When and where to see peak foliage in 2018.
Planning a trip to see the foliage
this fall? While you can fairly easily guess the general time to see
those yellows, oranges, and reds each year (hint: fall), your timing
needs to be impeccable to see peak colors.
If you’re in need of some guidance before booking a
trip, look no further. SmokyMountains.com has compiled its annual
interactive fall foliage map for 2018, offering predictions for when to
see peak foliage in every county in the U.S. It’s an excellent tool for
estimating when to see peak fall foliage in Vermont, when to head to the
mountains in Colorado, or when to book that bed and breakfast in New
“Each year, we use a proprietary algorithm to process
millions of data pieces and output accurate predictions for the entire
country,” Wes Melton, co-founder and CTO of SmokyMountains.com, told Travel + Leisure.
Those millions of pieces are then outputted as more
than 50,000 pieces of predictive data, Melton says, which are displayed
on the interactive map below. “This predictive map is the perfect
intersection of our passions and is our favorite project of the year,”
To see when leaves will peak in your hometown or autumn destination, use the slider on this fall foliage map for 2018.
Fall Foliage Map 2018
See the larger map.
To create the map, the team at SmokyMountains.com
starts with national data about rainfall, temperature, elevations, and
more, then combines that with their own proprietary, historical data
from years past.
If you’re wondering how the map is able to show such specific predictions for the season, you’re not alone.
“After having dozens of conversations with our fall
foliage map users, I realized the data-driven predictive process seems
magical to the average layperson,” said Melton. “This year, I decided to
make a secondary interactive graphic with regional and state data related to temperature variations.”
“The temperature data supplied by the National
Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is one of the most important
factors and now leaf map users can easily visualize the impact of
regional precipitation on peak fall dates,” he said. Melton warns that
unexpected rainfall can change the dates when leaves are at their most
Where to See the Best Fall Foliage
Now there’s simply the matter of deciding where to go. Of course, we’ve got a few ideas.
You could plan a fall foliage road trip in Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, around New York’s Finger Lakes, or in one of these other 10 great drive-friendly destinations.
Or, you could take a leisurely vacation in one of the best places to see foliage in the U.S., like the Smokies in Tennessee, the Ozarks in Arkansas, or the always-popular states of Vermont, Connecticut, and New Hampshire.