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Top National Parks for Fall Foliage

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Glacier National Park, Montana
Glacier National Park, Montana

"Smoke from nearby forest fires drifts into Glacier National Park, creating a blue haze on Lake McDonald."

© Ian Shive Photography

Plan to visit Glacier National Park in early October for picture-perfect fall foliage. The maple trees shine brightly with hues of yellow, orange and red, while larch and aspen trees turn to yellows and gold. And all the trees are scattered amongst evergreens, creating a canvas of stunning contrasting colors.

While the park offers tons of outdoor activities, a great spot to view the land and foliage is the summit of Big Mountain. Views of the park, Flathead valley and Lake are gorgeous this time of year. The Summit Trail is about 8 miles long and 7,000 feet high, which gives visitors a great view of the larch and aspen trees, as well as huckleberry bushes, with all of the colors blending together. It really is a sight to behold, one that may just make you want to come back every autumn.

Another great way to view the foliage is on a scenic drive or a scenic float. Wait, float? Yes! On the Middle Fork of the Flathead River, visitors can float along on a quiet day in a turquoise river surrounded by unbelievable colors. Glacier Raft Company arranges such tours and highly recommend the month of September for those looking for foliage but don’t want to freeze in the water.

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