From September to early November, from Vermont to California, Mother Nature does her best to wow us with a dazzling display of red, gold, and orange leaves. Don’t let her efforts go unappreciated.
Grab your favorite flannel and a dozen apple cider donuts for the road; here are seven road trips to take to get the best leaf-peeping of the season.
While the evergreen hills of the western United States don’t make for amazing leaf peeping, Montana still puts on a memorable fall show. Hop on the park’s famous Going-to- the-Sun road as it winds for 50 miles through the parkland, from St. Mary to West Glacier, crossing the Continental Divide at Logan Pass. For a slightly longer road, hit Highway 83, which stretches from Seeley Lake to Swan Lake. The road offers plenty of vistas to view the valleys covered in red, gold, and orange, and watching the animals preparing for winter.
Acadia National Park (Maine)
Maine’s fall color show starts on historic Route 1. Start your drive outside Portland and wind north along the coastal road. For a day trip, stop at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens outside Boothbay for a walk along the wooded paths. To make a fall weekend, head toward Acadia National Park. To soak up the maximum color, head out along the Park Loop Road south of Sand Beach. The scenic 27-mile scenic loop begins at the Hulls Cove Visitor Center and winds around the park with plenty of opportunities to admire the leaves.
Capitol Reef National Park, Utah
For a fall adventure in a surprising location, head to the tree-filled town of Torrey, Utah. Head down Utah Highway 24 and through Capitol Reef National Park where the high desert mesas give way to fruit trees. Tucked inside the park is a small town called Fruita, which was settled in 1880 by pioneers looking for a place to call home. Now on the National Register of Historic Places, the town’s orchards are open to visitors who come each fall to help bring in the apple harvest. After you pick your fill of apples, head along the 25-mile Capitol Reef National Park Scenic Drive to see the desert in bloom with fall colors.