In mere days, the summer road trips will give way to the just-as-exciting fall road trips. No matter where you are in the country, fall offers the benefit of a common goal — routing the best leaf-peeping excursion to see fall foliage in all its glory.
The website SmokyMountains just released its annual fall foliage forecast map, which predicts when fall colors will hit their peak across the United States.
In New England, the fall foliage will be at its best between September 21 and October 5, with the most northern states kicking off the natural spectacle. Those in the Rocky Mountains, however, can expect peak foliage between September 21 and 28. In the Pacific Northwest, be ready to roll by mid-October or earlier.
In general, the most vibrant colors look to pop out in late September and early October, fading and falling by Halloween in most of the country.
While the website can’t ensure 100 percent accuracy, it has asked the best in the field of meteorology (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and looked at past trends to create this map, so you can hit the road to the nearest forest reassured.
To get ahead of the game, start planning your fall road trips now. By the time October hits, it’s time to toss your camping gear into the back of the truck to admire one of Mother Nature’s put on her most beautiful show.
A version of this article was previously published on August 28, 2019, and was updated on September 1, 2020, with more information.