If you want to experience the most breathtaking autumn leaves on your fall camping experiences, you have to employ a bit of art, science and use of some awesome FREE fall colors finder tools!
The color explosion that comes from fall foliage is jaw-dropping! What makes it even more special is the finite window of time surrounding the whole thing, I mean, “Limited Edition” anything creates a sense of importance and urgency. Right?
Stages Of Fall Foliage Colors
When you order a steak, you have to decide if you want it cooked to rare, medium or well. Similarly, colors in leaves have stages: beginning to turn color (rare), peak colors (medium) and past peak but some color still remains (well). In other words, the timing for seeing the most vibrant colors during your fall foliage camping and RV road trips is critical.
Tools To Help You Plan Your Foliage Camp Trips
Doing a bit of pre-planning is crucial to enjoy the maximum amount of color during your fall foliage viewing camp adventure.
- There are prediction tools you can use well in advance of your trip.
- As you get closer to your foliage camp trip dates, you can use the current conditions reports/live tools for fine tuning your route, timing and other aspects of your trip.
#1. Nationwide Interactive Fall Foliage Prediction Map
The Smoky Mountains have a super-cool Nationwide Interactive Fall Foliage Prediction Map that allows you to scroll through a date timeline and predicts when the leaves are likely to change colors across the entire country.
- This is a great tool to help you determine the general timing for your fall foliage road trips.
- Because this tool is predictive, you will need to get more specific information from other sources to be more accurate with your specific trip timing.
- The tool is totally FREE too!
#2. Farmers’ Almanac Peak Fall Foliage Dates
The Farmers’ Almanac has been around since 1818!
- In addition to their year-ahead weather outlook and historical weather records, they produce a list of Peak Fall Foliage Dates by state which includes the probable dates for peak fall colors.
- This is a great FREE tool to use in the beginning planning stages of your fall foliage road trips.
#3. The Weather Channel U.S. Fall Foliage Report
In early September The Weather Channel collects information from foliage reporting locations from around the U.S. and compiles a report, it’s The Weather Channel U.S. Fall Foliage report.
- This is an awesome FREE tool because it gives you current conditions around the country.
- The nice thing about doing fall RV camping road trips (rather than doing fall foliage tours with an organized group) is that you have flexibility with your timing and route.
The Weather Channel’s Fall Foliage Report is updated regularly and provides 4 stages of colors:
- Near Peak
- Past Peak
#4. U.S. Forest Service Fall Colors
The U.S. Forest Service produces a report Fall Colors-Current Forest Information. The reports are regional and are updated periodically.
These web pages have specific information about each forest and they allow you to send in photos to share on the Forest Service’s social media pages. That way you can see the fall foliage colors in a timely manner too!
Fall Camp Trip Planning Tips
I recommend using these tools to plan your foliage camp trip for the general area where you will be camping as well as the timing.
If you start with a plan that includes a general area and timing, you can adjust your exact route on the spur of the moment in order to experience the best leaf peeping on your foliage camp trip!
Where To Go
If you are not sure where you want to camp to see the fall colors, you may want to consider some of the best National Parks to visit in fall that are known for their spectacular scenery during the foliage camp season!
In the United States, the most popular area to enjoy fall foliage camping colors and RV road trips is the New England region.
- They typically experience foliage color change beginning in mid September and have finished by mid/late October.
- We like using a full-color travel guide for trip planning because they include tips from local experts on the prettiest routes as well as must-see attractions, restaurant recommendations, maps, full color photos and more.
Activities & Safety Tips
We have another post entirely dedicated to fall camping that includes fun activities, destinations, autumn camping safety tips, how to stay warm whether you are camping in a tent or doing fall RV camping … and what to pack for your leaf peeping camping colors adventure!
One of my favorite ways to experience fall foliage on camping trips is on beautiful hiking trails with different types of trees that have wide-ranging colors.
One of my favorite Arizona hiking trail books is actually organized by seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall! It is the Arizona Highways Hiking Guide by Robert Stieve. The book contains beautiful pictures of the trails as well as in-depth trail guides, warnings and GPS coordinates.
- Robert really knows his stuff about Arizona, he has been the editor in chief of the famed Arizona Highways Magazine since 2007!
Gear For Fall Camp Trips
It can get chilly when you experience fall foliage camping on RV road trips. I like to dress in layers so I can shed clothing if I am getting warm while hiking through the leaves. Using Hand, Toe And Peel N’ Stick Body Warmers is a great way to add instant warmth when you are getting too cold.
- Clothing: You should be prepared for any type of weather conditions because in the autumn you can be surprised with a wide range of temperatures, moisture and wind. Check out my tips on packing and wearing winter camping clothes to keep your body safe and comfortable in any type of weather.
- Tenting: If you’re camping in a tent, check out my tips on how to stay warm camping in a tent. Also, I have 19+ ways you may want to try to heat a tent without electricity.
- RVing: If you’re taking your camper out for the fall color finding trip, you’ll want to know how to keep moisture out of your RV to avoid health issues in your body as well as damage to your rig. And, if you’re boondocking without access to electricity, here are tips on how to heat a camper without electricity.
Recipes For Fall Foliage Camping And RV Road Trips
Try some of my hearty and warm camp recipes for your cool weather trips.
Check out all of my tasty camping breakfast ideas.
Check out all of my yummy camping dinner recipes.
Snacks & Appetizers
Check out all of my mouth-watering camping snacks.
Check out all of my delicious camping desserts.
Check out all of my yummy cold weather camping recipes that will keep you warm and cozy!
If you will be cooking your fall camping recipes over a campfire, make sure you are prepared for wet and cold conditions. That means, starting your campfire may not be as easy as it is during summer camping trips. Get my tips on how to start a campfire at any location in any weather conditions.
FREE Printable Trip Planner
Make your next trip stress-free with a little pre-planning. Get your copy of our FREE printable camping trip planner template!