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Leaf Peeping Map 2022: Plan Your Fall RV Trips

Here’s a helpful leaf peeping map to help you time your trips this fall!

“Leaf peeping” is travel jargon for viewing, photographing, or simply enjoying the fall foliage.

As you know from many of our posts, Jennifer and I can never get enough of fall foliage. Every year, landscapes transform as if God decides to get out his paintbrush and remind us of the surrounding beauty.

Leaf peeping has become so popular that RVers even plan trips around the changing leaves. And luckily, there’s an amazing interactive tool to help you do just that!

Fall Foliage Prediction Map

This fall foliage prediction map, or leaf peeping map, is created by SmokyMountains.com. It gives you a nationwide view of the changing leaves.

You can check travel dates by using the slider bar at the bottom. The different colors denote different stages.

Green denotes no change yet and brown means that the leaves are past their peak. The colors in between show the colorful progression of fall.

It’s so easy to use, and frankly, it’s fun! I couldn’t help sliding the bar back and forth to see the colorful flow overtake parts of the country.

How Accurate are its Predictions?  

Just like you can’t completely predict the weather, leaf predictions can never be 100% accurate. However, SmokyMountains.com has published this predictive leaf peeping map for nearly a decade.

It started out as a fun project to meet the needs of their customers. SmokyMountains.com offers 2,000+ cabins and vacation rentals in Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains. So, it’s easy to see how the leaf peeping map could benefit their customers.

But what started as a fun project for their clientele rapidly grew into a top fall resource that tens of millions of people use annually.

The founder of SmokeyMountains.com and creator of the map, David Angotti, is also an Airline Transport Pilot. As such, he was required to fully understand weather patterns and was highly trained to use meteorological tools. The combination of his expertise and love for travel led to this highly accurate tool.

What Data Does the Map Use?

I love to know how things work and algorithms, in particular, impress me. The algorithm SmokeyMountain.com created analyzes several million data points, including:

  • NOAA historical temperatures
  • NOAA historical precipitation
  • NOAA forecast temperatures
  • NOAA forecast precipitation
  • Historical leaf peak trends
  • Peak observation trends
  • Historical model outputs from previous years

It outputs approximately 50,000 predictive data pieces that forecast county-by-county the precise moment when peak fall will occur.

And last year, they announced how it’s more accurate than ever, with mid-season updates.

“Due to the complexity of applying a humongous, multi-faceted dataset, we have historically published our map annually without mid-season updates,” creator David Angotti explains. “However, for the first time ever, we plan to release a mid-season update in late September. By applying the mid-season update, we believe the accuracy and usefulness of the tool will be increased.”

How is the Fall Foliage Prediction Map Useful?

Leaf Peeping Map to see these beautiful fall leaves
Get there at the right time.

As RVers, you probably instantly see the usefulness for travelers. We’ve all too often mistimed our trips and begrudgingly enjoyed the “leftovers.” A tool like this changes that.

Now, you can perfectly time your trip for the:

It’s also a great opportunity to pull out your RV Lifestyle Adventure Guides for:

Even if you’ve been to the above places before, it’ll be like visiting a whole new place if you go at peak times.

Unexpected Uses

However, clever folks have used the fall foliage prediction map for more than travel.

“The vast majority of individuals use the leaf map to simply check when leaves will peak near their home or use it to plan a leaf peeping trip,” David Angotti says. “However, through the years, we have heard some fascinating stories about how the tool was leveraged.”

He goes on to share some of the favorite stories from leaf peeping map users.

One example is a bride in the northeast changing the date of her outdoor wedding. Another is a director scheduling a movie shoot on location based on our predictions. Even school teachers have used the map to plan field trips and add to their lesson plans.

The Great Lakes Adventure Guide Bundle

Use the leaf peeping map to its fullest with the Great Lakes and Upper Peninsula bundle. Used together, these resources can lead to the best fall trip you’ve ever taken.

Mike and Jennifer’s Great Lakes Bundle – 2 ebooks!

Leaf Peeping Map 2022: Plan Your Fall RV Trips 1

This bundle is our popular Upper Peninsula RV Adventure Guide PLUS our newest Adventure Guide – The Great Lakes Shoreline Tour! Both ebooks will give you plenty of ideas and resources to enjoy this part of the US.

The Great Lakes Shoreline Tour — One of our favorite RV trips has been driving the United States side of the five Great Lakes. It is a trip of over 4,000 miles and takes you to 8 states! And it’s filled with beautiful vistas, welcoming towns and villages, and fabulous places to camp, hike, and explore.

Upper Peninsula RV Adventure Guide — Whenever someone asks us, “Where is one of your favorite places in the US for RVing?” Our answer is unquestionably, in unison, “The UP of Michigan.” The “UP” means Upper Peninsula, of course.

Explore this Bundle and plan your next trip!


Other Nifty Leaf Peeping Resources

SmokyMountains.com also offers some helpful information and fun resources on their fall leaf map site.

You can see a scientific overview of why leaves change colors, colorful illustrations, fall coloring sheets for kids and a list of the Top Places to See Fall Foliage in All 50 States.

We actually recommended this predictive leaf peeping map in one of our RV Lifestyle newsletters last year. For those who want more helpful tips and resources sent to your email, you can join our newsletter and receive a free packing list!


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22 Responses to “Leaf Peeping Map 2022: Plan Your Fall RV Trips”

September 24, 2022at6:17 pm, Lorene Fite said:

Colorado

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September 22, 2022at9:44 pm, Brandon Sparks said:

Northen Wisconsin is my favorite spot for fall color

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September 23, 2022at9:59 am, Team RV Lifestyle said:

We bet that area is beautiful – Thanks for adding this to the list – Team RV Lifestyle

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September 22, 2022at4:06 pm, Michelle G said:

I love going through southern colorado in the fall. If you are not in the right place at the right time, you can go up or down until the color is great.

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September 23, 2022at9:58 am, Team RV Lifestyle said:

Thanks for adding this to the story – being able to go up or down until you catch the color is a great draw! Happy Trails – Team RV Lifestyle

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September 21, 2022at10:30 am, Human Cambridgeshire said:

I like to go to the forest to see some fall color

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September 20, 2022at9:00 am, Tony Legg said:

Hope there was a good amount of moisture in most of the spots for good colors.

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September 19, 2022at8:53 am, Peter Mogish said:

North Eastern Pennsylvania. It may not a good year for fall color because the summer was very dry?

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September 18, 2022at7:27 pm, Myrlena Lee said:

No specific place but like North Carolina and Virginia fall foliage

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September 19, 2022at11:05 am, Team RV Lifestyle said:

Both beautiful states for sure! Team RV Lifestyle

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September 14, 2022at10:33 pm, Derek T said:

Take me to Northern Minnesota anyday…

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September 14, 2022at3:40 pm, Darlene Larson said:

Boise Idaho on the greenbelt along the river has the best spot to view the fall leaves!

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September 14, 2022at7:00 am, Thomas P said:

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is my favorite spot. Getting a little overcrowded nowadays.

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September 14, 2022at3:39 am, Joyce Wilson said:

Southwestern PA

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September 13, 2022at1:42 pm, Brittany Gilley said:

my favorite spot is the Smokies

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September 13, 2022at7:04 am, Kari B said:

I’m going leaf peeping this fall in Michigan’s Keeweenaw Peninsula. I can’t wait!

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September 14, 2022at3:41 pm, Team RV Lifestyle said:

Bet it will be breathtakingly beautiful! Team RV Lifestyle

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September 12, 2022at10:01 pm, Gale Cox said:

Southern Ill. for me

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September 12, 2022at7:11 pm, Boyd said:

I love driving the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia to see some amazing fall colors!

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September 12, 2022at10:35 am, Tom Smith said:

Take a hike up Wheeler Mtn …Sutton, VT. Views look out at Willoughby Lake.

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September 12, 2022at10:43 am, Team RV Lifestyle said:

thanks for the suggestion, Tom! Team RV Lifestyle

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September 12, 2022at10:26 am, Lydia Alexander said:

Kancamagus Highway in Lincoln, NH. Pack a picnic basket then cruise the notch…spectacular!!!

Reply

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