between mid-September to early November. When exactly this peak season falls will vary by location and depend on a few things – altitude, temperature, decreasing daylight hours and soil conditions. Pro tip: Higher altitudes usually hit peak season first. And the brightest color changes occur when dry, sunny days are followed by cool, dry nights.
Do some research.
There are a few ways to track foliage. Get a quick overview of probable dates for 2022 peak colors across the country with predictions from the Farmer’s Almanac, or keep an eye on National Forests near you with these US Forest Service resources. Tourist boards in each state also typically share local foliage information throughout the season, which can be helpful as your trip gets closer.
Hop in the car.
Since it can be hard to predict exactly where the leaves will be changing during your trip, a road trip makes it easy to go where you’ll get the best views. Your best bet may be to choose a general area and watch the forecasts. That way, you can easily pivot from a scenic drive through the mountains to exploring the hills and valleys of lower altitudes, depending on where the best colors are peaking. While you can take your own vehicle, renting a car for your road trip has its perks, especially on longer drives.