When fall arrives, the weather becomes cool and comfortable and the leaves turn fiery, vibrant shades of yellows, reds, and oranges. National parks are widely known for their wildlife and plant life, but when the autumn months grow nearer, color begins to bloom on the trees and set a beautiful backdrop for the parks. There’s no better way to witness these natural changes than in person. Here are the best national parks to visit to see nature’s transformation into a colorful spectacle.
Glacier National Park, Montana
Though the air becomes cooler in the fall, wildlife becomes more active in the northern regions of Montana. Tourists can expect less foot traffic and more wildlife with scenic views shifting to colorful fall foliage. In this region, the leaves begin to change late September and peak in mid-October. Glacier National Park is a mountainous area, one known to Native Americans as the “Shining Mountains” and the “Backbone of the World.” Tourists will see why with the park’s rocky landscape, millions of acres of forest, and valleys. These natural characteristics on the west side begin to change in September, shifting to the east by mid-October to become full of gold and red hues.
Yosemite National Park, California
While most of the trees are evergreen, the park’s large oaks, maples, and dogwoods are among the most popular deciduous trees in Yosemite to become eye-catching spectacles in October. By late October, the colors have peaked until early December when frost sets in. Leading up to, however, are scenic views that are colorful and vibrant among the many flowing rivers and waterfalls in the park.
Zion National Park, Utah
Unlike many other national parks, Zion National Park extends high into the mountains, in which the elevation creates an extended period of fall foliage, ranging from early September and well into November. Vibrant fall foliage would be almost non-existent without the high elevation as Zion is almost completely desert. Though Zion is full of coniferous and evergreen trees, its plant life is diverse with more than 900 species. Trees near the water and rivers are full of gold leaves during the fall. The sun dramatically casts a light on the mountains as the gold and red foliage reflects from the trees.