Fall color camping trips across North America.
Don’t miss out on the leaf-peeping fun. Many of the dazzling displays of foliage in North American forests begin to fade by mid-October, but several areas throughout the United States burst with vivid fall hues well into November and beyond.
Here’s a roundup of the fall color spots that stay golden deep into the autumn season (along with the nearby Good Sam Parks):
Oak Creek Canyon, Arizona
Although the Sedona region is known for its red rock spires, the fall foliage in nearby Oak Creek Canyon gives the towering stone rocks some competition. Visitors can take a brisk fall hike along the banks of the waterway and enjoy the beautiful hues of the oak trees the grow in the canyon. Bring a fishing pole to snag some brown trout while you’re there.
Stay: Verde River RV Resort & Cottages in nearby Camp Verde puts guests within striking distance of local attractions.
The Ouachitas, Arkansas
In the heart of the Natural State, the Ouachita National Forest is a showcase for oaks, maples and other hardwood trees undergoing dramatic fall transformations. Several hiking trails take visitors to gorgeous groves that form a rich fall palette. After exploring, take a side trip to Hot Springs and enjoy a soak in healing water. Stroll bathhouse row and learn about the famous Americans — from Al Capone to Bill Clinton — who got in hot water here.
Stay here: At Cloud Nine RV Park in nearby Hot Springs National Park, guests camp within proximity of bathhouses and lakes.
Napa Valley, California
Travelers can combine leaf-peeping with wine tasting during a drive through Napa Valley. As the last grapes are harvested from the fields, the grape leaves take on hues of copper and ruby, transforming the fields into seas of bright color. The trees join the fun, with oaks showcasing yellow and rust colors of their own. Visitors who drop into the Far Niente Winery in Oakville can marvel at a double row of ginkgo biloba trees, whose fan-shaped golden leaves hang on after most other trees have shed their leaves. Motorists who drive the Silverado Trail from Napa to Calistoga are treated to stellar foliage along the roadside.
Stay: Napa Valley Expo RV Park serves as an ideal home base for wine-tasting adventures throughout the region.
Yosemite National Park, California
Throughout Yosemite National Park, the aspens and oaks turn yellow and gold as the temperatures begin to dip. For hikers, an extra layer of clothing is a small price to pay in exchange for a larger-than-life spectacle. Photographers thrill at the chance to take pictures of the yellow-leafed black oak trees on Superintendent’s Meadow with Half Dome in the background. Park visitors also can enjoy gorgeous views of autumn trees at the foot to Horsetail Falls that flows over the edge of El Capitan.
Stay: Located just outside of Yosemite National Park, Yosemite Lakes RV Resort offers swimming, fishing and gold panning on the Tuolumne River, which runs through the park.
Natchez Trace Parkway, Tishomingo, Mississippi
Stretching 444 miles north and south along Mississippi and part of Tennessee, the Natchez Trace Parkway follows a route used for centuries by Native Americans and early European colonists. During fall, modern-day travelers follow the stretch of highway to get glimpses of some of the most dazzling fall foliage of the South. Epic scenery can be found in Tishomingo, in the northeast corner of the state. The area sits at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and consists of rugged boulders interspersed with trees like redbud and dogwood, creating an otherworldly scene.
Lake Tahoe, Nevada
Evergreen pines seem to dominate the banks of Lake Tahoe, but in October and November, the aspen trees get all the attention as they erupt with green and yellow luminosity. Hikers will find lots of aspen on the eastern side of Tahoe when they trek up to Marlette Lake, which is ringed with stunning aspen in the fall months.
Stay: Located east of Lake Tahoe, the Grand Sierra Resort RV Park in Reno has award-winning dining, top entertainment and more.
Gila National Forest, New Mexico
Occupying 2.7 million acres in eastern New Mexico, the Gila National Forest consists of terrain ranging from rugged mountains to semi-desert. As the mercury drops, the many cottonwoods, willows and aspens put on golden coats through November. Hikers should hit Catwalk, Mineral Creek or Gila Riparian Preserve trails, where old-growth sycamores explode in beautiful hues. The 40-mile drive to the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument is lined on many stretches with beautiful fall trees. While touring the historic dwellings, visitors are treated to gorgeous fall-color views of the valley below.
Stay: Ridgepark RV in nearby Silver CIty is a small, secluded park close to town.
Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina
Considered North America’s most scenic highway, the Blue Ridge Parkway leads drivers to overlooks of golden landscapes from in October and November. In Pigsbah National Forest, just outside of Asheville, North Carolina, travelers can expect to see rust-colored leaves in lower elevations well into November. While in town, enjoy a hot cider at Urban Orchard Cider Co. as you watch the leaves turn. It doesn’t get much more fall than that.
Stay: Asheville Bear Creek RV Park in Asheville sits within sight of the 8,000-acre Biltmore Estate, where a chateau-style mansion is a window into the Gilded Age.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee
America’s most popular national park basks in dazzling colors that vary with altitude. At high altitudes, the leaves peak in mid-October, but you can expect to see a fall display through November at the lower elevations in what’s considered the park’s most spectacular foliage exhibition. The abundance of sugar maple, scarlet oak, sweetgum, red maple and hickories translate into gorgeous leaf turning in the Great Smoky Mountains.
Stay: CampRivers Landing is close to the popular town of Pigeon Forge, just eight miles from the Smokies.
This east Texas town has made a name for itself as one of the nation’s leading cultivators of roses, with more than 38,000 of the fragrant bushes on display at its Municipal Rose Garden. But north of town, an equally dazzling spectacle erupts in Tyler State Park, as maples, sweetgums and dogwoods turn crimson, gold and yellow with the season. Take the Lakeshore Trail or Whispering Pines trail for best views. The trees here begin to turn in November.
Stay: Enjoy piney woods at Tyler Oaks RV Resort, located close to the American Freedom Museum and Camp Ford Historical Park.
Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
Encompassing nearly 200,000 acres of the Blue Ridge Mountains in eastern Virginia, Shenandoah National Park turns into fall confetti when the season changes. Check out the sweeping views from Pass Mountain Overlook, located on mile 30 of Skyline Drive near the Thornton Gap Entrance Station. Visitors can check conditions with the park’s webcam. Take the edge off that autumn chill by driving the Shenandoah Beerwerks and Spirits trail for some locally crafted beverages.
Stay: Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Camp-Resort Luray treats guests to new waterslides, pools, splash pad, mini golf Lazer Tag, fishing and jumping pillows.