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10 Leaf Peeping Places to Enjoy Fall Colors

More from Outdoor Living Newsletter October Outdoor Living Newsletter

Autumn is just around the corner. For many campers and RVers, this signals the time for one last camping or RV trip this year with family and friends. Going on a leaf peeping camping road trip is the best way to end another great year of camping and RVing.

Leaf peeping is one of the much-loved outdoor activities done during fall. Between the months of September and October, campers, RVers and other outdoor enthusiasts travel to different parts of the United States to take pictures and simply marvel at the breathtaking landscapes as leaves change from green to the intensely bright fall colors of gold, yellow and red.

Many of the well-known places to go leaf peeping are found in the North, North East and Mid-West regions of the United States. But what many people don't know is that there are a lot of other areas in the country that provide rich fall foliage that is just as beautiful.

If you're planning to do some leaf peeping on your last camping road trip for the year, here are ten great destinations to consider :

ARIZONA (Sedona)

Oak Creek Canyon

The arid desert climate in the state of Arizona may make this an unlikely place to go leaf peeping. But the city of Sedona, located on the northwestern side of the state, begs to differ. The city is home to the Coconino National Forest where you can view and appreciate richly colored leaves in fall.

Golden leaves of aspen trees in Yosemite National Park
Yosemite's Aspen trees golden fall foliage

One of the best places to visit is Oak Creek Canyon, which is often called the smaller cousin of the infamous Grand Canyon because of its breathtaking landscape. The contrast of the fall foliage against the canyon walls make a great composition for any leaf peeping photo. Late September to mid-October are the best times to visit Sedona since this is when the leaves in fall are the brightest in color.

Find campgrounds and RV Parks near Sedona.


Yosemite National Park

Recognized as one of the first wilderness parks in the United States, Yosemite National Park has been known for its waterfalls, granite cliff walls and glaciers. During the fall, the giant sequoia trees trade in their green leaves for a bright and intense red fall foliage. Combine this with the different colors of oaks, aspens, maples and dogwoods that can be found here make this park one place that should not be missed.

The best time to visit Yosemite National Park to go leaf peeping is during October when the fall foliage is at its brightest. Because of the climate here, you can do some leaf peeping in the park all the way until November, giving you one reason to extend your RV or camping year just a tad bit longer.

Since Yosemite National Park is a popular destination for campers and RVers, it is not that difficult to find RV parks and campgrounds in and around Yosemite National Park.

COLORADO (Breckenridge)

Colorado Rocky Mountain National Park

The town of Breckenridge in Colorado is a popular destination for many people that enjoy skiing along the slopes of the Colorado Rockies. During the fall, this town is a favorite place to be visited by outdoor enthusiasts for some great leaf peeping as the leaves of the state's signature tree - the Aspen - transforms from green to gold, setting the entire landscape ablaze. September is the best time for leaf peepers to visit the town since this is the time when the leaves in fall are most golden. The Colorado Rockies is the best place to head out for leaf peeping. In addition to the beautiful fall foliage that you find from the Peak-to-Peak Scenic and Historic Byway and within the Colorado Rocky Mountain National Park, leaf peepers are given an extra treat to see wild elks roaming around the meadows, who move down to lower elevations during this time of the year, making your leaf peeping experience here one that you will never forget.

Find campgrounds and RV Parks near Breckenridge.

MAINE (Bar Harbor)

Acadia National Park

During this time of the year, different parts of Maine come alive with the vibrant colors of leaves in fall, making this one of the most visited places of leaf peepers throughout the country. One of the top leaf peeping destinations in Maine is Acadia National Park. The park plays host to thousands of people each fall to see, marvel and take pictures of the explosion of rich shades of red, orange and yellow. Mid-October is the best time to visit Acadia National Park since this is usually when the richness of the colors of the leaves in fall are at its richest. Since this changes each year, it is highly recommended to first check their website to get the latest fall foliage report in this area.

Find campgrounds and RV Parks near Acadia National Park.

NEW HAMPSHIRE (North Conway)

Mount Washington Valley

The state of New Hampshire is another favorite place to go leaf peeping with the family. During this time of the year, the highways and mountains that surround the state come alive with the bright fall colors, making it a delight just driving from one part of the state to another.

North Conway is one of the first stops to visit while you're here in New Hampshire to do some leaf peeping. The drive along Route 16 offers a scenic and breathtaking drive with the bright leaves on the different trees that line the highway. From here, visit the different mountains along the Presidential Mountain range. From a distance, the intense colors of leaves in fall covers the mountain range like a brightly colored quilt of green, red, yellow and orange.

Find campgrounds and RV Parks near North Conway.

NEW YORK (Lake Placid)

Adirondack Mountains

The northeastern part of New York offers great leaf peeping in Adirondack Mountain Park.

September and October are the best times to come and do some leaf peeping. During September, the mountain's landscape bursts with an intense red fall color brought by the soft maple and sumac trees found here, complementing with the evergreen leaves of the conifer trees and giving you a hint that Christmas is not far behind. As they slowly wither away, their rich colors are replaced with the rich hues of orange and yellow leaves of the hard maple, birch, beech, ash, cherry and other hardwood trees found in this area, peaking by mid-October.

Find campgrounds and RV Parks near Lake Placid.


Blue Ridge National Heritage Area

The Blue Ridge National Heritage area located on the Western part of the state of North Carolina is one of the most ideal places to do some leaf peeping.

From its scenic byways to its majestic mountains, the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area offers a canopy of rich fall colors, particularly between October and November, which are best viewed during sunset when the angle of the sun helps add to the intensity of the colors in this area.

Start your leaf peeping excursion here by taking a drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway, which spans from the Virginia border up to the Smokey Mountain National Park. Hailed as the Grandfather of all Scenic Byways, the Blue Ridge Parkway is lined with towering trees covered with golden and red leaves in fall. From here, head over to the Julian Price Memorial Park which is home of a beautiful lake surrounded by colorful trees, giving leaf peepers a beautiful composition for pictures to take home with them as a souvenir of their trip.

Find campgrounds and RV Parks near Asheville.


Pocono Plateau

There are so many different places to go leaf peeping in Pennsylvania. The most popular of these is the Pocono Plateau located on the eastern region of the state. October is the best time to come here as the leaves in fall are at their brightest colors in the northern regions of the Pocono Plateau during the middle of the month while the trees in the southern regions are most intense during the last week of October.

A great starting point at the Pocono Plateau is at the Promised Land State Park. More than 3,000 acres in size, the Promised Land State Park is home to a wide variety of beech, oak, maple and hemlock trees that change to vibrant fall colors during this time of the year giving leaf peepers great compositions for photos especially around the areas of the two lakes that are found in the park.

Find campgrounds and RV Parks near Greentown.

TEXAS (Vanderpool)

Lost Maples State Natural Area

Texas? Yes! Believe it or not, the Lone Star State has a lot of spots where you can do some great leaf peeping with the family. Its Lost Maples State Natural Area, located in Vanderpool, is home to a wide variety of trees that change into impressive colors for avid leaf peepers especially between October and November when the colors of the fall foliage here are at its richest.

You can stay at the campground located in the Lost Maples State Natural Area, or there are other campgrounds and RV Parks nearby to choose from.

WASHINGTON (Leavenworth)

Stevens Pass

Washington may be considered as the Evergreen State, but when autumn rolls in, its landscape comes alive with the rich fall colors of orange and gold. Visit the scenic Stevens Pass during the later part of September and mid-October because this is not only the time when the leaves of the vine maples have the most intense colors. This is also the time when the town of Leavenworth holds its annual Autumn Leaf Festival. You can enjoy a lot of different activities and events lined up by the local government to celebrate this time of the year.

Find campgrounds and RV Parks near Leavenworth.

So there you have it. Our top ten suggestions for where you can go for one last camping and RV trip with the family.

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