U.S. Forest Service fall color updates

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine

Fall Color Guide

U.S. Forest Service fall color updates

Read updates for each region
East | South | Southwest | Northern | Rocky Mountain
Intermountain | Pacific Northwest | Pacific Southwest

Last updated: November 11, 1997
Below you will find regional predictions for national forests anticipating and/or experiencing fall foliage peaks.

(Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin)

PENNSYLVANIA - Surprising enough, there are still pretty fall colors on the Allegheny National Forest. Leaves are hanging on much longer than usual, possibly because of no hard winds yet. The muted oranges, golds, and russets of the oaks are the highlights of these last few weeks of color. Occasional aspens and sugar maples lend some showy yellow to the picture. The white bark of sycamores also makes a nice fall contrast.

INDIANA - On the Hoosier National Forest, in southern Indiana, this may the last week to enjoy fall colors. Rain and colder weather last weekend hastened the shedding of the leaves. While the colors linger, we need to enjoy the color left in the woods and really appreciate the autumn color so late in the fall.

MISSOURI - The Mark Twain National Forest reached its peak the weekend of November 1. Maples, sweetgum, and other softwoods are still displaying their color but various types of oaks have begun to turn brown. This week some color will be remaining, however, most of the trees are rapidly losing their leaves in preparation for winter.

(Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virgin Islands, and Virginia)

There was no report this week.

(Arizona, New Mexico)

In New Mexico: On the Cibola National Forest there are some small amounts of color in the lower elevations and in Las Huertas Canyon. More colors have appeared in the Magdalena Mountains.

On the Santa Fe National Forest, there is not much color left due to cold, windy weather.

On the Carson National Forest last weekend snow and wind removed most of the leaves from the trees. Fall colors are gone.

On the Lincoln National Forest you can take a drive and see glorious gold leaves by using Forest Road 400 south of Nogal, NM. Excellent viewing also along the border of the White Mountain Wilderness, merging with Forest Road 108 and turning east on to Forest Road 107 to Bonito Lake. Sitting Bulls Falls also have splendid colors.

On the Gila National Forest the aspens and cottonwoods traveling south on State Highway 32, changing to State Highway 12 to Reserve are excellent. Another spectacuyar viewing area is traveling south on Forest Road 141 to Willow Creek, coming out at State Highway 180. From Silver City on State Highway 15 takes you north thru a variety of greens, yellows, and vibrant reds of the Virginia Creepers. Finishing off would be a great drive on State Highway 152 through the Black Range mountains.

In Arizona, the Coconino National Forest, Oak Creek Canyon is at its peak.

The Prescott National Forest reports the leaves are falling fast! You can still see some golden-reds of the Gambel Oaks, Squabush and Mountain Maples in the Mingus Mountain area off Highway 89A going toward Jerome.

Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests reports William Valley on Forest Road 249 to Big Lake has some color left. Over the top to Lakeside Ranger District, the color is spotty.

At Bear Wallow, the maples are pink and red. Turkey Run Road/Upper Sabino Riparian Area has the best spot now for maples in pink, red, and gold Apens. Ski Road/Mt. Lemmon Ski Valley still has some gold aspens. Marshall Gulch is in its early stages of maple colors of pale pink and yellow. Aspens in the higher elevations of the Chiricahua Mountains are at their peak .

(Montana, northern Idaho, North Dakota, and northwestern South Dakota)

Fall season has gone and the area is into winter.

(Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Eastern Wyoming)

Winter has arrived.

(Southern Idaho, Utah, and Western Wyoming)

In the Intermountain Region, fall colors at the Targhee National Forest in eastern Idaho have started to fade. The same scenario goes for northern and southern Utah, where recent cold weather has turned many of the reds and golds to grays and browns. The Bridger-Teton National Forest in northwestern Wyoming reports a few pockets of golden color, but recent cold weather is bringing the fall color to an end.

(Oregon and Washington)

Crisp fall evenings and foggy mornings are a sure sign that autumn has arrived. Fall colors of copper, rust, and gold of the vine maple, big leaf maple, and dogwood beautifully intersperse with the green alder on the hillsides. Beautiful colors are along the roads and spotted among the fir trees throughout the mountains.

(California, Hawaii)

Lower elevation fall colors on the Mendocino National Forests Stonyford District are mostly yellow hues. Black oaks are bright yellow and provide a pleasant contrast with conifers at mid-elevations of 3,000-5,000 feet. Big Leaf Maples on the district are also bright yellow.

On the Upper Lake Ranger District, the higher elevations on the district are toward the end of their fall splendor, with lots of oranges. Lower elevation oaks have started to change color.

Dogwoods with colors ranging from pinks to scarlets are on Covelo Ranger District in the northwestern section of the Forest.

The autumn colors on the Klamath National Forest are slowly fading from their brilliant yellows, oranges, reds, and golds to the various shades of brown that mark the onset of winter. Last week the color was spectacular in the oaks and maples at Scott Valley located by Highway 3. The Scott River out of Fort Jones are beginning to loose their leaves quietly just floating to the ground in preparation for the cold winter months.

If you drive down the Klamath River Corridor on Highway 96, colors are still showing their full brilliance. The wonderful colors wont' be available very long, so don't delay in seeing them.

©2000, Mariah Media Inc.

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