Leaf Peeping

Colorful trees reflected in lake with mountains in background

NPS/Ginny Reams

Ready for a road trip? Fall is a great time to get out and enjoy spectacular views of changing leaves in national parks. Forests, woods, and shrublands turn a magnificent array of colors September through December each year depending on the climate and conditions. Whether you “leaf peeping” in a car or the open air, remember to recreate responsibly for a fun, safe trip.
Bridge over a creek in woods turned fall colors

Find a Park to Leaf Peep

Locate a park with forests, woods, or shrublands to watch the leaves change colors in autumn.

Poster of an old-fashioned car driving past fall foliage with text reading

Join the #RecreateResponsibly Movement

Visiting a park? Model best practices to protect America's treasures while looking out for each other's health and safety.

A mountain and reddish grasslands also reflected in a lake

Fall Into Autumn

Fall is a good time to experience the great outdoors, enjoy the stunning scenery, and join in cultural festivities at national parks.

On This Page Navigation

Illustration of a bison made of tree leaves with text reading "Find Your Park"

NPS / Matt Turner

Social Media

Follow national parks on social media to find stunning fall photos, updates on changing of the leaves, and in-park and virtual leaf-peeping events. Share your favorite leaf-peeping park images on social media using #FallColors and #FindYourPark / #EncuentraTuParque. Don’t forget to tag a park for a shout out!

Keep Safety in Sight

Leaf Peeping Safety Tips Infographic, detailed alt text on the webpage

NPS / Derrick Lam & Lilia Fromm

The image is an infographic to encourage safe practices while viewing fall colors in national parks. The text reads "Viewing Fall Colors: Be Aware of Your Surroundings. Watch Your Step: keep your distance from drop offs; find a safe place to take photos; and wait your turn in crowded areas. Watch the Road: keep your eyes on the road; be alert for wildlife; and pull over at a safe place to take in the view."

The illustration includes a visitor wearing a face mask and camera standing at an overlook viewing fall colors on plants and mountains in the distance. A car on a roadway has stopped for two deer crossing the road.


Leaf peeping is a very popular recreational activity in national parks during the autumn months. When viewing fall colors, remember to always be aware of your surroundings with these safety tips as you recreate responsibly.

  • Watch Your Step: Keep your distance from drop offs, find a safe place to take photos, and wait your turn in crowded areas.
  • Watch the Road: Keep your eyes on the road, be alert for wildlife, and pull over at a safe place to take in the view.

Virtual Leaf Peeping

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        Last updated: October 21, 2020

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