Road Trip

The Only Map You Need to See the Leaves Change Color This Fall

If you want to know where to go–and find out the best time of year–to see America’s forests explode in a burst of color, the Smoky Mountains National Park has provided one very helpful tool in planning your trip with a fall foliage map.

The best time of year appears to be mid to late October, especially in the higher elevations of New England and the Rocky Mountains.

Its interactive “Fall Foliage Prediction Map,” is easily one of the best sources for leaf watchers online, detailing peak periods during the season to catch nature’s fireworks display of fiery reds, oranges and yellows across the country.

The best time of year appears to be mid to late October — especially in the higher elevations of New England and the Rocky Mountains, while the forests around Los Angeles aren’t expected to reach prime viewing until around Halloween.

By early November, much of the country is past its peak, although Louisiana and its surrounding neighbors will still look pretty.

As the national park puts it, “The Fall Foliage Map is the ultimate visual planning guide to the annual progressive changing of the leaves. While no tool can be 100% accurate, this tool is meant to help travelers better time their trips to have the best opportunity of catching peak color each year.”

If you want other options, check out the Weather Channel’s version of the map, while NewEngland.com has its own.