Plan Your Fall Getaway With This Peak Foliage Prediction Map

If you want your cabin rental or hiking trip to coincide with peak foliage near you, here’s when leaves will change color across the United States in 2023.

Fall foliage in the Great Smoky Mountains

Fall foliage is predicted to peak in the Smoky Mountains in mid to late October 2023.

Photo by Gary Yost/Unsplash

Planning a leaf-peeping trip to coincide perfectly with peak fall colors is a difficult task. If you go too early, you’ll see more green than orange and red. Too late? You might risk being greeted by a forest full of brown leaves.

To help avoid these disappointing scenarios, just released its 2023 fall foliage prediction map, which uses historical data and forecast information from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration to predict the timing of peak fall foliage for the continental United States each year.

The Weather Channel is forecasting above-average temperatures this fall for most of the West and the southern tier of the continental U.S., potentially delaying foliage season there. But the temperature outlook is predicted to be near average for September through November for the northern tier of the U.S. including the East Coast and Midwest, setting the scene for a on-time foliage season in those parts of the country.

While no weather prediction tool can be 100 percent accurate, this interactive fall color map shows you the best opportunities for when and where leaves will be near peak, at peak, and past peak in 2023, as you move the slider at the bottom of the map between weeks throughout the season. So go ahead and use this online tool to schedule your fall road trip whether you plan on seeing the sugar maples turn red in Tennessee or the aspens go for gold in Colorado.

When will fall foliage peak this year?

Fall Foliage Map October 2, 2023

Early October is when leaves begin to hit peak colors in some states.

Courtesy of

By October 2, 2023, the map shows that parts of Colorado, Utah, Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, Washington, and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula will be at peak fall foliage, which is about the same as last year’s peak timing in those parts of the country.

By October 9, the rest of Michigan, as well as Utah, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and upstate New York will peak. But by October 16, the leaves in many parts of those prime leaf-peeping states will be past their peak—a reminder that timing is everything.

Fall Foliage map October 9, 2023

Much of New England will be at or near peak fall color by mid-October 2022.

Courtesy of

If you’re looking for the best time to grab your weekender bag and see peak fall foliage in New York’s Hudson River Valley or Catskill Mountains, you’ll want to schedule your trip upstate for the week of October 16 when the map says the lower half of the state will reach its peak fall color. For those hoping to rent a Blue Ridge Mountain cabin during the peak foliage window in western North Carolina and Virginia, it looks like the weeks of October 16 and 23 are your best bet, according to the map.

Going leaf peeping in California wine country? The week of October 30 is when the fall colors should be at or near peak in Sonoma County, timed perfectly to the fall harvest season. And the Lodge at Sonoma, which reopened as an Autograph Collection hotel in 2021, still has availability that week.
To see when the fall foliage near you (or your favorite autumn destination) will change this year, visit the map at

This article originally appeared online in 2018; it was most recently updated on August 31, 2023, to include current information.

Lyndsey Matthews is the senior commerce editor at AFAR who covers travel gear, packing advice, and points and loyalty.
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