As the sun starts to set earlier, the leaves start to change colors and paint the landscape with vibrant fiery hues. It’s got us recounting all of the sublime memories made during this past summer. It’s not all rain and clouds, though. This turn of the season is ripe with opportunities to watch blazing autumn colors dominate foliage and landscape, especially in your favorite national parks and forests. The following five national parks are just a handful of ones for you to get your fix of fall colors:
1. Glacier National Park, MT
A summertime hub for everything outdoors, Glacier National Park usually sees a decline in population during the fall. This presents the perfect chance to see western larch trees’ golden needles, framed perfectly from across Lake McDonald and peaking in color in early October. For a scenic drive that offers an variety of autumn tones, the Going-to-the-Sun road is a tranquil, visually stunning ride. There’s also no shortage of wildlife activity, including mountain goats, bighorn sheep and elk.
2. Acadia National Park, ME
Late September and early October is the best time to see color in Acadia National Park, most notably viewed from the panoramic peak of Cadillac Mountain. Adversely to Glacier NP, fall is actually a popular tourist period for Acadia, and it’s no surprise why. A clear, blue sunny day will highlight the ember-toned red and orange tints that dance and scatter across the jagged coastlines and tree-topped mountains.
3. Mount Hood National Forest, OR
An esteemed gem of the Pacific Northwest, and just an hour drive from Portland, Mount Hood National Forest is as graceful as it is massive. With over a thousand trails, and clocking in at about a million acres, there’s always something new to see. Western hemlocks needle through bursting rays of sun while big leaf maples create wide pockets of shade on the trail, sprawling endlessly. Our recommendation for an all-encompassing spectacle of fall colors would be Lake Mirror, offering views of Mount Hood itself framed by red and orange.
4. Grand Teton National Park, WY
Known for its regal yellow and gold foliage during fall, Grand Teton National Park makes for a captivating adventure whether you’re driving through or taking on the trails. Cottonwoods explode bright copper tones that crest Snake River banks while views of jagged peaks poke out behind. Slopes of the park are dressed with frizzy aspens, whose thin build and white bark cut through the bright gold shades. Clear lakes only accent these majestic bursts of color with serene reflections.
5. Rocky Mountain National Park, CO
High elevations bring Rocky Mountain National Park’s fall hues to peak during September, but there are still breathtaking sights to salvage through early October. Snow-capped peaks tower above shimmering gold aspens, while the alpine meadows that rest beneath are lain with yellow, brown and orange shades. On a perfectly clear day, these scenes are something of a Bob Ross painting. October is a time where you see less crowded trails and lakes, making backpacking, hiking and trout fishing a peaceful experience.
Layering season grows closer, and hasn’t been shy these past few weeks. The next best thing to a performance base-layer is an American Backcountry tee. With holiday season approaching, get mom a Rocky Mountain long sleeve, or dad a Glacier National Park tee. For all-season adventures, you can’t go wrong with our lightweight, breathable tees made by hikers, for hikers.