While camping was insanely popular this summer across the U.S., we’re here to make the argument that fall foliage camping is even better. It’s not just that the crowds have all gone home; it’s the crisp mornings, colorful leaves, and nights spent cozied up in a sleeping bag in front of a crackling fire. Plus, although summer hogs the spotlight, there’s just as much outdoor fun in autumn—hiking, biking, and kayaking get way better without that blistering heat and humidity.
Whether in pursuit of changing leaves, temperate climates, or a socially distant getaway, here are some of the best campgrounds in the U.S. for fall foliage. While some sites are good to go all season long, you’ll find shorter travel windows at high-elevation campgrounds like Stanley RV + Camp in Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains and northern latitude spots like Calhoun Campground in Beaverton, Michigan. By mid to late October, winter is already showing its ruddy face (and we won’t be showing ours!).
So, pack your warmest sweater and hit the road for one of these cool-weather campgrounds from California to New York. Even if you’re not up for chilly nights in a tent, the fall foliage is still worth a gander. Head to some of our favorite fall foliage spots on four wheels or peep those leaves along autumn’s best bike trails. Better yet, make it a fall-themed road trip: you’ll find more than enough apple orchards, corn mazes, and pumpkin patches along the way for an unforgettable season.
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