If spectacular fall colors are what you seek, then it’s time to head to Western North Carolina — there’s no better leaf show in America than in the breathtaking mountain country surrounding communities like Asheville and Tryon. And depending on what time of month you go—and where you’re headed—you’ll see a marvelous but unique display. Here are some tips for planning your trip to see the best fall foliage show.
The Best Colors Will Vary Depending on Time, Weather, and Location
From early October through the beginning of November, the Western North Carolina area puts on a long and extravagant display of colors. But you might not always be in the best leaf-viewing area. The leaves you see will be dependent on the elevation, the weather, and the time of month you visit. The leaves will change earlier in the month at higher elevations and move down to lower altitudes as the season progresses. Warmer weather will slow the process while an early frost will speed it up.
Early October—Head for the Mountains
The color show will begin in early October at high elevations above 5,000 feet. Locations north of Asheville, such as Mount Mitchell, Craggy Gardens, Grandfather Mountain, Beech Mountain, Rough Ridge, and Graveyard Fields, will offer the best colors for the first two weeks or so.
Mid-October—Take the Blue Ridge Parkway
The Blue Ridge Parkway offers great leaf views throughout the season, but in mid-October, it’s best to take the Parkway southwest towards destinations over 4,000 feet elevation, such as Mount Pisgah, Black Balsam, and Devil’s Courthouse. Good colors can also be found in the Cashiers area and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Mid to Late October—Take a Nearby Hike
During this time, there will be spectacular colors in the mountains surrounding Asheville that range in elevation from 3,000 to 4,000 feet. Take the Blue Ridge Parkway either north or south into the foothills. Hike Looking Glass Rock in the Pisgah National Forest or head north to Hawksbill Mountain.
Late October—Stay in Town!
With an elevation of 2,000 feet, the city of Asheville, and nearby communities such as Saluda, offer their own unique display of local leaf colors. You can take a hike in the DuPont State Forest, or stay closer to home and explore the leaf colors in town.
Late October to Early November—Head Down to the Lake
Lower elevations will be seeing the best leaf shows in late October and early November, with places such as Chimney Rock, Lake Lure, and the Tryon Foothills experiencing the prime of their foliage colors.
Ready to Plan Your Western North Carolina Vacation?
Your dream vacation is waiting in the rolling hills of Western NC—and not just in the fall! The Asheville area is beautiful every time of year, winter, spring, summer, or fall. So whether you’re looking for summer camping, fall leaves, winter wonderland, or beautiful spring blooms, it’s time to start exploring Western North Carolina. To learn more or to buy or rent your dream vacation home in Asheville or Tryon, give us a call today and let’s get started!