As warmer days lead into cooler nights, it can only mean one thing: its leaf peepin’ time. If you like to geek out as much as we do on fall foliage (we know, you NEED that shot for Insta), then check out our tips for how to do it right, or a la Kelty-style.
First- find your “peak week.” What’s peak week, you ask? The week-ish long period that fall foliage is expected to be at peak color change. You can find the predicted peak week in your geographic region by visiting this interactive map from Mental Floss. At a minimum, it’s fun just to mouse over the slider and watch the U.S. map fade into deep reds and oranges. At a maximum, it will direct you where to capture your best and most liked Instagram photo of the future. You know, just living your best life in the fall foliage and all that. #fallingforfall
Pro- Insta Tip: take an Instagram story (10 second video) of the wind gently rustling the leaves and use the “Music” button to set it to Earth Wind & Fire’s “September” or “October Road” by James Taylor for ALL the feels.
Second, now you know when to go, but you need to decide where to go. If you’re lucky enough to live in Colorado (AKA Fallorado) or Appalachia, chances are you won’t have to wander far for jaw-dropping color. Hike we like near our homebase Boulder, CO? Kenosha Pass for the biggest and best golden aspen groves lining the Colorado Trail on both sides of Hwy 285, 1.5 hours from Denver. Here are some hikes recommended from the experts:
For more Colorado Hikes & Drives, popular leaf peepin’ spots include Crested Butte & Kebler Pass, Boreas Pass near Breckenridge, and of course the ever insta-famous Maroon Bells in Aspen.
West is Best: hikes in Washington, Oregon, California, Utah & Idaho
For the rest of us, find hikes in Vermont, Tennessee, Idaho and more.
Next- get fueled up. And we don’t just mean gas in your adventure mobile. TBH, you’re likely in for an hour drive or more, depending on your geographic location and proximity to prime color-changing outdoor space. There is going to be traffic (a lot of it), crowds, and dare we say the oblivious tourist driving 2 miles an hour while trying to take a cell phone video and almost causing a ten car pile up. Take along the following for a day of leaf peeping and have the necessities you need to make it through while keeping your sanity.
- Linger Get Down Chairs– hike a bit, find a spot with a view, park your chairs and get down with watching the wind gently rustle in the leaves for an hour or two. You’re so relaxed, so linger a little longer if you want. See what we did there?
- Redwing Backpack– grab the go-anywhere pack to carry all your gear & hike in comfort.
- Insulation- the fall weather can be chilly or change throughout the day. Stay warm with extra layers, jackets, or, we like to cuddle up under a Bestie Blanket.
Food & Bev
- Snacks- let’s face it, we ALL get hangry. Don’t let this ruin or rush your leaf peepin’ time. Pack accordingly- breakfast burritos, PSL’s, stop for sandwiches & take a picnic, snacks on snacks on snacks, Red Bull to go the full distance. You get the idea.
- Adult Beverage: because Rosé all day goes as well with colorful leaf views, as does an Upslope Pumpkin Ale.
- Water bottles with actual water in them. Stay hydrated, my friends.
- Sunscreen- self-explanatory.
- Sunglasses- the sun may be setting on summer, but it never sets on a bad@$$.
- Goal Zero Flip 10 Portable Charger– you might need some extra cell phone juice with all those pics you’ll be snapping.
- Doggo- if and where allowed, bring the pup. They want in on the leaf action to roll around in the leaves, too. Don’t forget the leash and water for the pup.