Off the back of our seemingly endless summer, here at Original Travel we're getting excited for woolly jumper weather, pumpkin-spiced lattes and apple and blackberry crumble. As autumn fast encroaches on the last of the summer rays, Mother Nature's russet blanket is starting to descend upon the Northern Hemisphere. Our friends across the pond would call this fall and, despite their North American colloquialisms being slightly questionable, we can concede that they do autumn on a much larger scale over in their neck of the (nearing-autumnal and extremely beautiful) woods. So here are the best places to enjoy the beautiful colours of autumn in North America…
Great Smoky Mountains: Tennessee and North Carolina
The autumn canopy in the Smokies is something to behold. In fact, autumn is our favourite season to swing by the most visited National Park in the US. Feel that oh-so-satisfying crunch beneath your feet and smell the crisp leaves in the air as you amble along the slow inclines and meandering descents of the Appalachian Trail. At its highest point, the autumn oranges from over 100 different species of tree cut through the Smokies' ever iconic fog, injecting a blast of colour into its ethereal haze.
Skyline Trail, Mount Rainier National Park: Washington State
When hiking the skyline trail, the autumn magic happens not above your head, but beneath your feet. Wildflower bushes and shrubs transform into a carpet of vibrant oranges and reds lining the forest floor. Choose whichever hike matches your ability from the Paradise area and under the attentive watch of Mt. Rainier you'll easily keep your bearings, allowing more time to enjoy the rainbow of reds.
The Canadian Rockies: BC
Oh Canada, and her iconic maple leaves, reach their optimum beauty during the autumn months. Look no further than British Columbia's Rocky Mountains for fall foliage at its finest. Home to the sugar maple and red maple, the forests surrounding the Northern Rockies are our top pick for appreciating Canadian autumn to the full. Instead of heading to one specific site, give a good amount of time to exploring the whole area - follow our favourite Rocky Mountain Road Trip to witness a kaleidoscopic spectrum of fiery reds. You can even get a heli tour for a birds-eye view.
At an impressive 3,000 miles long, it's unsurprising that we've chosen another Rockies destination that's fall-bulous (sorry), but this one has a golden twist. Forget the gold mines of a bygone era and turn your attention instead to Aspen's Rockies and their golden trees. They come alive in their own alternative gold rush every autumn - it's not called Aspen for nothing. Trade the now ever-crowded underground mine tours for beautifully remote hikes which open out onto vistas of majestic gilded treetops before the snow settles in for the winter.
Much to our dismay, Alaska's brief autumn often gets shunned in favour of its more renowned summer months. Yet the autumn season here is unmissable, with the sweeping sugar maples mirrored in lake reflections, enveloping you in a (not so warm) autumnal hug. If you're lucky you might even catch the Northern Lights - another reason why Alaska in the autumn is a sweet spot for visitors - get in there while it's still under the radar.
With all that seasonal beauty to be had, we hope we've inspired you to give North America a try this this autumn - out in the crisp North American autumn air, your pumpkin-spiced latte never tasted so good.