The graphic above is an averaged representation of fall color along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Read the full report below for specific milepost locations.
Where to Find the Best Fall Color on the Blue Ridge Parkway
Blue Ridge Parkway Daily’s “Fall Colors Tracker” is a great way to keep up with Autumn leaf changes. The Parkway stretches almost 500 miles north to south, meanders from the east- to west-facing slopes, and most importantly, varies in elevation from just under 650 feet at James River in Virginia to over 6,000 feet south of Mt. Pisgah in North Carolina.
Many visitors have been frustrated trying to go to one spot on one day in the fall, hoping to find the leaves in full color. A far better plan is to drive some distance on the Parkway, changing elevations and north-south orientation. Anyone who does this from the end of September until mid- to late-October will catch at least some of the pretty color that we’re famous for.
Also remember that weather conditions, like wind and rain, can accelerate the rate at which the leaves fall off the trees. Bad weather usually means that we lose our color quicker, so get out and see the color while it’s there.
Quick Summary – October 31, 2015
Past Peak (but offering long-range views of valleys below)
- Grandfather Mountain
- Craggy Gardens area
- Graveyard Fields
- Higher peaks of the Southern Region south of Mt Pisgah.
- Boone / Blowing Rock area including Price Lake and Moses Cone Manor.
- Linn Cove Viaduct south to Crabtree Falls
- North of Asheville to Craggy Gardens
- South of Asheville to Mt Pisgah
- Most elevations above 3,000′.
At Peak ( 75% & up ) <= THIS weekend’s (10/31-11/01) best outlook
- Most of the Parkway in Virginia
- Asheville and the French Broad River Valley
- Valleys of the Southern region south of Mt Pisgah.
- Most elevations in the range from 2,000′ to 3,000′.
Near Peak, but very colorful ( 50% to 75% )
- Roanoke & James River Areas
- Long range views off the eastern and western escarpment.
- Most elevations below 2,000′.
Complete details are in the full report below. As we get additional reports we will continue to update this page, so check back often. Really often.
Full Report Details – October 31, 2015
As we have reached the end of the season on the Parkway, the peak fall colors can be found at the lower elevations. The color change started in later September at the highest elevations and has been steadily progressing down towards lower ground ever since.
In Virginia at the north end of the Parkway, good color should still be found in the James River area and on the protected slopes and hollows.
The higher elevations of North Carolina like Grandfather Mountain, Craggy Gardens, and south of Asheville are beyond their peak, but the drive up to them and the valleys below are still bright with good colors.
Traveling the Parkway through Asheville and north or south up to 3,000 feet is the best place to see color, with a good mix of red, yellow, gold, and brown still showing.
As always, we recommend driving some distance on the Parkway so that you can change elevation and north-south orientation to be sure to get some of the good color.
It is a crowded time on the Parkway, so be careful and take your time visiting America’s Favorite Drive. Enjoy the view, but watch the road.
Now, Submit Your Report
Other Fall Color Reports We Recommend
- Nationwide Fall Foliage Prediction Map
A national map that can be used to predict the timing of fall colors throughout the United States. Very useful tool for those wanting to plan trips to see fall leaf color.
- Fall Color Forecaster Map at Appalachian State University
Slide the leaf along the dates at the bottom. As you move through the dates, the map will highlight those parts of the state coming into peak color, followed by a browning, which indicates they are past their peak.
- Fall Color Guy at Appalachian State University
A page from ASU biology professor Howard Neufeld who posts a weekly report on western North Carolina.
- Explore Asheville Visitor Center
The “Official Source” for the 2014 fall color forecast in Asheville and western North Carolina.
- Fall Color in the Smokies
This is the official fall color site for Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It contains information about when and where to see fall colors in the Park.
- Fall Color on Blue Ridge Parkway
A really great website for fall foliage color reports can be found at the Blue Ridge Parkway Guide by Virtual Blue Ridge. They update frequently, and have archived reports from the past and they cover the entire 470 miles of the Parkway.
- The Foliage Network
This is a New England based fall foliage site that provides information on the progression of fall foliage color throughout the eastern, southern and midwestern United States.
- Webcams of North Carolina
One way to see fall colors without actually driving somewhere is to view the many webcams that are situated throughout the state. This webpage has links to many webcams in western North Carolina, and in other states. Note that some cameras are of higher quality and provide a better image than others. Also, the time of day you view the webcams can affect your perception of the intensity of the fall colors. Nonetheless, this is a useful site.
- Weekly Fall Color Reports for NC
Presented by the North Carolina Department of Commerce, Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development.
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