State-by-State Guide to Fall Colors

Fall foliage paints the landscape with vibrant yellows, oranges and reds, creating picturesque settings

Fall is one of the most beautiful times of the year and the U. S. offers a spectacular show of fall foliage with vibrant displays of gold, scarlet, and orange. With hundreds of state parks and forests around the country, it might be overwhelming to pick the best place to view the displays. To narrow your search, this list includes information on fall foliage peak times and colors around the country.

Keep in mind that it’s difficult to predict exactly when the leaves will turn in any given location. The best strategy is to select your travel dates in advance but not your destination. Then before heading out, check official state tourism websites and state park websites for up-to-date reports on fall foliage.

Alabama

Dominant colors: Gold, orange, and red

Peak time: Fall colors begin in the mountains of northern Alabama in early October and then sweep across the region. Colors peak from late October to early November. 

Alaska

Dominant colors: Red and orange

Peak time: Fall colors last only a few weeks and hues change daily. Taking a train from Denali National Park to Anchorage is a fantastic way to see fall foliage.

Arizona

Dominant colors: Yellow and red

Peak time: The best time to view autumn leaves in northern Arizona is from early to mid-October. Fall colors in the Sonoran Desert can be seen from late September to late October.

Arkansas

Dominant colors: Gold, orange, red, and purple

Peak time: Visit Arkansas in the last few days of October and the first few days of November for the best colors.

Fall colors in Lassen Volcanic Park, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

California

Dominant colors: Gold and red

Peak time: Mid- to late October is the best time to view fall color, starting from the higher elevations in the Shasta Cascade region down to the foothills and coast.

Colorado

Dominant colors: Yellow and gold

Peak time: September is the ideal time to witness this gilded spectacle but you have to time it right—the color is fleeting, lasting only about a week in most places. 

Connecticut

Dominant colors: Yellow, orange, and red

Peak time: Fall foliage season begins in mid- to late September and extends through early November. 

Delaware

Dominant colors: Red and gold

Peak time: The color and intensity change quickly, but your best bet to see peak colors is from mid-October to earl

Florida

Dominant colors: Yellow and red

Peak time: Being farther south, leaves in Florida don’t peak until early November.​

Fall colors at Brasstown Bald, Georgia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Georgia

Dominant colors: Orange, red, yellow, and gold

Peak time: Early to mid-November is the best time to see fall foliage in Georgia.

Hawaii

Dominant colors: Varies

Peak time: Because Hawaii’s climate is tropical, seasonal changes are minimal compared to the mainland United States. You won’t find the traditional fall colors here but that doesn’t mean Hawaii is less colorful. This time of the year instead look for colors produced by the plants and trees in bloom such as the African tulip, chorisia speciosa, timor, royal poinciana, and rainbow shower. 

Idaho

Dominant colors: Red, orange, and gold

Peak time: Peak colors are usually in early October in northern, central, and eastern Idaho. By mid-October, colors in southern Idaho reach their height of color.

Illinois

Dominant colors: Yellow and red

Peak time: In northern and central Illinois peak viewing time is mid-October. Southern Illinois peaks from late October to early November.

Fall colors in Parke County, Indiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Indiana

Dominant colors: Gold, orange, and red

Peak time: Northern Indiana reaches peak color in early to mid-October whereas the southern part of the state peaks in mid- to late October.

Iowa

Dominant colors: Yellow and red

Peak time: Peak fall color occurs in northeast Iowa on the weekend closest to October 10 on average. Peak fall color occurs later in the more southern parts of the state. 

Kansas

Dominant colors: Red and orange

Peak time: Northern Kansas colors peak from early to mid-October. Southern Kansas peaks mid- to late October.

Fall colors in Bernheim Forest, Kentucky © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Kentucky

Dominant colors: Yellow, orange, and red

Peak time: Peak fall color for the state occurs from late October to early November. 

Louisiana

Dominant colors: Red and brown

Peak time: Late October to early November is when to expect fall colors in Louisiana.

Maine

Dominant colors: Red, purple, and yellow

Peak time: Southern Maine and coastal areas typically reach peak colors in mid-October whereas western mountain areas peak earlier in the month.

Maryland

Dominant colors: Yellow and red

Peak time: In southern and central Maryland peak colors are on display in late October and early November. If you can only visit during early October, visit parks around Garrett County. 

Massachusetts

Dominant colors: Orange, yellow, and green

Peak time: During the first week of October, plan a visit to the western and southeastern regions for foliage. Peak foliage occurs mid-October for the central area and eastern regions.

Michigan

Dominant colors: Red and orange

Peak time: The far western quarter of the Michigan Upper Peninsula peaks from mid-September to early October whereas all other areas in the UP peak from late September to mid-October. The expected peak color for the Lower Peninsula is from late September to late October.

Minnesota

Dominant colors: Red and orange

Peak time: On average fall foliage peak times in the northern third of the state occur mid-September to early October. The central third of the state is most colorful between late September and early October. Southern Minnesota trees reach their peak late September to mid-October. One exception is the North Shore of Lake Superior where peak fall color arrives roughly one week later than inland areas.

Mississippi

Dominant colors: Yellow and gold

Peak time: Plan for fall leaves in Mississippi to turn in late October to mid-November.

Missouri

Dominant colors: Orange, yellow, red, and purple

Peak time: Colors start to change in late September and peak in mid-October. Fall colors begin in the northern part of the state and move south to the Ozark Mountains. 

Montana

Dominant colors: Yellow and gold

Peak time: Watch for fall colors in central Montana in late September to early October. Western Montana peaks in early to mid-October.

Nebraska

Dominant colors: Orange, red, and yellow

Peak time: Leaves peak in Nebraska in mid to late October.

Nevada

Dominant colors: Orange, yellow, gold, and red

Peak time: Fall colors in Nevada peak in mid- to late October.

Fall colors in the White Mountains, New Hampshire © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

New Hampshire

Dominant colors: Yellow and red

Peak time: Generally, the best times to view the fall colors are near the end of September in the far north, the beginning of October in the White Mountain region, and the middle of October in the south.

New Jersey

Dominant colors: Yellow and red

Peak time: Fall foliage peak viewing for inland New Jersey is from mid-to late October. Late October to early November is the best time for foliage in coastal areas of the state.

New Mexico

Dominant colors: Yellow and orange

Peak time: At higher elevations peak viewing is in early to mid-October. Lower elevations peak from mid-October to early November.

Fall colors in Whitehall, New York © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

New York

Dominant colors: Red, orange, and yellow

Peak time: New York is known for great foliage so plan your trip sometime between the last few days of September through the month of October. The Adirondacks and Catskills provide the most opportunities for viewing vibrant fall colors.

North Carolina

Dominant colors: Red and orange

Peak time: Inland areas of the state can expect fall foliage peak time around mid- to late October. The coastal regions of North Carolina typically hit their peak from late October to early November.

Fall colors in Theodore Roosevelt Park, North Dakota © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

North Dakota

Dominant colors: Green, gold, rust, and brown

Peak time: North Dakota leaves peak with fall colors in early to mid-October.

Ohio

Dominant colors: Yellow and orange

Peak time: Most trees peak during the second and third week of October. Late in the month tends to be an ideal time to visit the southernmost areas of the state.

Oklahoma

Dominant colors: Gold, crimson, and yellow

Peak time: Fall foliage in Oklahoma is at its best in late October through early November.

Fall colors in Jacksonville, Oregon © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Oregon

Dominant colors: Yellow and red

Peak time: Mid- to late October is peak foliage time for Oregon.

Pennsylvania

Dominant colors: Red, orange, and yellow

Peak time: Peak color is during early October for the northern region of the state. The central region typically reaches full color in mid-October. For southeastern Pennsylvania peak color occurs during the last two weeks of October.

Rhode Island

Dominant colors: Red and orange

Peak time: Peak viewing for Rhode Island is from mid-to late October.

Fall colors in Greenville, South Carolina © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

South Carolina

Dominant colors: Yellow and orange

Peak time: Late October to early November is the best time to view the stunning foliage South Carolina has to offer. 

South Dakota

Dominant colors:  Crimson, gold, orange, and burgundy

Peak time: Plan a trip to South Dakota in early to mid-October to see the leaves at their peak.

Fall colors in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Tennessee

Dominant colors: Red and yellow

Peak time: Typically the northeastern mountain regions see their peak during the last two weeks of October. Across the state colors peak from mid-October to late November.

Texas

Dominant colors: Red and yellow

Peak time: The entire month of October is prime time for spotting fall foliage but the peak time is typically from mid-to late October. Prime spots for foliage viewing are McKittrick Canyon in the Guadalupe Mountains National Park and the area around Winnsboro in East Texas.

Fall colors at Fish Lake, Utah © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Utah

Dominant colors: Yellow and red

Peak time: Utah’s fall color season gets underway in early September at higher, northern mountain locations and continues into November in lower, southern areas. Scenic drives are one of the best ways to see the beauty of fall in Utah.

Vermont

Dominant colors: Orange, purple, and red

Peak time: Northern Vermont reaches its peak between the last week of September and early October. Early to mid-October is peak time for southern Vermont.

Vermont is well-known for stunning foliage and state parks are a great resource.

Fall colors in Shenandoah National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Virginia

Dominant colors: Yellow, orange, purple, and red

Peak time: Inland Virginia reaches peak foliage from mid- to late October. Coastal Virginia typically reaches its peak from late October to early November. Shenandoah National Park is a fantastic place to view the foliage of autumn. Scenic drives such as the Blue Ridge Parkway are another great option for foliage viewing.

Washington

Dominant colors: Yellow and red

Peak time: Fall color in Washington typically begins in mid-September and peaks in mid-October.

West Virginia

Dominant colors: Orange, yellow, and red

Peak time: The state reaches peak color from late September to late October.

Wisconsin

Dominant colors: Orange and yellow

Peak time: Early to mid-October is peak fall foliage time in Wisconsin.

Wyoming

Dominant colors: Yellow and red

Peak time: Peak Wyoming colors can be seen from early to mid-October.

Worth Pondering…

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.

—Albert Camus