Fall Foliage Is Near Its Peak in the Mountains. Here’s Where to See the Best Color This Weekend

Visitors to the North Carolina mountains this month have been treated to some beautiful views thanks to the fall foliage!

What You Need To Know

  • The highest elevations of western North Carolina have been seeing their peak color this week
  • The fall color should be brighter downslope from the mountain tops this weekend
  • Be prepared for chilly nights and mornings if you’re visiting the mountains

Dr. Howie Neufeld, professor of biology at Appalachian State University and known by many as the “Fall Color Guy,” recently told the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, “The colors this year are exceptionally bright, and I would rank the fall color season this year as an 8.5 to 9.0, depending on where you are.”

The foliage has been near its peak the last several days at the highest elevations of western North Carolina. Fortunately, there should still be plenty of color the next several days.

Dr. Neufeld provided some advice for the best weekend views. “The best colors will move downslope some. But the oaks are still coloring up, so some color will persist after this weekend in the High Country.”

Fall color forecast map by Howard Neufeld and Michael Denslow of Appalachian State University.

Grandfather Mountain is often a popular spot to view the fall color at the lower elevations. If you’re planning a visit to Grandfather Mountain this weekend, be aware that it will require planning ahead due to the pandemic.

The Blue Ridge Parkway through all of North Carolina should also provide some great views this weekend. 

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Weather Outlook for the Mountains

Don’t forget your coat for a trip to the mountains this weekend. A cold front passing through the state at the end of the week will bring some chilly temperatures in the High Country, especially in the mornings. Lows will drop to the 30s Saturday and Sunday.

The front will bring the chance for rain Friday. However, Saturday and Sunday will bring clear conditions.