With a country as big and with as varied a climate as the United States, it is easy to find national parks to visit in every season. With most of the country receiving snowfall, it makes great sense to visit these parks in the fall before the weather turns cold. The excellent foliage is just one more reason to visit these parks in the fall.
The Wilderness Society put together a pretty comprehensive list of national parks to visit before winter really sets in. Generally, the parks with the best colors lasting later in the fall are going to be found in the south. For instance, consider Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina and Tennessee. You probably won’t need to worry about snow here, but it is still worth visiting before winter.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park, in Ohio, is one where bad snow and changing leaves make for perfect late autumn reasons to visit. The park is open each day of the year, but the hours change depending on the season, so make sure to plan accordingly.
Out west, Grand Teton National Park is the park to visit. There are smaller crowds than in the summer and the leaves are still changing, although they will likely be mostly gone by late fall and there is plenty of wildlife viewing possible in fall.
National parks with views of forests in the north are ones you should prioritize in the warmer months. If you are a big fan of fall foliage, plan to visit in early autumn. The further south a park is, like Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the later you can visit and still see peak foliage.
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