Travel Tips and Ideas

The Best Places to Go for Fall Hikes

by User Not Found | Oct 12, 2023
Blog Banner- The Best Places to Go for Fall Hikes

Get ready to hike into fall's stunning beauty! Explore vibrant trails, scenic spots, and outdoor adventures in our guide to the coolest places for autumn hikes.


As the leaves turn vibrant shades of red, orange, and gold, and a crispness fills the air, there's no better time to lace up your hiking boots and hit the trails than during the fall season. Autumn offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the stunning natural landscapes as they undergo a transformation. Read and explore some of the best places to go for fall hikes where you can witness the beauty of the season in all its glory.


1. Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee and North Carolina

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, straddling the border of Tennessee and North Carolina, is a fall foliage paradise. With over 800 miles of hiking trails, you can find hikes suitable for all levels of experience. The Appalachian Trail runs through this park, offering breathtaking vistas of the rolling hills blanketed in fall colors. For a unique experience, hike to Clingmans Dome, the highest point in the park, and catch a sunrise or sunset over the sea of autumn foliage.


2. Acadia National Park, Maine

Acadia National Park, located on Mount Desert Island in Maine, is a jewel of the Northeast. The park's diverse landscapes, from rugged coastlines to forested mountains, come alive with color in the fall. The Jordan Pond Path is a popular choice, offering a relatively easy, scenic hike around Jordan Pond with views of the Bubbles, two iconic mountains. Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the East Coast, provides panoramic views of the surrounding foliage.


3. Aspen, Colorado

When you think of fall foliage, Aspen, Colorado, might not immediately come to mind, but it should. This picturesque mountain town is surrounded by groves of aspen trees, which turn a brilliant gold in the fall. There are numerous trails to explore, including the Maroon Bells, one of the most photographed spots in Colorado. The Crater Lake Trail takes you to this iconic location, providing a serene and stunning setting for your fall hike.


4. Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

Shenandoah National Park, located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, is a haven for fall foliage enthusiasts. The park's Skyline Drive offers sweeping vistas of the Shenandoah Valley, which explode in shades of red and orange during the fall. There are more than 500 miles of hiking trails to choose from, ranging from easy walks to challenging backcountry hikes. Old Rag Mountain is a popular and rewarding choice, known for its panoramic views.


5. North Conway, New Hampshire

New England is famous for its fall foliage, and North Conway in New Hampshire is a prime destination to experience it. The White Mountains provide a stunning backdrop for hiking adventures. Consider venturing to the Diana's Baths trail, which takes you to a series of cascading waterfalls surrounded by colorful trees. For a more challenging hike, consider tackling Mount Washington, the highest peak in the Northeast.


6. Zion National Park, Utah

While many think of desert landscapes when it comes to Utah, Zion National Park boasts a unique blend of red rock formations and lush canyons that take on a whole new dimension in the fall. The Riverside Walk is an accessible, family-friendly hike that offers captivating views of towering sandstone cliffs framed by the changing leaves. For a more challenging experience, hike to Observation Point for an unforgettable panorama of Zion Canyon.


7. The Catskills, New York

Located just a few hours from New York City, the Catskill Mountains offer a convenient escape into the heart of fall foliage. The Devil's Path is a demanding hike that rewards you with exceptional views, while Kaaterskill Falls, one of the tallest waterfalls in New York, provides a shorter, but equally rewarding, experience. The Catskills offer a perfect blend of outdoor adventure and autumn beauty.


8. Glacier National Park, Montana

For those seeking a truly remote and untamed fall hiking experience, Glacier National Park in Montana is a top choice. As the summer crowds dissipate, you can explore pristine wilderness areas adorned with fall colors. The Highline Trail is a must-do, offering jaw-dropping vistas of glaciers and colorful valleys. Be sure to check the park's seasonal trail and road closures, as some areas may not be accessible during the fall.


9. The Berkshires, Massachusetts

The Berkshires region in western Massachusetts is a hidden gem for fall foliage lovers. The Appalachian Trail passes through this area, providing ample hiking opportunities. Mount Greylock, the highest peak in Massachusetts, offers stunning panoramic views and is a fantastic spot to witness the vibrant fall colors that blanket the region.


10. Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska

For a unique twist on fall foliage, consider heading to Alaska's Glacier Bay National Park. While Alaska may not have the traditional autumn colors of New England, the dramatic landscapes of glaciers, fjords, and snow-capped mountains create a stunning backdrop. The Bartlett Cove Trail is a short, accessible hike where you can see colorful wildflowers and possibly even spot a bear or whale.


Fall hikes offer a unique opportunity to connect with nature and witness the breathtaking beauty of the changing seasons. Whether you prefer the vibrant colors of New England, the rugged landscapes of the Rocky Mountains, or the serene beauty of the Pacific Northwest, there's a fall hiking destination for every adventurer. So, lace up your hiking boots, grab your camera, and immerse yourself in the wonder of autumn's natural masterpiece on one of these incredible trails. Don't forget to pack a cozy sweater and a thermos of hot apple cider to savor the true essence of the season. To learn more about how travel protection can help you, talk to your travel advisor today or visit our website.



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