7 Spectacular National Parks for Watching the Leaves Change from National Parks for Watching the Leaves Change

National Parks for Watching the Leaves Change

7 Spectacular National Parks for Watching the Leaves Change


While you can’t go wrong picking a national park to visit, some offer a better view of the changing leaves than others. Of the more than 50 national parks in the U.S., here are seven parks whose fall foliage never fails to impress.

Glacier National Park—Montana


This “hiker’s paradise” is best in the fall when the leaves are undergoing magnificent changes and wildlife is out and about. The park has more than 700 miles of hiking trails, which are even more serene in the fall. Manage to summit one of the peaks in October and you’ll be rewarded with the most magnificent views.

Grand Teton National Park—Wyoming

Flickr/v on life

Grand Teton has it all—a 40-mile long mountain range, calm lakes and rivers and unique fall foliage. Instead of seeing mostly deep hues of orange, red and purple, visiting this park will give you a look at yellow aspens. The golden leaves against a mountain backdrop reflected in the lake makes a visit to Teton well worth the trip.

Shenandoah National Park—Virginia

Flickr/Stephen Little

Cyclists will find themselves right at home in this park full of trails, leaves and a festival dedicated to fall cycling. The Shenandoah Fall Foliage Bike Festival, taking place from Oct. 17 to 19 this year, brings together hundreds of cyclists of all skill levels. The more than 500 miles of trails will keep any hiker or cyclist busy all autumn.

Acadia National Park—Maine


Acadia, one of the most scenic spots on the East Coast, is particularly spectacular in the fall. The high peaks overlook rocky coastline and dense forest, which changes color rapidly in October. Explore the park and watch the array of wildlife prepare for winter.

Denali National Park—Alaska


If you thought Alaska was all ice and snow, you need to check out Denali in the fall. Though Denali has an earlier autumn season than most other parks, it’s at least as spectacular—if not more so. When visiting be mindful of the moose and caribou preparing for winter and be sure to set aside a good chunk of time if you hope to see a good deal of the six million acre park.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park—Ohio

Diana Gerstacker

The eleventh most visited park in the country is underrated when it comes to seeing the leaves change. Take the park’s scenic railroad or hike/ bike some of the parks more than 120 miles of well-maintained trails. Visit not just to see the leaves, but catch a glimpse of one of the many waterfalls, historic canals or eagles, as they nest in the park.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park—North Carolina and Tennessee


America’s most visited National Park is arguably best in the fall. The park world famous for its diversity of plant and wildlife is just a short drive from Shenandoah National Park, if you’re feeling ambitious. The best time to see the changing leaves at their best is typically from mid-October to early November.