Looking for a memorable RV travel destination in the fall? Not everyone enjoys traveling during the summer due to the traffic, congestion, heat and crowds. So here we are towards the end of October and it’s a great time to get out and take that RV adventure trip you have been dying for all year. Camping in the fall offers less crowds and campgrounds that are more affordable!
The vibrant colors of fall are giving way to winter’s chill and while it may be too late for you to get out and enjoy pumpkin patches and other Halloween spooky-treats outside of your hometown, there are still many great places you can go to see the changing colors between the West Coast to the East Coast.
Autumn is easily the most favorite time of year with colder evenings where you can sit outside by the campfire sipping your favorite beverage or roasting hot dogs followed by s’mores…or all 3!! The orange, red, and yellow colors of fall are even better seen on an RV adventure.
Take a moment to picture leaves on the ground, the sun shining, and a cool breeze but it’s still warm enough outside that you don’t need a jacket. I’m sure you agree that a crisp sunny day without a heavy jacket makes for a great fall day. It’s the perfect weather for hiking and biking on various trails, fishing and much more.
And don’t forget autumn activities such as apple picking, going to a pumpkin patch, and even going up in a hot air balloon (if you are the adventurous type).
National Park Destinations
For a great fall RV travel destination, there are many places that offer great fall weather, scenery and activities as well. For now, let’s look at National Parks that have fall foliage with campgrounds open during this amazing season.
- California has Yosemite National Park and Sequoia National Park. In October and November the beauty of the views, the flowing waterfalls, the pops of colors throughout the Park can easily make you gasp in awe. The wildlife are also most active during the last quarter of the year and you have a better than average chance of seeing some of them wandering around. There is a chance of snow here from November through March, so keep this in mind as there will definitely be colder weather and the possibility of snow chains being required.
- Arizona offers the Grand Canyon. Most people when thinking of the Grand Canyon focus only on the deep canyon. Believe it or not, the Grand Canyon offers beautiful sunrises and sunsets and during the months of October and November, the view is full of gorgeous colors. Winter settles into the Grand Canyon by December and the temperatures drop into the teens during the night.
- Utah National Parks – let’s look at Zion National Park. This Park has a high visitor rate during the summer months but tends to thin out a bit during October and November. The views during the summer are breathtaking but pale in comparison to the vibrant colors during autumn. This national park may also see snow by December. The Park is very good at keeping the roads plowed but you may find certain trails are closed due to the hazard of falling ice.
- Washington’s Mount Rainier National Park. Due to it’s high elevation, the fall colors can be seen much earlier in the season – some have told us they have seen the colors changing as early as August. While most of the campgrounds are closed for the winter, it doesn’t stop RVers from visiting as you are self-contained and actually can park your RV anywhere. Mt. Rainier allows RVs to camp anywhere once the snow depth has reached 2 feet. You need to find a spot 300 ft away from plowed roads and parking areas and of course, 100 ft from water. Reflection Lake, Panorama Point and areas around Glacier Vista are great for just picking a spot that says “this is my spot”.
- Tennessee at the Great Smoky Mountains is another great place to visit during the autumn months. The colors are phenomenal in late October and when you look out across the landscape, the view of the colors is simply incredible. Snow arrives at the Smoky Mountains as early as October but usually the Park sees snow in January and February. There are several campgrounds open all year in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, Danbridge and other nearby towns.
- Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park is another great leaf peeping destination and is over 100 miles long and has a wide elevation range. The winding roads take you around the mountains and right into the heart of some of the most beautiful fall foliage you’ll ever set eyes on. Be aware this national park does have large crowds during the autumn season so for this particular destination, you need to plan in advance and avoid weekends if possible.
- Ohio – we’ve talked about many of the national parks that you are probably familiar with. Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a lesser known national park but is no less beautiful. You’ll want to plan your visit towards the end of October through November. One way to see the scenery without driving is to ride the scenic railroad to get the most out of your trip. While here, check out the waterfall on the Brandywine Gorge Trail. This National Park does not have campgrounds inside the Park and the nearest one open all year is 50 miles south.
- South Carolina – Congaree National Park is another national park that we don’t hear much about but still offers the perfect escape into nature from mid-October to mid-November. It abounds with bright yellow and orange leaves everywhere you look.
While it might be too late for this year’s leaf peeping/autumn RV adventure, why not get started working on your RV road trip for 2024 and get the best campground sites early so you don’t miss out on anything! If you need help planning an RV travel destination, don’t hesitate! Contact RV Adventure-USA for all of your RV trip planning needs!