If you’re a huge fan of fall colors like we are, you definitely want to catch them at the right time. This interactive map ensures you’ll visit your favorite forest when its colors are at their most breathtaking.
The most glorious days of fall color—known as “peak color”—are when the highest number of trees are changing their foliage from shades of green to a rich autumnal palette. The timing of peak color shifts from year to year. One year, it might be the first week of October, but the next, peak color might not appear until the week of Halloween.
So, what can you do to make sure you don’t miss it? When you try to look up random color predictions online, you usually just find outdated information (the color prediction for Colorado in 2017 won’t be much help). Instead, use the Fall Foliage Prediction Map at SmokyMountains.com. Not only is it super easy to use (just move the slider under the map to the date you plan to travel), but it’s based on new data and prediction models that are updated every year. This maximizes your chance to catch and enjoy peak color wherever you happen to be.
For example, if you plan to hit up the M-22—the state highway in northern Michigan voted the most scenic fall route in the U.S.—the Fall Foliage Prediction Map says you should make your trip somewhere early October this year.
If you’re interested in catching the show around Gatlinburg Tennessee, though, you’ll want to hold off until a few weeks later, after the cool winter weather has crept farther south.