WNC Fall Leave Colors

Your guide to find the best in Western North Carolina fall leaf color, avoid traffic, find festivals and family fun!

Once again High South Adventures is your Western North Carolina fall leave color guide! Scroll down this page for

1. Fall color info and videos
2. Fall color maps
3. Color changes by elevation
4. Driving and road conditions
5. Where to find festivals and more

wnc fall leave colors

Tips to enjoy WNC Fall Leave Colors:

1. Travel during the week if you can
2. Pack water, snacks and patience
3. Book a vacation rental NOW
 [Find a vacation rental here]
4. Call ahead for dining reservations or info
[Top Restaurants around The High South]
5. If this a day trip only, have a full tank of gas before you head up!

Video by Explore Asheville Conventions and Visitors Bureau

2021 Western North Carolina Fall Leaf Color Outlook

Nov 1 - This past weekend was about peak for the higher elevations and this coming week will see the peak down to about 2800'. 

The cold snap early in October followed by milder temps and then rain and wind caused many trees to drop their leaves. 

Based on observations on Oct 31, peak colors this week will be found at elevations between 2500' and 3000'.

The fall color dates estimates have been updated and found below and include area elevations.

Please check out one of our references for fall color: Appalachian State University. Visit: https://biology.appstate.edu/fall-colors


2021 Western North Carolina Fall Leaf Color Map

Fall Color Map for North Carolina
 created by The Biology Department at  Appalachian State University is a great resource to plan your trip. Please visit their web site  for the full image and to learn more about this map!
Go to: [https://biology.appstate.edu/fall-colors/fall-color-map-north-carolina]

wnc fall leave colors

2021 Western North Carolina Fall Leaf Color Events

  1. Sapphire Valley Arts and Crafts Festival - October 2 & 3, 2021
    Open 10AM - 4PM Saturday and Sunday [More About Sapphire Valley]
  2. Dillsboro ColorFest Saturday, Oct 2, 2021 10 am - 5 pm
    Main Street in Dillsboro, NC. [About Dillsboro]
  3. Cashiers Leaf Festival - October 8 - 10, 2021
    The Cashiers NC Leaf Festival Returns in 2021 !  10AM - 5PM each day [More Info]
  4. Fall Fun At Darnell Farms - Times TBD Darnell Farms. Kicking off Fall with hayrides to pumpkin patch, corn maze, cider making demonstrations, pumpkin painting booths, face painting booths, outdoor movies and fresh made pies and drinks. 2300 Governors Island Rd, Bryson City, NC, 28713    Phone: 828-488-2376
  5. Scaly Screamer - Times TBD Opening this fall is Scaly Mountain Outdoor Center's new mountain coaster! [Learn More]
  6. Shadow of the Bear - October 15 - November 5, 2021
    A High South area fall (and winter) treat is the annual ‘shadow of the bear’! This phenomenon takes place near Whiteside Mountain where the autumn light creates a shadow shaped like a bear. Times: at sunset each day

2021 Western North Carolina Fall Leaf Color
Road Conditions

Road Conditions
The North Carolina Department of Transportation maintains a great map of North Carolina showing construction zones, road closures due to weather as well as traffic congestion.
[NCDOT Traffic Map

wnc fall color leave guide

2021 Western North Carolina Fall Leaf Color 

Peak Color Estimate by Elavation

WNC Fall Leave Color Summary

The following is the current estimate of peak leaf color based on elevation in the southern High South:

The following is the current estimate of

peak leaf color based on elevation:

Oct 15 - 24 : 4000' and above

Oct 24 - 30 3200' - 4000'

Oct 30 -Nov 7: 2800'-3200'

Nov 7  ---> :below 2800

Sapphire Valley: 3200'

Area Elevations:
Cashiers: 3400'
Highlands: 4100'
Dillsboro: 1975'
Bryson City: 1752'
Scaly Mtn: 3510'
Waynesville: 2750'
Sky Valley, Ga: 3297'