Fall in the National Parks 2013
West Yellowstone is a welcoming Montana town that serves as a perfect base camp for exploring Yellowstone during the fall.
Fall, that lofty season when Eastern hardwood forests don foliages red, gold, and orange, lures us like motorized lemmings into national parks to admire nature’s wizardry. We inch along, practically bumper to bumper at times, to be dazzled in a final seasonal hurrah before the paint-by-number leaves are shed and winter’s first squalls convince us that being inside really isn’t such a bad thing.
Wonderment and joy unfold in the national parks come fall when the wild kingdom becomes more visible, literally voicing the call of the wild in parks such as Great Smoky Mountains or Rocky Mountain or winging overhead in any number of parks.
What better way to end a fall day of hiking in Glacier National Park than to enter the Many Glacier Hotel and settle comfortably into one of the armchairs before the cracklin’ fireplace in the hotel lobby? Along with the popping wood and flickering flames, the soft smell of wood smoke mingles with the steam wafting from your hot chocolate, Irish coffee, or hot tea.
Sure, it's still August, but that doesn't mean it's too early to start penciling some fall events and activities in the National Park System onto your calendar. Here's a start, and we'll keep adding to it as we hear of events.
While Acadia, Shenandoah, and Great Smoky Mountains national parks often get the main billing for fall color drives, there are other nooks and crannies in the National Park System that will surprise you with their colors. Here are a handful of fall foliage eye catchers In the parks.
Fall is a perfect season to explore and enjoy the national parks, with cooler temperatures, vibrant colors, and wildlife on the move. Traveler's Essential Park Guide for this autumn helps you plan your getaway.
There is a magical quality to fall visits to Shenandoah National Park as mile after mile of trees blazing with vivid reds, oranges, and yellows come into view along Skyline Drive. In Rocky Mountain National Park, the aspen groves you see along the lower reaches of Trail Ridge Road turn so vividly gold in the fall that they take your breath away.
It’s after a soft, pattering rain, with the clouds clearing and the sun streaming through, that the essence of the Western landscape rises up. The pungent scent of sagebrush is wicked up by the moist air, mingling with the sweet aroma of pine.