Summer temperatures might still be raging in some parts of the country, but others are (thankfully) preparing for that slow-but-sure dip down in temperatures in preparation for great fall weather. From late September through October, the foliage from the Pacific Northwest to New England begins to turn in an inspiring riot of color, while the cool, crisp nights are perfect for sitting out under the starts. Here are a few suggestions for RV fall foliage adventures where you can take advantage of the perfect weather and enjoy the roadtripper lifestyle to its fullest!
It’s no coincidence that a state known for its lush forests and mountain preserves should be high on the list of fall foliage. Take a drive on the Rogue-Umpqua Scenic Byway, which begins in the southern Cascades in the town of Roseburg and tracks two of Oregon’s most beautiful rivers. You’ll be treated to river vistas, stunning views of Diamond Lake, several waterfalls and side-trips that can include fishing, hiking and more. Prepare for covered bridges, centuries old restored homes—and exquisite wineries.
Northern Arizona gives travelers driving 89A a treat come fall: the Oak Creek Canyon Scenic drive between Sedona and Flagstaff has been recognized as one of the Top 5 Most Scenic Drives in America by Rand McNally—and they know roads! This stretch winds 4,500 feet up from the beautiful town of Sedona to the top of the Mogollon Rim, and is lined with oaks, cottonwoods, maple trees, shimmering aspens and, finally, evergreen pines, as it ascends to Flagstaff. (Note: Those with big rigs may want to leave them in any of the great RV parks in Sedona or Flagstaff, as there are hairpin turns and switchbacks along the 28 miles that might be tough to navigate and demand the driver’s full attention.)
Fall colors in the Rockies much of the purples, reds and oranges seen in the East: here, the mountainsides are mainly covered in swaths of golden aspens, punctuated here and there with the orange hues of cottonwoods. Breckenridge is a favorite of RV travelers for its White River National Forest campgrounds, hundreds of miles of hiking trails and the quaint beauty of this Victorian town. An hour northwest of Denver, Estes Park is another site that calls roadtrippers—you may want to check out the annual Elk Fest held on the first weekend of October, which celebrates the American elk.
Vermont residents are rightly proud of their magnificent fall foliage—in fact, the entire town of Burke goes all out towards the end of September with their annual Fall Foliage Festival, which celebrates the turning of the leaves with a parade, wagon rides, a petting zoo, a craft show, a beer and wine tent, live music and more (the festivities are on pause for 2021 due to the pandemic, so make plans for September 24, 2022!) There are several affordable campgrounds with RV hookups for you to come and enjoy the festivities, not to mention other nearby attractions like the Kingdom Trails, Burke Mountains, Willoughby and Crystal Lakes, golf courses and more.
The Catskills, New York
Just a couple of hours north of the Big Apple, the Great Northern Catskills of Greene County are home to rural winding roads, mountain towns and river valleys that offer visitors scenic, multi-colored vistas when the air turns crisp and cool. Bring your camera and your wallet—think antique shops, farm stands and boutique stores—and prepare to see the leaves from your car window, on horseback, on foot and even via zip line! There are over a thousand campsites spread out over the region, from primitive tent-sites to full-service RV resorts, some of which offer group expeditions.