A national park is a great place to enjoy and spent some quality time with friends and family. It is a great place to visit any season of the year. During the summer season, national parks remain most busy, but we see the reverse in the fall season. During the fall season, there are fewer crowds in national parks, and the weather is pleasant, so you will have an amazing experience.
Moreover, during the fall season, most National parks are at the peak of their blooming stage. The atmosphere and scenario of national parks in the fall season are altogether different from another season. You will have the privilege to see the allure in the activities of the cold weather on the environment. There are 61 parks in the United States.
Here is the list of 12 best national parks to visit in the fall season. These parks offer remarkable fall foliage viewing. Read the article and find out all about these parks and when is the best time to visit them.
12 Best National Parks to Visit in Fall Season
- Yosemite National Park, California
- The Great Smoky Mountains National Park
- Glacier National Park, Montana
- Bryce Canyon National Park
- Denali National Park, Alaska
- Colorado Rocky Mountain National Park
- The Mt. Rainier National Park at Washington
- Wyoming, Grand Teton National Park
- Virginia, Shenandoah National Park
- The Zion National Park
- Acadia National Park, Maine
- Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Yosemite National Park, California
Yosemite National Park is located in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains. The park was established on October 1, 1890. Yosemite National Park is famous for giant, ancient sequoia trees, a vista of towering Bridalveil Fall, granite cliffs of El Capitan and Half Dome, Tunnel View, etc. Every year on an average of about four million people visit Yosemite national park. The park has a diversity of plants and animals.
The Pacific dogwoods, black oaks, large leaf maples, and other trees started to flourish in mid-October. The full effect of Fall season zenith in late October. You can witness the beauty of the Fall season with your own eyes from October to late November. Generally, the winter begins around early December. The Park generally remains open till late November. Sometimes the snow causes to close the park early.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park shares the border between North Carolina and Tennessee. The park was established on June 15, 1934. This park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This amazing landscape contains extravagant forests and a profusion of wildflowers that bloom year-round. You will find trees in this park that antedate European settlement of the area.
Generally, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has a leaf season in autumn. The Fall color started to show from mid-September, and it reaches the peak from early October to mid-October. It is the most visited national park in America. The visitors are allowed to drive in Foothills Parkway, Blue Ridge Parkway, and Clingmans Dome. If you want to see the magical inimitableness of the fall season then you should visit the park between mid-October and the early part of November.
Glacier National Park, Montana
Glacier National Park is in Montana, with an area of 1,583-sq.-mi. The park is covered with glacier-carved peaks and valleys running to the Canadian border. The park was established on May 11, 1910. The park is mostly visited by people who love active wildlife and fewer crowds during the fall season. The park includes more than 130 lakes, 1,000 different species of plants, and hundreds of species of animals.
The effect of the Fall season begins around mid-September. If you visit the park in the Fall season, you will see the trees of the west region started to change colors from late September while the trees of the eastern region are already filled with more fall colors. The final color change happens in the first week of October where the larch trees become golden.
Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park is located in southern Utah and famous for spire-shaped rock formations. The red, orange and white colors of the rocks offer an outstanding view for park visitors. The park was found on February 25, 1928. The park covers an area of 55.98 mi². Every year more than nearly 6 million people visit this national park.
Bryce Canyon National Park is an amazing place to visit during the fall and first part of the winter season. The place becomes paradise when its earthly spire is icy. It is also a great place for sky stargazing. The visitors and tourists enjoy the star watching and full moon adventure programs very much. Make sure you follow all the rules and regulations of the park for a safe and exciting visit.
Denali National Park, Alaska
If you are in Alaska during the fall season don’t forget to visit the Denali National Park of Alaska. Some of the attractions of this national park are Denali and its highest peaks (20,310-ft.), unspoiled wilderness, and lots of wildlife. The national park was established on February 26, 1917. Every year about 594,660 people visit this park. The park consists of an area of 6,045,153 acres.
The beauty of Denali National Park is at a peak during the Fall season. You will have the privilege to witness the elegant view of the mountain and its top covering with the snow. Moreover, the tundra glows in fantastic reds and creates mesmerizing scenery. During the winter the weather is freezing cold. So make sure you enjoy the beauty of this national park before winter embraces the park.
Colorado Rocky Mountain National Park
The Rocky Mountain National Park is in northern Colorado, and it is consists of protected mountains, forests, and alpine tundra. The park was established on January 26, 1915. It has an area of 265,461 acres. Every year around 4,590,493 visitors and tourists visit this national park. The park is renowned for the Trail Ridge Road and the Old Fall River Road. You will have the chance to enjoy the diversity of wildlife within different weathers and environments, from deeply wooded forests to mountain tundra.
The Rocky Mountain remains open 365 days a year. The park offers different activities and programs throughout the year. Their activities differ season-wise, like summer/fall and winter/spring seasons. The Fall season starts from mid-September and last late-October. During Fall season you will be able to hear the Elk bugling, and if lucky you will have the chance to witness the head-butting contest of Bighorn sheep!
The Mt. Rainier National Park at Washington
The Mt. Rainier National Park is a very popular American national park situated in Washington. The park was established on March 2, 1899, and it was the fifth national parks of America. It is a reserve state surrounded by glacier-capped and Mount Rainier. The park includes valleys, waterfalls, subalpine meadows, volcanoes, and vivid wildlife.
During the fall season, you will have the privilege to enjoy the lovely yellow and orange color of the mountain and the mountain top covered with snow. So if you want to witness the beauty of the fall season then you have to visit the park between mid-months of October until November. You should visit the Chinook pass, reflection lakes, the patriarchs, and the paradise area to see the best scenario of the fall season.
Wyoming, Grand Teton National Park
The Grand Teton National Park of Wyoming is a stunning destination to visit and spent some quality time with your friends and family. The park is located in the south of Yellowstone National Park and north of the town of Jackson and consists of 310,000 acres. The park includes lavish valley floors, mountain fields, alpine lakes, and the rising peaks of the Teton Range. The Grand Teton National Park was established on February 26, 1929. This park provides fabulous experience to nature lovers, outdoor explorers, and road trippers who are looking to explore the beauty of natural landscapes.
In the fall season, the Grand Teton National Park becomes an outstanding location with all the magical colors. From the mid-month of September, the fall colors reach the peaks. The orange and yellow leaves of the trees embrace the mystic color of fall. This time of the year is the breeding season for Deer. If lucky you can witness a fight between any two dominant elk males.
Virginia, Shenandoah National Park
The Shenandoah National Park is in Virginia, and it extends its area more than a hundred miles alongside the Blue Ridge Mountains of western Virginia. The park is long and narrow and offers wilderness and pastoral landscapes with a history of more than 300 hundred years to its visitors. The park was established on December 26, 1935, and it has an area of 311.2 mi². The Shenandoah National Park is the home of vivid wilderness, wooded hollows, waterfalls, mountain streams, hiking trails, etc.
The fall season is the best time to visit this national park. During the fall season, the leaves of trees gain a mixed texture of red, bright gold and yellow color. It creates an amazing scenario that visitors will definitely enjoy watching. The fall season hits the peak in mid-October. During your visit to the park, you will have the chance to enjoy the horseback ride and annual bike festival that holds every 16th-18th in October.
The Zion National Park
The Zion National Park is located in southwestern Utah near the town of Springdale. The park is renowned for Zion Canyon’s steep red cliffs. The park was found on November 19, 1919. It has an area of 229.1 mi². The park remains open the whole year. There are two visitors center available in this park to help the visitor visit the park with the least impact on the delicate desert environment. The park has a unique geography that supports unusual plant and animal diversity. There are four life zones in this park that includes numerous plant species, 289 species of birds, 75 mammals, and 32 reptiles.
The Fall season is the golden season of this park. The fall season starts in September and expends its stay till November. During the fall season the temperature cools down, and the trees started to go full Bob Ross with color. You will have the chance to experience the scenes of colors that comes with the fall. When the sun rises and sets, the Zion rocks transform into a blazing golden red color, which is spectacular to watch.
Acadia National Park, Maine
Acadia National Park is an Atlantic coast recreation area located in the state of Maine, southwest of Bar Harbor. The park consists of Mount Desert Island, small islands, and some part of the Schoodic Peninsula. This national park was established on July 8, 1916. It has an area of 47,000-acre. The wildlife of this national park includes moose, bear, whales, and seabirds.
Fall is the best time to visit this national park. The leaves of the trees started to change to the fall colors at the end of September and the change of the colors completed in mid-October. If you love to spend some quality time with your family or friends watching birds, migrating birds, sea ducks, spring warblers, then Acadia National Park is the best place to visit.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Cuyahoga Valley National Park reserves and recoups the rural landscape along the Cuyahoga River between Akron and Cleveland in Northeast Ohio. The park was found on October 11, 2000. The park consists of 33,000 acres deep forests, rolling hills, and open farmlands. The park offers something for everyone. Visitors can do hiking, kayaking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, golfing, historic train riding, etc.
During the fall season, maple trees change their leaves color to orange, yellow, and red. Usually, red maples change to white, and pin oaks change their russet color. Make sure you walk through the towpath along Erie and Ohio canals for an amazing experience.
There is no rule that says you can’t visit other national parks during the Fall season. However, the 12 national parks we have discussed in this post are the best and the most beautiful national parks you can visit in the fall season. With all the information shared here, it will be easier for you to pick a national park to visit this fall.