2021 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. This year, biologists in Western North Carolina believe conditions are on track for a spectacular fall color display throughout Asheville and 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. View the complete 2021 fall color forecast here >>.
ASHEVILLE FALL COLOR REPORT -- November 11, 2021+
We are loving this extended fall this season! There are many colorful trees still showing off throughout the city of Asheville thanks to a week of warmer temperatures. Earlier this week, we hit nearly 80 degrees in some areas. This burst of warm air has helped trees to retain their leaves.
Throughout the city, we are still seeing bright reds, oranges and yellows. It's likely safe to say we are just past peak color here in town and many trees are shedding their leaves, but a fair amount of color remains (amazing for mid-November!). From Biltmore to the North Carolina Arboretum to the Omni Grove Park Inn to the lower elevation stretch of the Blue Ridge Parkway through town, fall is hanging around.
Down in the lowest elevations, including Chimney Rock, fall color abounds. The team at Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park says, "Fall color is at its peak in Chimney Rock. Whether you’re hiking, taking in the views or cruising up the Park road, there are vibrant autumn shades everywhere! We expect this weekend to be the best for color depending on the incoming weather (Thursday)." Other low elevation areas to explore include the Tryon/Saluda area, including the Green River Gorge.
While the Asheville area is seeing some light rain this afternoon (Thursday), we don't expect this weather system to have a significant effect on the remaining leaves. Even more good news, the weekend forecast is sure looking nice. Sunshine returns Friday and stays with us throughout the weekend.
No matter where you go, keep in mind this is a busy time of the year in the Asheville area. So, when you head out to these areas, take your time, give other drivers their space and only pull off/park at paved overlooks. That'll help everyone to enjoy the leaves peacefully and responsibly.
We'll be adding more photos to our gallery in the coming days as we get out to explore this weekend! When you share photos on Instagram, tag @visitasheville for a chance to be featured here on this page.
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.
Aerial Views of 2020 Fall Color Near Asheville, NC
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