Posted by: Sandy Steinman | October 6, 2016

 Great Smoky Mountains Fall Colors 10/4/16

Great Smoky Mountains National Park (U.S. National Park Service) reports

The advent of autumn not only brings cooler temperatures to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, but also the much anticipated fall colors. While it is still early in the season, a myriad of hues have emerged throughout the park. The colors are most prolific at high elevations right now with American beech, yellow birch, witch hobble, pin cherry, mountain maple, and mountain ash displaying warm golds and yellows, soft oranges, and brilliant reds.

The amount of color change at mid elevations is not as pronounced, but the colors present are more vibrant. The burgundy red of the maples, sourwood, and sumac are stunning. Added to it are the orange sugar maples and the yellow birches. The elderberries are also particularly striking with their prominent purple berry clusters.

While the lower elevations are still primarily green, color can still be readily seen amongst the red-orange of the dogwoods. Yellow birch, tulip poplar, buckeye, sourwood, and sassafras also have intermittent displays. The greatest diversity of tree species in the park occurs at these lower elevations which will provide a wide range of tones to enjoy later in the season.

Suggested scenic drives: Newfound Gap Road with a side trip along Clingmans Dome Road

Suggested hikes: This week would be an excellent time to hike on trails leading to high elevations.

For photos and updates from the park, visit our official social media pages!




You can also check out the park’s webcams to see what the park looks like today:
Purchase Knob (high elevation)
Look Rock (middle elevation)

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