Fall Color 2016 Photo Journal, Asheville

Fall Color Photo Journal 2016

We hope you will enjoy our fall color photo reports! From late September through early November, we will travel the roads of the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina to find the best places to see fall color! Check back every few days for updates. See our Fall Foliage Forecast for peak color times and things to do! Photo at top: Lake Lure on November 3, 2016

November 8, 2016 Update: Our severe drought and dry leaves are creating perfect fire conditions. THANK YOU to the many firefighters working on 20+ forest fires in western NC. The fire in Lake Lure on Rumbling Bald Mtn is growing and the town is evacuating a neighborhood. Another fire in South Mtns State Park has closed trails. Plus, 18 fires in Nantahala Nat Forest burning 9,000 acres so far (550 firefighters there). Some sections of the mountains are 20 inches behind on rainfall. Burning bans cover all counties. Many fog advisories for smoke settling in valleys. Hopefully rain will come soon!

Hickory Nut Gorge

November 3, 2016: Walking along the edge of the Hickory Nut Gorge at the Pulpit rock formation at Chimney Rock Park

Chimney Rock NC Fall

November 3, 2016: The warm morning light makes Chimney Rock glow. 

Tryon Foothills Wine Country

November 3, 2016: Stop at wineries in the Tryon Foothills Wine Country with peak fall color this week. This is Parker-Binns.

Sunset Rock

November 3, 2016: Peak color time atop Sunset Rock, a very scenic drive from Columbus. 

Lake Junaluska

October 27, 2016: Peak color at Lake Junaluska - drive or walk the 4-mile loop around the lake.

High Falls 

October 26, 2016: High Falls in DuPont State Forest is a little low on water due to the drought, but it's still high on beauty. 

Mt Mitchell Rime Ice

October 22, 2016: Winter meets fall at Mt Mitchell, covered in rime ice with temps in the 20s. While fall color is gone from highest elevations, the views into the valleys are very colorful!

Mt Mitchell Christmas Trees

October 22, 2016: It looks more like Christmastime atop Mt. Mitchell today with rime ice coating everything. 

October 22, 2016: Watch our video from atop Mt. Mitchell as winter makes an early (but brief) visit.

Rainbow Parkway

October 21, 2016: Rainbow near Mt. Mitchell, shining down on a pot of golden colors. Winter arrived atop Mt. Mitchell today - highs in mid 30s with high winds. Many the first snowflakes of the season later today at the summit!

Blue Ridge Parkway Fall

October 21, 2016: Spectacular views from the Green Knob Overlook (Milepost 350) near Mt. Mitchell - elevation 4,750 feet

Sunrise on the Parkway

October 19, 2016: Sunrise from the Blue Ridge Parkway, Miles River Valley overlook at Milepost 404.5. Our favorite place to watch the sunrise!

Sunrise on the Blue Ridge Parkway

October 19, 2016: Another one of the sunrise from the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Looking Glass Falls

October 19, 2016: Looking Glass Falls in Pisgah National Forest

Forest Heritage Scenic Byway

October 19, 2016: It's peak color along the Forest Heritage Scenic Byway near Sliding Rock and Cradle of the Forestry.

Biltmore Fall Garden

October 19, 2016: The Walled Garden at Biltmore House is in peak bloom with a kaleidoscope of mums. Read about Biltmore's Fall happenings.

Linn Cove Viaduct

October 18, 2016: The Linn Cove Viaduct in peak color today!

October 18, 2016: Video of fall color on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Flat Rock Hike

October 18, 2016: Flat Rock Trail along the Blue Ridge Parkway. This big beauty is not as well known as other nearby hikes, so somewhat of a hidden gem.

Mt Mitchell

October 18, 2016: Mt Mitchell from an overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway. After summer temperatures this week, highs will only be in the 30s on Saturday! And perhaps a few snow flurries.

Chestoa View, Blue Ridge Parkway

October 18, 2016: Stop at Chestoa View overlook (Milepost 320.8) for a spectacular mountain view.

Cherohala Skyway Fall Color

October 12, 2016: Fabulous fall color is showing along the Cherohala Skyway in Graham County.

Huckleberry Knob

October 12, 2016: Hiking across Huckleberry Knob, a grassy bald with 360-degree views along the Cherohala Skyway.

Clingmans Dome Sunrise

October 12, 2016: The sunrise from atop Clingmans Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains. Put this experience on your bucket list!

Lake Santeetlah Fall

October 12, 2016: Colors just beginning to pop at Lake Santeetlah, as well as most lakes in the mountains. See our 6 Great Lakes Near Asheville.

Elk in Cherokee

October 11, 2016: The majestic elk are delighting spectators in the meadow beside the Oconaluftee Visitor Center in Cherokee, at the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 

Waterrock Knob, NC

October 11, 2016: The view from atop Waterrock Knob, with the Blue Ridge Parkway below. 

Blue Ridge Parkway

October 11, 2016: Fall color is finally developing on the highest ridges (about a week later than usual). This is the Blue Ridge Parkway at 5,000 feet, near Waterrock Knob.

Blue Ridge Parkway Fall

October 11, 2016: The best color along the Blue Ridge Parkway is above 4,000 feet in elevation. This is about 5,000 feet elevation near Waterrock Knob. 

NC Arboretum Quilt Garden

October 6, 2016: Mums create butterflies flying across the Quilt Garden at the NC Arboretum. Read about their fall things to do and events.

Graveyard Fields

October 6, 2016: The popular hiking spot of Graveyard Fields on the Blue Ridge Parkway is near peak color. The colors are not as vibrant as some years. I suspect the smaller bushes and trees that usually turn bright red were hurt by the drought and simply dropped their leaves. It's still beautiful!

Blue Ridge Parkway Fall

October 6, 2016: We found spots of color along the Blue Ridge Parkway, including this section at the Devil's Courthouse tunnel. 

Blue Ridge Parkway View

October 6, 2016: Wildflowers frame pops of color on the hillsides near Richland Balsam, the highest point on the Blue Ridge Parkway. 

October 5, 2016: We drove the Blue Ridge Parkway north to Craggy Gardens (pic at very top) and Mt. Mitchell. Leaves are still mostly green. The bright red berries of mountain ash cover the slopes at Craggy Gardens. Peak colors at highest elevations still a week away. 

Blue Ridge Parkway Tunnel

October 5, 2016: Fall color is developing in the Craggy Gardens area on the Blue Ridge Parkway!

October 5, 2016: Watch our video from atop Craggy Pinnacle

Mt Mitchell Fall Color

October 5, 2016: The view from atop Mt. Mitchell with spotty fall colors below - above the clouds!

Wildflowers on Blue Ridge Parkway

September 29, 2016: Wildflowers along the Blue Ridge Parkway provide the most color right now!

Monarch Butterfly NC

September 29, 2016: The amazing Monarch Butterflies flock to the wildflowers on the Parkway as they migrate to Mexico. Read about them!

Graveyard Fields Waterfall

September 29, 2016: Lower Falls at Graveyard Fields. Peak color here is about a week away.

Rough Ridge

September 28, 2016: First fall colors arriving on the Rough Ridge Hike near Grandfather Mountain. 

Beacon Heights NC

September 28, 2016: Best fall colors are atop Beacon Heights, a fantastic short hike along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Beacon Heights

September 28, 2016: Another view of Beacon Heights, a perfect picnic spot. Read about the hike.

Watch the Monarch Butterflies (September 29, 2016)

The Asheville fall leaf color show in the North Carolina mountains attracts visitors from around the world. With the 5,000-foot elevation change within 50 miles of Asheville, our lush Blue Ridge... read more
Be "on top of the world" with these mountaintop summit hikes in the western North Carolina mountains near Asheville with panoramic views of the mountains and valleys. Find hikes for all fitness... read more
Find the best waterfalls along the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina near Asheville, either directly on the Parkway or within a 10-mile detour. All are free to... read more