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NC High Country Fall Color Guide


NC High Country Fall Color Guide

CURRENT COLOR REPORTS
The High Country of North Carolina offers the best in Leaf Peeping.  Driving the Blue Ridge Parkway with its views of peaks and valleys and visiting the small towns of the Blue Ridge Mountains can give you an elevation change that insures you see fall color at some point!   Here is a list of websites that are updated daily or weekly with current fall color conditions that can help you plan your trip:

  1. ASU FALL COLOR GUY
    Read weekly fall color reports written by Appalachian State University’s Department of Biology.  You can also view his Fall Color Map and essays on the science of fall leaf color.
  2. FOLIAGE NETWORK
    View a weekly updated SouthEast regional map of current fall color conditions.
  3. GRANDFATHER MOUNTAIN
    Starting September 20th, the most popular outdoor attraction of the High Country will start posting daily photos of the current fall color!  This is a great way to gauge the color change along the High Country section of the Blue Ridge Parkway!

PEAK LEAF COLOR FORECAST BY ELEVATION

Leaf color prediction forecasts are done based on elevation.  Higher elevations will see color earlier due to the cooler temperatures.  Some things to consider that effect leaf color is the amount of rain, wind and heat the High Country receives during September and October.  That is something we cannot predict! Here is breakdown by elevation:

  • Last Week of September- 6,000 Elevation (Mt Mitchell, Grandfather Mountain) 
  • 1st Week of October- 5,000 Elevation (Beech Mountain, Rough Ridge Trail MP 302.9)
  • 2nd Week of October- 4,000 Elevation (Banner Elk, Jumpingoff Rocks Trail MP 260.3) 
  • 3rd Week of October- 3,000 Elevation (Boone, Blowing Rock, West Jefferson, Price Lake MP 297)
  • 4th Week of October- 2,000 Elevation (Wilkesboro, Stone Mountain State Park, Yadkin Valley Overlook MP 289.8)

WHERE TO PHOTOGRAPH FALL COLOR
The long range views offered on Blue Ridge Parkway peaks and overlooks can be awe inspiring in the fall and give anyone the photo bug.  But, have you ever thought of photographing a country backroad by bike?  Here is a list of our favorite fall color photography spots in the NC High Country: 

  1. TOP 10 HIGH ELEVATIONS of the HIGH COUNTRY
    Looking for the ultimate view shot that will insure some fall color?  View this list of High Elevations in the NC High Country

  2. FALL DRIVES
    Looking for a good way to view the leaves this fall?  Take a country backroad where you can drive at a slower pace and pull off to photograph a scenic pasture or river.   View our list of Top Country Backroad Drives to give you a different view!

  3. BIKE RIDES
    There is no better way to feel the crisp autumn air and take in the scent of fall than by bicycle.  View our list of Top Bike Rides in the High Country, listing from easiest to most difficult.

  4. FROM THE WATER
    An easy way to see untouched nature is from the water! Take a canoe out on the New River with an outfitter HERE

  5. FALL PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS
    Make sure your pictures match your memories by following this list of Fantastic Fall Photo Tips