10 Best National Parks To Go Leaf-Peeping

10 Best National Parks To Go Leaf-Peeping

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Fall is the best time to be outdoors, when deciduous trees put on their dazzling display of color, and the waning light casts the landscape in a magical iridescence. Whether you prefer to drive through or hike, these parks will prove unforgettable.

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    Home to the largest stands of old growth forests in the eastern U.S. Maples are the stars, with a supporting cast of poplar, birch, and oak. Expect jaw-dropping displays of yellows, oranges, reds, and even purples.
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    The park is dominated by a species known as the quaking aspen, which has a flat stem causing its leaves to quiver at the slightest breeze. The effect is mesmerizing in the sunlight.
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    These are the planet's most majestic forests, soaring more than 300 feet high. Visitors flock to the Redwood National Park in the summer, but come fall it's deserted enough to spot a black bear, mountain lion, elk, or bobcat.
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    There's an even bigger draw in autumn—salmon spawning season, when you can watch Coho salmon leap up the Quillayute and Sol Duc rivers.
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    Starting in late September, every huckleberry bush, aspen, cottonwood, vine maple, elderberry, willow, and tamarack (western larch), bursts into hues of gold, amber, and crimson.
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    The Tetons have large stands of deciduous trees—cottonwoods, aspen, willows— whose leaves blaze yellow and orange come fall.
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    he deep blue abyss of Crater Lake National Park collects in a dormant volcano crater surrounded by 2,000-foot cliffs. This is a breathtaking sight that's set in a harsh environment with a very short window for visits.
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    The historic, unpaved carriage roads in Acadia National Park are closed to motorized vehicles, making for an idyllic setting to hike or bike the park's blazing reds, oranges, and yellows afforded by maple, birch, and poplar trees.
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