As every other season, fall has its incredible beauty too. Colors are actually the most enchanting thing: foliage gains stunning shades of red, orange and yellow, warming up the landscape and creating a super-romantic environment for long walks.
Also, even though the weather starts to be a bit more unstable, temperatures cool down and it becomes more than pleasant to embark on long (or short!) backpacking trips all over the States.
After giving you some tips for backpacking in fall, here are some ideas of where to go. Here are the best destinations for backpacking in fall and the most beautiful places to visit in the United States in Autumn.
Also, we thought of giving you some more tips on what to pay attention to when backpacking during this great season. So welcome back on Apache Pine and get ready to add many new places on your to-visit list!
How to choose your trip when backpacking in fall
Now, what do you have to look out for when choosing your destination in fall?
As we said, weather can be incredibly variable and also very unstable. Pick a place where the weather forecasts guarantee the best day ever. If there’s even a slight chance of rain, then don’t risk it, as that little change can become a big and turbulent storm. At the same time, be ready for all sorts of changes and have all the right clothes with you.
Remember: climate change is unpredictable and real. You could get a snowstorm, as well as a hot summery day. Don’t let any weather condition stop you, or ruin your plans.
Make sure parks, roads and passes are open
When fall comes, many National Parks, roads, and passes close until springtime. When you decide to go on a backpacking trip somewhere, always make sure that everything is open and ready to let you go through.
Fall is the perfect time to visit beautiful woods around the US. They look like they have been painted with incredible colors. Even more enchanting can be to visit places that you have already seen “wearing a different costume”.
In general, keep in mind the season and opt for scenarios that really enhance it. Indeed, fall doesn’t last long and winter comes very soon, so try to enjoy it as much as you can while you can.
Best places for a fall backpacking trip
Not really sure of what these really beautiful places are? Here are some ideas for you! Indeed, here are the best places where to backpack during fall in the States.
Acadia National Park
Located on the Atlantic coast of Maine, this National Park is famous for its vibrant fall colors. Starting from mid-october, the woods start to acquire vivid shades of red, fuchsia and yellow, mixing up with ever-green conifers. It’s also famous for its Cadillac Mountain sunrise and sunsets.
In general, it’s a rather busy National Park, so you might experience delays in entering it. If that’s the case, have a backup plan ready for the day...the surrounding area is full of beautiful places to visit!
In this National Park there’s no backcountry camping allowed due to space restrictions, however, there are several developed park campgrounds where visitors can stay and enjoy their trip.
Yosemite National Park
Of course! This incredible Californian natural jewel is beautiful all year long and offers some incredible views and colors in fall too.
The most complicated thing when backpacking Yosemite National Park is to get a permit. Regardless of the season, this park is full of people that want to visit it and you should make sure to get one before getting there, or you might end up wasting a lot of time and fuel.
The weather is generally nice, but be ready for occasional yet possible snow storms in the High Sierra.
Shenandoah National Park
Located in beautiful Virginia, this National Park is a real beauty when it comes to fall. Indeed, it hosts more than 850 wildflower varieties, including wild sunflowers.
Shenandoah in fall is truly unmissable and its woods will give you and your lenses one of the most beautiful captures of all times. We particularly suggest the Neighbor Mountain-Jeremys Run Loop, which is a little strenuous but incredibly worth it this time of the year.
Even if fall in Montana is very short, it really is something here. We highly recommend the Going-to-the-Sun Road and to stay at one of the many campgrounds near one of the as many lakes. This will be one of the best ways to enjoy gold larches and confers painting everything with their warm shades.
For those of you who may not know, the Olympic Coast is the longest stretch of wilderness coastline in the Unites States, extending for 73 miles along the Pacific Ocean and creating the Olympic National Park.
This place most definitely is home to one of the best America’s backpacking trips. Temperatures remain moderate even during fall time, without renouncing to the beauty of this season.
Fall in the Olympic Coast is as stunning as all the other places mentioned above, creating the perfect scenery for two or three days long hikes, especially along the southern coast. Because of its size, nature is very different from one section to the other, assuring constant surprises and amazement.
Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest
Indeed, ladies and gentlemen, a forest! This is probably the best word to here during fall. Located in the State of Washington, this National Forest is one of the best places to see gold alpine larches and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
That of Blue Lake is a particularly beautiful and easy trail that you can hike with your backpack. Do always make sure where you can and cannot camp.
Even though wildfires hit the area this past summer, Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest still remains one of the most beautiful and diverse places in the States, with its 4 million acres and its natural lakes, that assure dramatic views.
Denali National Park and Preserve
Denali is a bit like Yosemite: beautiful all year long, for sure! However, the incredible charm that this National Park shows off in fall is unquestionable.
Located in in Alaska, it’s home to Mount McKinley, which is the highest mountain in North America with its 20,310 feet. The amount of wild land that Denali has to offer is of six million acres, where the low elevation taiga forest acquires incredible colors starting in October.
This is one of the most remote and beautiful Parks of the United States, a place worth visiting at least once in a lifetime. Of course, fall trips are highly recommended!
The White Mountains of New Hampshire most definitely are the mountains when it comes to fall. We highly recommend the 32-mile loop around the Pemigewasset Wilderness and the 24-mile traverse from Crawford Notch to Franconia Notch, which are both part of the Appalachian Trail.
Fall colors are incredibly beautiful and these two trails really show their best attire during this time of the year.
Grand Teton National Park
Okay, okay, probably you could see this coming, but really Grand Teton should not be missing on your list. Because of its incredible beauty, the affluence is very high, which means that it could be a bit more difficult to get a permit.
Nevertheless, this should not stop you from visiting this incredibly beautiful park during one of the best moments of the year to see it.
Located in Wyoming, this National Park is famous for its mountains and its pristine lakes. It’s also famous for the many fights that natives endured to keep it safe and protected.
It offers more than two hundred miles of trails, but also the chance to float the Snake River, or to enjoy the beautiful meadows, becoming one of the most various parks in the States.
While you see aspens turning to gold and elks roaming around, be ready for snow to hit the Park, which is characterized by a rather variable weather. This, however, should not discourage you from visiting this place during fall time and enjoy its incredible landscapes.