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!
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:
If you want to look for other ways how you can see fall foliage and get active in the High Country of NC try:
- Camping destinations
- Taking a scenic Blue Ridge Parkway drive
- Ziplining Adventures
- Fly Fishing
You could also try any of these annual Fall events in the High Country.
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!