Five Fall Color Tour Destinations You Must See

Derrek Sigler
by Derrek Sigler

It seems like summer just got here and we’re already planning for autumn, but that’s the way it goes. When the leaves start changing and days grow shorter, there is time to get in a few more vacations with your RV before you should think about storing it, or heading to a more southern location. With time starting to wind down, you might as well start planning for that fall color tour. Here are five destinations that you truly owe it to yourself to see firsthand.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan

In the center of Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula and along the southern shore of the mighty Lake Superior sits Pictured Rocks, one of the most scenic places in the United States, especially during the autumn color season. There are ample camping opportunities around the park and in neighboring towns. If the weather is good, take a kayak tour, or even a glass-bottom boat tour of the many shipwrecks in the area. But let’s be honest, autumn and Lake Superior seldom mean calm weather. Peak color is mid-October and the many hues of the changing leaves can be breathtaking.

Glacier National Park, Montana

Glaciers, mountains and gorgeous colors await you when you arrive in late September in Glacier National Park in Montana. Really, we had you at Montana, didn’t we? The hardwood trees all turn in late September, but if you’re really bold, hang around into October to see the Larch trees change. These are big conifers whose green needles change to a bright golden color before they fall. Glacier is one of the best places to see these trees, too. Know going in that many park amenities are shut down for the season, so pack the RV accordingly. Autumn in Montana is something everyone needs to see.

Green Mountains, Vermont

During the summer months, the sugar maples and oaks of Vermont’s Green Mountains region live up to the green name, but once September and October roll around, the green is replaced with brilliant shades of red, yellow and orange. These bright colors, winding mountain roads and rich New England history make Vermont a destination that should be on every RVer’s list. While you’re at it, you can hit upstate New York and more, opening the door for a fall color tour you’ll cherish for years to come.

Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee

Who could forget the scenes playing out on the news of the horrible forest fires raging in the Great Smoky Mountains? While it is true that vast sections of the area were hit hard with fire, there is a great deal of the beautiful and historic Great Smoky Mountain Range still as beautiful as ever. Come in October and November and be met with stunning colors, friendly folks and a trip you’ll cherish.

Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri

Head into the Show Me state in late October to be shown why the Lake of the Ozarks region makes this list. The hot humid summer gives way to moderate temperatures and the rich green foliage turns to shades of red, orange and yellow. There’s plenty to see and do, and there are plenty of places to camp out and enjoy what makes this area a must-visit destination. You’ll be happy you did.