Fall Foliage: 5 Awesome RV Destinations for fall color

 Fall Foliage: 5 Awesome RV Destinations for fall color

Fall foliage in northern Michigan.

We have some awesome RV destinations for fall color to share with you! Whether you consider autumn the grand finale to summer or the calm before the storm of winter, few can argue that fall foliage delivers some of the most stunning scenery all across the country. 

Obviously, different places deliver peak fall color seasons at different times, so be sure to do some research ahead of time to ensure you aren’t too early nor too late.

Of course, there are many great RV destinations for fall color.

Among our favorites, of course, are many in our home state of Michigan. In the past, we’ve shared stories about RVing in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula during the fall at places like Twelvemile Beach. And, of course, we’ve brought you a Fall Foliage Boondocking Adventure in Michigan’s Porcupine Mountains. 

I encourage you to share your favorite RV destinations for fall colors in the comments below. 

To get this conversation started, and in no particular order, here are our five RV destinations for fall colors:

5 Awesome RV Destinations for Fall Color

Williamstown, Massachusetts – Fall colors in New England

It’s fitting to start the list of our favorite RV destinations for fall colors with a location in New England since it’s a destination for so many seeking fall colors. Williamstown, Massachusetts, is one of many beautiful communities in the Berkshires. The Berkshires refers to a highland region in Massachusetts and is a rural getaway for many in Boston, New York, and Philadelphia.

Fall colors in this region are an incredible range of hues. Dark crimsons, bright oranges, and sunny yellows are accentuated against deep greens delivered by evergreen trees and the trees yet to change colors.

If you’re looking for a place to start exploring the mountains and forests near Williamstown, Mount Greylock (especially the Stony Ledge Trail) is a wonderful destination. Alternatively, there a few scenic driving tours in the Berkshires you shouldn’t miss.

When to Go: Late September through October.

Gatlinburg, Tennessee and the Great Smoky Mountains – At the top of the fall colors list

photo at Gatlinburg TN one of the great RV destinations for fall color
The Gatlinburg, TN area near the Great Smoky Mountains is one of America’s great RV destinations for fall color

When it comes to the best RV destinations for fall colors in the nation to see fall foliage, the Smoky Mountains is tops.

Gatlinburg is at the top of the list of Smoky Mountain towns to visit because of its great location at the entrance to Great Smoky National Park. More than 100 native tree types grow in the Smoky Mountains, including sugar maples, hickories, sweetgums, scarlet oaks, and red maples.

That means visitors get a spectacular show if their timing is just right. There are many trails in the National Park. Plenty of the trails lead to some stunning waterfalls, as well. I wrote a post about the area several years ago that can be found here, if you’re interested in learning more.

When to Go: Mid-October to early November

Hood River, Oregon – Best fall colors in the Northwest

Hood River, Oregon, a small town of about 7,000 people, is right in the Columbia River Gorge and just a stone’s throw away from the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. The Columbia River that cuts through the landscape divides Oregon and Washington and is fed by many amazing waterfalls. With firs, cottonwoods, maple, ash, and pines, all the spectacular fall colors are present in this already breathtaking canyon.

There are many ways to explore the fall foliage. Bikers can tackle the Historic Columbia River Highway Trail. Hikers can take on the Multnomah Falls Trail to soak in both the fall colors and the stunning waterfall. Kayakers might even want to make their way down the Columbia River. It is one of the most spectacular RV destinations for fall colors

When to Go: Mid-September to mid-October

Aspen, Colorado – Spectacular yellow fall colors

With a town named after a tree, it’s got to be a fantastic place to see fall foliage, right?

When it’s not ski season, things are a lot more mellow, and it’s the ideal place to see the aspens change, and thus, one of the top RV destinations for fall colors. In this area of the Rocky Mountains, there aren’t many other deciduous trees beside the aspens. In addition, the aspen groves that speckle the rugged mountainsides are covered in evergreens.

That makes their bright gold color stand out even more among the pines. If you’re lucky, a trip to Aspen may also mean you can hear elk bugling in the evenings. Since late September and early October are when elk enter mating season, their majestic calls can be heard echoing out into the dusk.

The Maroon Bells — the most photographed mountain peaks in the U.S. — are the perfect place in Aspen to see colors in the fall. That’s because when you travel here, a glacial lake reflects these craggy peaks. While the mountains tower above the treeline, the aspen trees below the treeline turn a stunning yellow. 

When to Go: The last two weeks of September

Taos, New Mexico – an Enchanted Circle Tour of fall colors

Those who seek something genuinely unique RV destinations for fall colors travel to Taos, New Mexico. The big attraction is aspen trees that turn dark orange. The Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway is a popular 83-mile loop that delivers a spectacular tour of these beautiful trees. (The Enchanted Circle was featured in an RV Lifestyle report about “Boondocking in National Forests.”)

As a reminder, the Rocky Mountains do drop down into New Mexico. The mountains are ultimately responsible for the evergreens and of course, the magical aspens in the Taos area. The Enchanted Circle makes its way around Wheeler Peak, a mountain towering at 13,159 feet. So aside from traveling the byway, there is plenty of hiking and exploring to do. Tao also offers a vibrant art and music culture, as well as historical landmarks.

When to Go: Late September to early October

What are your favorite RV destinations for fall colors?

Now it’s your turn. Use comments below to share with our RV Lifestyle community. And let’s all get out there!

Happy Trails!

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Mike Wendland

Mike is a veteran journalist who, with his wife, Jennifer, travels North America in a small motorhome, blogging about the people, places, joys and adventure of RV life on the road. He enjoys camping (obviously), hiking, biking, fitness, photography, kayaking, video editing, and all things dealing with technology and the outdoors. See and subscribe to his RV Lifestyle Channel on YouTube, where he has hundreds of RV and travel related videos. His PC MIke TV reports, on personal technology are distributed weekly to all 215 NBC-TV stations.

15 Comments

  • Letchworth State Park in Western NY has been one of the best for fall colors.

  • To Mike. You have some wonderful places to visit in America,
    My Question. Is when camping in these woods, Surely you are concerned
    About Black Bears, or Cougars. While out walking. Please explain how you manage to stay safe from these Animals
    Thank You Steve Young

  • Sad news:
    Oregon fall colors top pick – Multnomah Falls trail is closed due to recent fire damage.

  • California’s Eastern Sierra (Inyo and Mono Counties) are a big attraction. Just head north on Hwy 395 in Bishop up into Bridgeport and you won’t be disappointed.

  • Have never had a problem with bear or cougar… It’s their home and we’re just visiting but we follow all safety procedures… and carry bear spray

  • Let me add one more: Anywhere in the Adirondack mountains from Lake George moth to Plattsburgh.

  • Vermont, of course – but, like anywhere in these days of Corona virus, check the Vermont State Travel Map to see whether you’d need to quarantine. Please wait until next year, when hopefully there will be a vaccine, if you are coming from a yellow or red county on the map!

  • Taos is great, but New Mexico still requires 14-day quarantine for any non-residents.

  • Vermont will not be disappointing.

    Follow route VT-100 to see beautiful foliage, quaint little villages and towns, the Green Mountains,
    Maple sugar locations and so much more.

  • Nearby we take a day trip to Baldwin City Kansas and the Maple Leaf Festival. Missouri has beautiful fall colors. Our favorite destinations are wineries and State Parks specifically the Katy Trail, a Rail to Trail designated as a MO State Park. We hop on and off the trail as we travel across the state but for sure stop at Rocheport which is a scenic town and a good out and back destination on the trail. Sometimes we continue on over the Mississippi (on a ferry if they are running) to southern Illinois and Shawnee National Forest. Tunnel Hill Rail to Trail is in the area.

  • Hwy 112 in New Hampshire.

  • Letchworth State Park, Castile, New York in October. 14,000 acre Park in northwestern part of the state. Deep gorge, several big waterfalls, 600 foot cliffs, 66 miles of trails, campground with electric.

  • I see no rv campsites as part of the katy trail state park. It is likely there are other Mo. State Parks w RV camping.
    Mo. has wonderful, well kept RV campsites!!

  • Have to add Shenandoah National Park and The Blueridge Parkway where you can enjoy many miles of fall colors starting in Va and ending in western NC.

  • […] we’ve talked about “5 Awesome RV Destinations for Fall Color” and it did include Williamstown, […]

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