New England may get all the glory during foliage season, but Wyoming’s autumn, glowing with oranges and yellows, is spectacular in its own right.
The tried-and-true Eastern Seaboard is far from the only place to view the glories of fall – brilliant hues can be seen across the country, especially in the Jackson Hole area of Wyoming. Here, we highlight the top sights to take in fall colors.
Oxbow Bend [Grand Teton National Park]
While one of the most photographed places in Grand Teton during the summer for its plethora of wildlife (it’s a great place to see moose, river otters, black bears, and even grizzly bears), this spot in the north end of the park is also particularly scenic come fall. Here, towering aspens and cottonwood trees turn vibrant shades of yellow and gold and are reflected in the Snake River for double the color.
Chief Joseph Scenic Byway [Shoshone National Forest]
Flush with mountain and valley views like something out of a movie, the Chief Joseph Scenic Byway runs along the Clarks Fork River for almost 50 miles before intersecting with Beartooth Highway, the highest highway in the state. Later in the season, visitors should consider stopping along the byway to hike the Little Sunlight or Dead Indian trails in Shoshone National Forest near Cody, which offer uniquely clear views of the valleys when the foliage isn’t quite so dense.
The Loop Road [Wind River Mountain Range]
Mentioned as one of America’s “best-kept secrets” by Backpacker Magazine, the Wind River Mountain Range often gets overlooked in favor of its beloved neighbor, Grand Teton National Park. Visitors can take the aptly named Loop Road, a 70-mile, occasionally bumpy trip that begins and ends in the town of Lander, and see the fall colors in Sinks Canyon, around the high mountain lakes, and up the switchbacks.
Lamar Valley [Yellowstone National Park]
Since aspen trees prefer lower elevations, Yellowstone’s Lamar Valley is one of the best places to see the flourish of golden aspen groves. If wildlife appeals to you, try to make the drive in the early morning – visitors may catch a glimpse of the elk, bison, foxes, and even bears making their way down from the higher elevations, seeking refuge for the winter.
Blacktail Plateau Drive [Yellowstone National Park]
Internet reviews of Blacktail Plateau Drive, while positive, are also dotted with mentions of potholes – but maybe that’s just the tax visitors pay for the unique perspective the road offers: unpaved, natural, and a little wild. With varied scenery, an abundance of wildlife, an absence of crowds (important in Yellowstone), and yes, those autumn colors, this six-mile drive offers a one-of-a-kind foliage-seeking excursion.