The fall leaf color show progresses during four weeks in October (see our Fall Foliage Forecast for this year), starting in the highest elevations north like Grandfather Mountain and Rough Ridge early in the month. The middle two weeks of October brings peak color to most of the Parkway. During the last week, enjoy the colorful valley views from the overlooks and best color in the valley around Asheville. Some of our favorite fall spots are below. For more fall color photos of the North Carolina mountains, see Fall 2012 Photos | Fall 2013 Photos | Fall 2014 Photos.
Hike to Linville Falls. See more waterfalls along the Parkway.
Hike to Crabtree Falls.
Looking down on the Parkway from Rough Ridge, the best place for brilliant early fall color (usually the first week of October)
Skinny Dip Falls on the Blue Ridge Parkway is a short hike from the road and a popular swimming hole in the summer.
The tunnel at Devil's Courthouse frames the fall leaves. Read more about Parkway tunnels.
Drive across the Linn Cove Viaduct.
Stop for fresh apples at the historic Orchard at Altapass.
Road to Mt. Mitchell State Park from the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Sunrise from Craggy Pinnacle, overlooking the Blue Ridge Parkway
Rainy days can create the richest colors.
Hike a network of trails at Black Balsam Knob for spectacular panoramic views from grassy balds. Also a great place to camp.
Take a short but steep hike to the top of Devil's Courthouse for this view.
Second Falls at Graveyard Fields is a quick hike from the parking area.
Rime ice, snow and fall color on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Craggy Gardens
Blue Ridge Parkway Tunnel at Craggy Gardens framed with ice during an October cold snap.
Typically busy with fall leaf lookers, the Blue Ridge Parkway was completely deserted during this early November snow. See more winter meets fall photos.
Also see our Fall Foliage Forecast and Updates and our Top 15 Parkway Stops along the Parkway near Asheville.
Blue Ridge Parkway Fall Driving Tips
With the big elevation changes along the Parkway, colors change at various times. While one section may be green, you could find peak color just a few miles away.
Be patient and expect slow traffic, especially on Saturdays and Sundays. Parking at overlooks can be difficult on weekends.
Weather can vary and change quickly. If you encounter fog (low clouds) on the Blue Ridge Parkway, don't despair. It could be very sunny around the next bend or in a few minutes. Fog is most frequent in the mornings, and it can create interesting photo opportunities.
Bring a sweater or jacket. While it might be 70 and sunny in Asheville, it may be 20 degrees cooler at the higher elevations. In mid to late October, snow or ice is possible at the higher elevations.
Take a picnic or snacks, since there is only one restaurant along the Parkway near Asheville (Pisgah Inn).
Fill up the gas tank before taking a scenic drive out of the city. Gas stations are sparse in remote areas and along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
For road closures and conditions on the Blue Ridge Parkway, along with weather reports, call the Parkway information line at (828) 298-0398.