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Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Don GrahamOak Glen

This map predicts when Los Angeles will hit its fall foliage peak

Yep, we still have fall colors—you just need to know where and when to look.

Michael Juliano
Written by
Michael Juliano

The crunch of leaves under your feet after months of drought, autumnal breezes blasting hot air all over the Southland, reds and oranges everywhere because everything is on fire—there’s truly nothing quite like fall in Los Angeles. But we’re exaggerating (just a little): L.A. isn’t entirely exempt from seasonal charm, and fall foliage is no exception.

Of course, figuring out when that sole indicator of fall will actually show up is half the challenge, but thankfully has a fall foliage prediction map for the entire country, including the L.A. area.

The annual interactive map, which uses an algorithm that pulls in data from sources like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, typically tells what you probably already know: That foliage in Southern California lags behind much of the country.

But that doesn’t seem to be the case this year: L.A.’s 2023 foliage outlook is pretty much in lockstep with the country’s Northeast. The map has L.A. pegged to hit a patchy and partial change of colors by mid-to-late September, with the peak forecasted for October 9—which is considerably sooner than our neighbors, so keep that in mind if you’re venturing into the surrounding mountain communities.

Fall foliage prediction map 2023

Any number of weather conditions can, of course, alter those predictions, including sun, rain and unfortunately fire. As a result, we’ll update this story if and when the forecast changes.

Once we work our way into October, it makes a little more sense to turn from predictions to observations. California Fall Color (shout out to its “dude, autumn happens here, too” tagline) logs regular photo updates and even maintains a statewide map that’s updated every Friday.

This story was originally published in 2020 and has been updated with the latest info for the 2023 season.
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