The most accurate way tell if the fall colors have started turning is to look out a window. But that isn’t possible if you’re hundreds of miles away and planning a fall trip. Planning for an autumn trip to the mountains to coincide with the peak of fall colors is one of the most difficult types of trips to plan – and that’s where this page comes in handy.
Hundreds of factors determine the timing, length, and splendor of the fall colors. But three factors have a bigger impact than any others: amount of rain throughout late summer, time of year when temperatures begin to drop consistently, and the first hard frost.
Taking all of this into account, it is simply impossible to predict when fall colors will peak at different elevations and different parts of the country. That’s why a fall trip needs to be spontaneous – and road trips are better than staying in one place.
This page is a collection of resources to provide the best guess about current conditions, help you plan the perfect fall getaway, and a few blog articles to inspire a trip.
Join the Road Trips & Coffee Facebook Page for weekly discussions from other followers.
Current Fall Colors Map
This map is a complete guess – but its an educated guess. Every week I visit all the resource links below and compile that information to create this map of current fall color conditions. Take it with a grain of salt – one hard frost and a little bit of wind will change everything.
Last Updated: Friday, November 5, 2021
Fall Foliage Resources
There are a few online resources that post updates – live maps, links to webcams, and current photos – that will help you determine the current fall foliage conditions around the country.
Autumn Road Trips
Road Trip on the Blue Ridge Parkway
This complete itinerary includes mileposts markers for the best scenic overlooks, hiking trails, and attractions to enjoy along the way.
8 Things to Do in Highlands, NC
Discover a few things to do with a weekend getaway to Highlands during the peak of fall colors and exactly where you need to stay!
Autumn in the National Parks
The Complete Travel Guide to the Foothills Parkway in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Click to see the interactive map with complete list of scenic overlooks and beautiful photos.
Autumn Tips & Travel Gear
Essential Items for Your Car on an Autumn Road Trip
When the fall colors start to peak, it’s time to make some changes to the items you carry in the car.
Autumn Blog Articles
Get all the details on the festival dates, juried craft vendors, food, and the popular woolly worm race.
Ready to hike out to a beautiful waterfall? Here are few things you might want to take with you for the best trip.
This travel guide to the Cades Cove Loop includes a map, directions for getting there, and what to do once you arrive.
If you’re considering a road trip adventure this year, be sure to get your car ready first with these handy tips.
Browse through this list of practical tips to make sure you’re ready for the next long road trip.
Discover new apps, accessories, and tips to make your mobile device a powerful tool for your next outdoor adventure.
Discover a few spectacular waterfalls in Ohio to visit with these directions, tips, and details.
Not all scenic overlooks are alike – and these twenty-five are the best Blue Ridge Parkway overlooks.
Learn about the Pinnacle Overlook – and exactly how you can get there to enjoy the stunning view for yourself.