A Guide to Fall Foliage & Peak Leaf Season in Boone, NC

Fall foliage at peak leaf season in the Blue Ridge Mountains around Boone, NC

Fall has always been a unique favorite for the locals (and tourists) in the High Country of North Carolina. Perhaps it is because we are the first to sense when summer breezes turn into crisp Autumn air or- because of our elevation- see the leaves begin “blaze” through the mountain peaks.

Either way, there is only a small window to enjoy the peak of leaf season, so you must plan accordingly! As local experts, here is a guide to witnessing the fall foliage in Boone, North Carolina, including when peak leaf season is.

Once you know the right time to visit, check out places you can go to see fall mountain foliage and how you can check it out for yourself!

When is Peak Leaf Season in Boone, NC?

The “Peak” leaf season in Boone, North Carolina, is when you will be able to capture the full array of fall colors across the mountains and surrounding areas. For 2022 the peak of leaf season for Boone, NC is September 26th-October 20th.

The vibrancy of the trees is spectacular and ranges from warm yellows and spicy oranges to fiery reds. Typically, our area sees the peak of this colorful flood a few weeks after the Autumn Equinox, and then it flows down to the piedmont and flatter areas of NC.

It is the best time to feel the magnificence of Fall. Sadly the peak will last only about 1-2 weeks in our area, as winds and rains tend to knock the leaves off of the trees.

How Leaf Color Viewing Times are Determined

I wish that I could tell you that there is a magical gnome that goes through the hills painting all the leaves with such beautiful colors. The truth is, it’s SCIENCE!

Fall Color Peak Times for North Carolina Mountains Map by Michael Denslow and Howard Neufeid.

The Department of Biology at Appalachian State, led by Howard Neufeld, Professor of Plant Eco-physiology (AKA the “Fall Color Guy”), creates a handy colorized “map” every year. This guide is grouped by elevation based on an algorithm calculating annual rainfall and temperatures.

Want to see where your region falls on the Fall Color guide? See the ASU Fall Color Report.

Fall Foliage in the North Carolina Mountains

In higher elevations, like Boone, we have cooler temps and less rain. Therefore, we typically see the colors change first in the season.

If you want to find fall foliage in the North Carolina Mountains, use our guide for places to visit and things to do during the fall months.

How & Where to See Fall Foliage in the High Country

There are plenty of places where you can view fall foliage some of our favorites to recommend include:

Where to Watch the Leaves Change Color in the Blue Ridge Mountains

If you want to look for other ways how you can see fall foliage and get active in the High Country of NC try:

You could also try any of these annual Fall events in the High Country.

The Blue Ridge Parkway at the beginning of fall near Grandfather mountain

Come See the Leaves in High Country NC

If you are planning an Autumn getaway to come to see the leaves in the High Country of Carolina, you must see the season’s beautiful colors! It is a definite bucket list item to take a ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway and see the metaphorical “quilt of colors” fold through the summits and valleys of the mountains.

Pair the journey with a stop at a local pumpkin patch or one of the local breweries for a cider- and you will have a wonderful fall adventure!

About the Author

Shalamar Blevins grew up in Ashe County, right next to the North Fork of the New River. Shalamar loves the outdoors after spending most of her life kayaking and hiking in her own front yard. 

Throughout her life, Shalamar tried to learn every art form she could get her hands on, from ceramics to African Batiking! Being creative and adding a splash of lively color is Shalamar’s superpower. After studying the classic mediums from local masters such as Stephen Shoemaker and Lenore DePree, Shalamar attended the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston- Salem before attending UNC-Asheville. After graduating in 2011, Shalamar spent time traveling through Europe and Asia before moving back to the North Carolina High Country to start her own studio and to work for Florence Thomas Art School.

To this day Shalamar still loves to travel and hosts small art classes on location and at festivals. She joined the 828 Real Estate gang in the fall of 2021. Since then, she has been working diligently to provide their agents and clients with the latest marketing tools, while celebrating the adventures that await in the 828! Shalamar got married to wonderful fellow Ashe County native, Micheal the summer of 2021. Micheal is a 13 year US Army Veteran, recently graduated from Nursing school and just started a career at Watauga Medical. They have 2 fur babies, an Australian Shepherd named Quill and Chocolate Lab named Brody. These boys keep Mike and Shalamar on their toes!

 When Mike and Shalamar aren’t working on their garden and home improvement ventures, they love spending time with their big family and friends while exploring the local music and art scene of NC High Country!