Stay up to date with the best autumn hikes, drives and travel deals in Asheville, North Carolina, with our weekly fall color reports. Our Fall Color Hunter keeps you in the know on where to go.
Brisk fall-like daytime temperatures and cozy, cooler evenings this week are helping to fuel fall color progression down the mountainsides and into the valleys! The colors are coming along, especially between 3,000 and 4,000 feet in elevation. Pockets of brightly-colored trees also can be found in the lower elevations, where the leaves have largely yet to turn.
Read below to find out where to go this week (Oct. 19-25) for the best fall color and how best to experience fall in Asheville in the coming days.
A dry and relatively warm weather pattern continues through Sunday. In the coming days, highs will be in the low 70s with sweater weather in the evenings.
The strongest fall color in Asheville is to the south on the Blue Ridge Parkway in the Mount Pisgah area (near Milepost 408). Color is developing in the valleys below Mount Pisgah, making for scenic views. Check out this video sneak peek of what we saw along the Parkway this week:
On the Parkway to the north, the stretch between Mount Mitchell (Milepost 349.9) and Linville Falls (Milepost 316.4) is a good place for leaf peeping. One great sight along that route is Crabtree Falls, which is seeing especially bright yellows right around the waterfall. From the parking area at Milepost 339.5, you can either take a 3-mile out-and-back hike or a more challenging 3.5-mile loop trail. Both trails take you to iconic Crabtree Falls, framed beautifully with trees in fall hues.
Also north of Asheville, Linville Gorge is beginning to see color that should intensify in the coming days. Two moderate trails in this area—Table Rock Mountain and Hawksbill Mountain—both offer big view payoffs at the end.
As color progression picks up thanks to cooler temperatures, don't wait to plan your Asheville stay!
In mid-October, brilliant fall foliage frames a mountainous view at Log Hollow Overlook along the Blue Ridge Parkway south of Asheville (at milepost 416.6). Though just out of sight in this image, the focal point of the Log Hollow vista is the iconic Looking Glass Rock.
Having trouble viewing on mobile? Click here to see the Google Street View version.
To the south of Asheville on the Blue Ridge Parkway, a great hike in the Mount Pisgah area this week is the Frying Pan Fire Tower. The hike is just 1.5 miles round trip and you'll enjoy sweeping views of fall color beginning to develop below in Pisgah National Forest. Park at the forest service road at Milepost 409.6 (do not block the gate), then hike around the gate and up the forest service road to the tower.
In Pisgah National Forest, take Highway 276 to see color as it develops near popular stops such as Sliding Rock and Looking Glass Falls.
While on your autumn leaf adventure this week, you'll also have your choice of great events and happenings including some of the biggest festivals of the fall season in Asheville.
The most anticipated craft show of the year, the Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands (Oct. 20-22), brings Asheville to life Friday through Saturday with fine traditional and contemporary crafts! Nearly 200 artisans from the Southern Highland Craft Guild will showcase and sell their work, filling both levels of the U.S. Cellular Center in downtown Asheville.
Experience music from around the globe in a gorgeous setting during the four-day LEAF Festival (Oct. 19-22) at Lake Eden near the beautiful community of Black Mountain. In additional to the powerful international music lineup, enjoy outdoor family adventure, soothe your soul in the "healing arts village," and savor local food and drinks.
Speaking of music, it's a big week ahead of live performances. Among the great live performances: hear ten-time Grammy winning musician Eddie Palmiei (Friday, Oct. 20, 8 p.m.), experience the Asheville Symphony Orchestra (Saturday, Oct. 21, 8 p.m.), or rock out with the Marshall Tucker Band at the U.S. Cellular Center (Sunday, Oct. 22, 7:30 p.m.).
See some of the sweetest classic rides at the 8th Annual Mountain Classic Car Show (Saturday, Oct. 21, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.). It's free to stroll through and see the gorgeous vehicles.
And, as we gear up for Halloween, a trio of events will help you get in the spooky spirit. Bring the kids to the Howl-O-Ween family-friendly festival at WNC Nature Center. See St. Nicholas, a Halloween-appropriate show at Asheville Community Theatre. Or, raise a glass to Halloween with the Wicked Weed Brewing release party for Dark Arts, a barrel-aged wild imperial stout.
As we get closer to the end of October, prepare to see fall color arrive in earnest to the lower elevations (2,000-3,000 feet) and the City of Asheville. Stay tuned to this page for photos from around the mountains. We add new photos from local photographers and visitors every day to show you how the colors are progressing!
Upcoming events include the 1st Annual Beaverdam Studio Tour, showcasing the work of 24 artists in their North Asheville studios. The Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair at the WNC Agricultural Center will provide three days of family-fun with spinning, knitting, weaving and felting!
On the music scene, The Avett Brothers return to Asheville for a pair of evening performances (Oct. 27-28) and R&B legend Gladys Knight takes the stage with country stars Little Big Town and other special guests (Oct. 29).
Fresh sounds from local artists.