Fall Foliage Schedule & Fall Leaf Forecast for Asheville, N.C.
The Asheville area typically experiences one of the longest fall color seasons in the nation because of the wide variety of elevations and biodiversity found in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The first signs of fall show in late September in the higher elevations (above 6,000 ft.) -- these areas are reached by scenic drives of just 30-60 minutes from the city center. In the city of Asheville itself and surrounding lower elevations, colors will be strongest in October depending on conditions. Check back soon for updates on the 2022 Fall Color Forecast. In the meantime, take a look at the stunning fall color Asheville received last season!
Meet Asheville's Fall Color Hunters -- a group of talented local photographers who have a passion for capturing the natural beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Each week, they'll share updates on when and where to catch the best and brightest fall color in the region, plus local insights on what to expect when visiting Asheville during the fall.
Reggie is the owner of Curve Theory, an award-winning local photography and graphic design firm. He loves Asheville due to its endless scenic beauty. Follow: @curvetheory
Rachel is an Asheville-based photographer and content creator specializing in outdoor, editorial and wedding photography. She spends a lot of her free time traveling and hiking. Follow: @rachelblaireroams
Jared is the founder of Amplified Media, Inc. – a local photography and videography company. Outside of work, he enjoys sunrises, biking and spending time with his wife & son. Follow: @ashevillemedia
Kat is an amateur photographer and nurse anesthetist near Morganton, NC. She is married with two kids and two vizslas, where she hikes with them as much as possible. Follow: @kitkat.dellinger
Leslie is an outdoor photographer based in Boone, NC. Her photography journey started by capturing moments with her daughter and quickly turned into a career and passion. Follow: @leslie_restivo
Luke is a professional landscape and commercial photographer and adventurer based in Maggie Valley, N.C. He uses photography to communicate a sense of experience with his viewers. Follow: @jeffreylukesutton
Fall Color 101
Check out the following frequently asked questions about the fall season in Asheville and Western North Carolina.
How can I experience fall in Asheville this week?+
It's the Falliday season in Asheville -- when the holidays and fall color collide!
A sure indicator that the holidays are here is Highland Brewing Company's Cold Mountain beer, which will be released this weekend! This seasonal beer packs some serious hype. Adding to the excitement this year, it's Cold Mountain's 25th anniversary! To celebrate, Highland Brewing is hosting a weekend of special events (Nov. 11-15). There are ticketed celebration sessions from 12-4 p.m. for families and 6-10 p.m. for the 21+ crowd. Each session includes live music, food trucks, and, of course, Cold Mountain. A friendly reminder: if you want access to Highland this weekend, you'll have to buy a ticket to one of the events.
College basketball kicks off in the mountains this weekend with the first-ever Asheville Championship (Nov. 12 and 14)! The four-team tournament at the Harrah's Cherokee Center at Asheville in downtown, features South Carolina, Western Kentucky, Minnesota and Princeton. The games take place Friday at 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., and Sunday at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
In Asheville's River Arts District, don't miss the Fall Studio Stroll (Nov. 13-14)! More than 250 artists will open their doors, welcoming you to experience and purchase amazing art in their studios and galleries. The River Arts District is a mile-long cluster of working studios, galleries and eateries housed in a former industrial center. The walkable area, complete with a new greenway walking path, makes for a great day of exploring!
Art lovers will also enjoy Vintage Market Days (Nov. 12-14), Friday through Sunday at the WNC Agricultural Center in South Asheville/Fletcher. Vintage Market Days is an upscale, vintage-inspired indoor/outdoor market featuring original art, antiques, clothing, jewelry, handmade treasures, home décor, outdoor furnishings, consumable yummies, seasonal plantings and a little more.
As we shared last week, the two-month long Christmas at Biltmore celebration (Nov. 5-Jan. 9) is now underway! Christmas at Biltmore features incredible decorations for daytime and special candlelight evening experiences. For a sense of what to expect, explore our online Christmas at Biltmore photo tour from a past holiday season! Also now open at Biltmore, the Van Gogh Alive exhibition (Nov. 5-Mar. 5), an immersive art experience that brings the story and masterworks of Van Gogh to life.
One of the best ways to explore Asheville during the fall is with a weekday adventure, when you'll find fewer people out and about in town and on the trails. Here are some upcoming events to enjoy early next week:
Monday (Nov. 15): Winter Wonderland glass ornament market opening at NC Glass Center from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Thursday (Nov. 18): Andy Frasco and the U.N. at Salvage Station from 8 p.m.
Leave it to the experts to help guide you through the autumn leaf season in Asheville. These guided tours provide an opportunity for a private, socially-distanced experience. Choose from guided adventures for photography, history, outdoor adventure, hiking, and wellness. See our list of guided tours in Asheville.
Sit outside among the fall leaves while you savor a meal at one of Asheville's renowned independent restaurants. We have compiled an Asheville restaurant list that notes Asheville restaurants with outdoor dining.
The development of fall color is largely dependent on elevation. Because there is such a wide variety of elevations near town, Asheville enjoys one of the longest and most vibrant fall color seasons in the nation. The timing of the fall color change also depends on the species of trees and plants found in each area. See our guide to the science behind fall color to learn more!
The color reports will help keep you up to date on where to find the best and the brightest colors during your visit. Even if you're not planning a vacation during fall, you'll find lots of travel inspiration in the form of photos, recommended drives and hikes and fun events and festivals.
Scroll down to read our weekly report and find out what events and activities are happening this week in Asheville.