Best Places to Camp to See Fall Foliage

One of the best parts of fall (besides all the delicious pie of course) is the foliage. Think of campfires under wooly-warm blankets, stargazing beside leaf-falling trees, and epic golden sunsets that twinkle through amber leaves. We know, it’s pretty awesome. There are lots of amazing places across to see fall foliage. Prime peeing doesn’t just happen in New England, folks! Use our handy foliage prediction map to guide you to a night under a canopy of changing leaves…

Check out some of our favorite places to experience all that fall foliage magic….

The Catskills, New York

Photo courtesy of Adventure in the Catskills

Upstate New York doesn’t mess around when it comes to beautiful foliage, and the Catskill Mountains make for prime peeper-viewing during this gorgeous time of year. Whether you hike up a mountain, take a long drive, or attend a fall-themed festival, you’re sure to see amazing foliage in this part of the state. Here are some of our favorite campsites in the area.

Magic Farm Forest

The name alone has us raising our hand (and yes it really is as magical as it sounds). Tucked in the foothills of the Catskills, this farm offers 11 campsites (tipi or tree shack—you choose) with access to amenities and plenty of nearby adventure. Just minutes away from waterfalls and gorgeous hiking, the 225-acre spot also offers guests a farm-fresh meal for a small donation. Did we mention they make most of their own food, including things like milk and butter? Again, yes please.

Mountain Top Campsite

Wright’s Farm

Camp at 400 feet with sweeping mountain views and wander among the centuries-old orchards. This host’s family has been farming the land for over a hundred years, so they know a thing or two about fresh produce, and conveniently sell most of theirs in a farm store that’s open year round. Explore the peach and apple orchards and invite your four-legged hiking buddy along for a weekend of adventure on this 450-acre farm.

Klepht Hideout

There’s a certain something about this quiet campsite tucked away, just miles from the historic Woodstock Festival of ‘69. With the mountains at your back, this is the perfect woodsy spot to get lost— all while knowing you’re only minutes from a grocery store. Hike or bike miles of trails or just relax in your green hideout that’s made complete with a nearby swimming pond.

Robibero’s Retreat

Yes, they have wine, and yes, you should drink some. This winery (by day) and serene campsite by night is perfect for the nature-seeking wino. Just minutes from historic New Paltz, you have a plethora of restaurants and quirky shops at your fingertips—that is if you’re able to turn down a night spent under the stars sipping a fine red by the host’s enormous fire pit.

Yurt Home on a Horse Farm

As the name would suggest, this camp has lots of animals running around a beautifully constructed yurt. A propane fireplace keeps this humble abode nice and cozy, and guests also have access to the farm’s hot tub. Cook a meal over the private BBQ/fire pit area out back or frolic in the fields with kittens (seriously). Either way, it’s going to be pretty hard to leave.

The Great Smoky Mountains

Tom Bricker

In addition to having amazing views of the changing leaves, the Smoky Mountains is also just an incredibly beautiful place to spend a few days. Straddling the border of North Carolina and Tennessee and covered in a great blue haze, these southerly mountains take on a natural magic and mystique that’s enchanted visitors for centuries. Pack a light flannel and binoculars, then book one of these gorgeous spots in the Great Smoky Mountains to watch the seasons change.

Minie Ball

Surrounded by hiking trails and scenic wildlife, this campsite neighbors favorite peaks like Mount Mitchell and Grandfather Mountain. Just minutes from Weaverville, NC the peace and quiet is everything you want when venturing out. This awesome host invites guests to share in his farm-fresh eggs, fresh blackberries, and whatever else is growing throughout the property. Rumor has it the goats are even friendly.

EarthSeed: Smoky Mt. Sanctuary

Bryan Collings

Unplug and hit refresh in this 13-foot tent pitched creekside in Asheville, NC. This vegetarian-only retreat provides the perfect immersive experience for citydwellers craving some time in the great outdoors. Cook under a picnic shelter then relax to the sounds of flowing water and fire-crackling pit.

River Bend

This gorgeous camp is a bit like staying in fairyland, with twinkly lights galore and a comfortable camp set by a rushing river. Just 20 minutes from Pigeon Forge, TN and two miles from a park entrance, this is a great spot for fishing, hiking, or just spending a few lazy days by the river.

The Woods at Sole Farm

Tuscany-like landscapes (complete with the host’s villa of course), ancient trees, and mountain views. What could be better? Not much. Camp creekside to cool off from the heat or paddle out into the Chattahoochee. This Habersham County, GA escape is perfect for your fill of majestic rolling hills and crystal clear stargazing.

Beechwood Cabin Tent

Andrew Shepherd

A rustic cabin meets safari tent in this South Carolina getaway. If you feel like a hunter returning from an expedition, you wouldn’t be wrong, as this little cabin was made to look just like the hunting dens of old. But don’t be fooled, all the cozy amenities inside will have you entirely forgetting the term “roughing it”.

The Ozarks

Sam’s Throne. Courtesy of Arklahoma Hiker.

Although a bit lacking in that crisp-air chill characteristic of the season, the Ozarks are still a beautiful place to experience fall foliage. Located in the central U.S., these remote highlands cover parts of Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. Fluorescent pinks and oranges define this southern foliage, and a variety of trees form a different kind of fall bouquet and one that we like just as much.

Camp at an Ozark Commune

This place is like a giant outdoor bed and breakfast, complete with awesome neighbors, shared meals (included in your site fee!), and incredible hiking. The Missouri-based Oran Mor Community raises livestock, cultivates gardens, and prides itself on hosting workshops for visitors. If you’re interested in camping with side of local culture, this rustic community makes for a great getaway.

Open-air Meditation Sanctuary

Woods and pastures and plenty of OM. The northern Arkansas Open-air Meditation Sanctuary offers guests a place to recharge in the great outdoors and a few essentials (like a fire bowl and firewood) to help you along. An artsy little town with great eats and coffee is only a 10 minute drive away, so you can wander nearby trails and still get in a great meal before throwing in the towel.

Dockley Ranch Camp

A mini hilltop cabin in the southern Missouri Ozarks is calling (and you should go). This cozy cabin retreat comfortably sleeps four, although some of the furrier four-legged hosts (like dogs and alpacas) have been known to stop by. Switchback trails lead down to a private waterfall and guests can choose from a variety of activities like canoeing, hiking, or exploring the local music scene at Oldfield Opry.

The Farm-Mountain View Camping

This Eureka Springs campground deserves its own centerfold. The 160-acre property sits up against the Mark Twain National Forest, meaning you will have access to miles upon miles of wilderness. Amenities like electric and water hookups make this a favorite for #vanlifers, and the fishing and golf fun are not to be beat. Did we mention the pano-views of the Ozarks?

Baby Bears Camp

Journey to Walter’s Woods, Arkansas to camp in true tradition. Settled on a site that’s been occupied for 10,000+ years, it’s not uncommon to find native artifacts among these secluded woods. Hike-in camp and take in the beauty of the Ozark wilderness from this historic farmland.

Independence Pass, Colorado

Maroon Bells, a popular hike outside of Aspen, Colorado. Courtesy of GrindTV.

Independence Pass breeds a different kind of fall foliage, and one that looks striking in its golden hues against a backdrop of blue mountains. Even on cloudy days this honey-amber foliage makes for an incredibly memorable outdoor experience, especially with the many evergreen pines interspersed among the landscape. At 12,095 ft, the pass, which closes in the wintertime, is the middle of the scenic drive between Leadville and Aspen—two legendary camping and adventuring destinations during any season. Explore these nearby Hipcamps.

Aspen Private Camping & Fishing

Bring your pole and set up camp along the Roaring Fork river for an ideal fishing spot. Travel light and rent your gear from the host, and enjoy white peaked mountain views from afar. Hiking, biking, climbing, and more are all at your fingertips when staying at this location.

Modern Backcountry Cabin

Meagan Leake

Hike in to the Holy Cross Wilderness in this choose-your-own-adventure style retreat. Pick from a variety of trails to arrive at your “Scandanavian-designed” cabin, a minimalist bright blue abode on top of a mountain (with more mountain views beyond). Warm up by the fire inside and be sure to explore the nearby paddling and climbing opportunities.

Weston Pass Hut

Enjoy the golden season of Colorado from this Leadville backcountry lodge. Accessible via primitive roads (high-clearance vehicles recommended), this campsite offers panoramic mountain (and wildlife) views from its perch at 11,000 feet. This hut is a shared space (with 20 rooms) so be prepared to meet your neighbors.

Historic Ranch at Mt. Princeton

This campsite is meticulously cared for by its neighboring hosts, and offers a lot more than just mountain views (although there are those, and they’re stunning). Pitch a tent or pull up to the RV hookup on this remote farm at the base of Mt. Princeton, with miles of nearby trails, wildlife, and hot springs.

Kurt’s Yurt

We like this one, and not just because it rhymes. This spacious yurt lives in the shadow of a 14,000 ft peak known as Mt. Sherman. Well-equipped with cots, sleeping bags, and everything you need to cook a great meal, you may find yourself not wanting to leave. But nearby fishing, mountain biking, and ski access make adventuring a must in this spot.

The Eastern Sierras, California

Photo courtesy of Jen Nealys

Every year visitors flock to the Eastern Sierras to view the orange-gold foliage of the aspen and cottonwood trees. The varying degrees of elevation have trees peaking at different times, but it’s generally best to visit between late September and early October. Check out these nearby Hipcamps where you can take in the all the colors of the season with rushing streams and majestic granite canyons in the background.

Oak Hallow

Just one hour from Yosemite, and 10 minutes from downtown Mariposa, this peaceful camp makes for a relaxing weekend tucked in Eastern Sierra foliage. A woodland of ancient oak trees creates a private haven to pitch your tent, while a nearby natural “cold tub” allows for a quick dip after a long hike.

Camping on the Farm

Watch the leaves turn from this quiet farm retreat near Owens Creek. Camp under a sprawling Blue Oak tree, and wake up to the sounds of birds chirping and dragonflies buzzing. Fall asleep under the stars by a fire pit then purchase fresh fruits and veggies (or farm fresh eggs!) from your host for a one of kind all-organic breakfast.

Old Yosemite Basecamp

Aptly named for its proximity to the world-famous park, this cozy campsite offers six acres of pine and oak trees intermingling with granite structures. Located just at the edge of Sierra National Forest, you can enjoy all the beauty of the area without the crazy crowds. Hiking trails, swimming holes, and a short drive to southern Yosemite are all within a stone’s-throw, meaning you can venture out with the best of them before returning to a quiet camp.

Paradise Shores Camping

Pull up in your camper, or rent one here. Either way, you can plan on staying in prime lakefront real estate with beautiful views of the Bridgeport Reservoir and the mountains beyond. This amazing location means easy access to epic climbing, hiking, and adventuring in the Sierra and it provides the perfect spot to admire the changing seasons.

The Michigan Coast

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Wineries, apple picking, and a full range of autumn colors. What isn’t to love about Michigan in the fall? Shorter days and cooler nights cue the transition of summer into an array of red, orange, and yellow leaves that crunch underfoot along trails and country roads. Take a peek at some of our favorite spots to celebrate fall by the Great Lakes in rural Michigan.

Harvest Village

This organic farm is a gorgeous spot for an outdoor getaway in the northern part of the state. Camp under pines by a grassy meadow and wake up to the smells of a homemade country breakfast (courtesy of your hosts). Only an hour from Lake Michigan or Sleeping Bear National Park, this quiet site also offers a variety of nearby trails and activities.

Organic Farm Near Ann Arbor

Camp just minutes from downtown Ann Arbor on this organic heirloom vegetable seed farm. Check in with your hosts ahead of time for a farm-to-table meal, and pitch your tent in the woods or field of their quiet 122-acre farm. Proper sanitation is a must for these hosts so make a plan for packing everything (and we mean everything) out. If you’re not into the wag bags, contact your host and arrange for a porta potty rental beforehand.

Organic Apple Orchard and Farm

Lucky for you, fall also means apple picking. Camp in a small hollow among the orchards of this 49-acre organic farm in Southwest Michigan. Seasonal festivities run frequently during the day, but at night the farm quiets down except for the crackle of the fire and a breeze that runs through the orchards. Kayaking, biking, and hiking are all accessible from this idyllic campsite.

Field Guide Farm House

Experience some autumnal bliss from this quiet Northern Michigan property shared with a traditional stone farmhouse. Set up camp in a meadow along Intermediate Lake, where you can kayak or hike, then catch the bright blue sky melting into evening over a splash of the fall foliage.

Acadia National Park, Maine

Myles Tan

Northern Maine is a classic choice for an escape into the colors of fall. Fog rolls in daily over this magical seaside park, once a vacation land for wealthy pioneers. Wander its many trails, climb mountain peaks for panoramic views of the changing colors, and enjoy that hearty crisp air characteristic of New England. Escape to one of our favorite Acadia region Hipcamps, and don’t forget to snag a pumpkin spice latte on the drive up.

Camps of the Pioneers

Myles Tan

Arrowheads and other artifacts are common to find in these quiet campgrounds, just 15 minutes north of Acadia National Park. Settle into a Mongolian Wall tent to the tune of crackling wood-burning stove, or pitch your tent on six acres of protected land near the popular fishing community of Union River. Epic wildlife views and hiking abound in this northern corner of Maine.

Tops’l Luxury Cabins

These glamping A-frame cabins are the perfect solution for someone seeking a Maine room with a view, not quite as far north as Acadia (but still close enough to explore the park on a day trip). Curl up under the trees in these fully-furnished cabins for a relaxing weekend that offers an introduction to the golds and reds of a New England fall, without the need to pitch a tent or pack gear. Communal fire pits complete this cozy experience in Waldoboro, making it easy to spend lazy days with floor-ceiling views of the changing seasons.

Pond Site

This private low-key camping grants visitors easy access to canoeing and kayaking, all while grilling over an equipped fire pit. Set up camp under the trees by the water, fish during the days or discover nearby trails. This Phippsburg site is a bit of trek from Acadia, but close enough to the ocean to guarantee a similarly quintessential Maine experience.

Balsam Way

Located on Mount Desert Island proper, this place is about as close as you can camp to Acadia, which is a real treat considering the park doesn’t allow backwoods camping. Pitch a tent or pull up in your camper to this idyllic woodsy spot. Walk along Seawall Beach or head out in the early hours for amazing Acadia hiking before the crowds hit.

Yellowstone National Park

Photo courtesy of Billings Gazette

Autumn is a magical time to visit Yellowstone. The grasses and leaves are turning a tawny golden hue and summer crowds have all but dwindled down. Temperatures drop and bison and elk roam the scenic grasslands with bright blue peaks sitting against the skyline. It’s a cozy and quiet time to get your outdoor fix, and we’ve got just the camps to get the job done.

Big Quiet Cowboy Camping

Rod Morrison

As is only appropriate for this camp name, a cowboy breakfast is included during your stay. Located halfway between Powell and Cody, this spot is a convenient one-hour drive from Yellowstone. But this 450 acre farm is so beautiful you may not want to leave, and with nearby fishing (a creek runs through the grounds), hiking, or horseback riding, there’s plenty of ways to take advantage of the scenery.

Eclipse Teton Views Camping

The name alone is pretty enticing, and the unrestricted views of the Teton Range provide a camping experience that lives up to its name. This spectacular 40 acre lot is remote and keeps a low profile, meaning you get every inch of wilderness bliss imagined. A reasonable distance from Yellowstone and other amazing parks, there’s a neverending supply of outdoor activities to enjoy from this camp.

Golden Skyfall Tent Camping and Tipi

Just forty-five miles from Yellowstone is a 170 acre sustainable farm just begging to be photographed. Nestled in golden fields with blue mountains not far off, this Bozeman-based camp leaves plenty of room to pitch a tent or spend the night in an actual tipi. Sample the local produce (including honey made right onsite) and explore the miles of nearby biking, hiking, and skiing trails.

Fisherman’s Paradise

Southwest of Yellowstone is the ultimate fisherman’s retreat. Nothing says fall more than the crisp weather, good fishing, and fresh catch cooking over the fire. Set up camp under the pines in this remote haven, and enjoy a private stream all to yourself. Close enough to town for an easy plan b, there’s plenty of grub if the fishing is unlucky.

Jackson Hole Tiny Home

This tiny home is impossible not to love. Rustic and charming, it’s located just minutes from Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and Grand Teton National Park. The cozy built-in fireplace and big bright windows keep you close to the magical scenery while still providing an epic glamping experience. Journey here during the fall months for beautiful foliage and miles of explorable terrain.

Columbia River Gorge, Oregon and Washington

Photo courtesy of Blaine Franger of Beautiful Hood River

The Pacific Northwest has always been a magical place to see the leaves turn. Unfortunately, the area has been devastated by wildfires this summer. Fires are natural to the regenerative cycle of forests, but their impacts can be exasperated by short-sided mitigation practices and unsafe fire behavior. We hope everyone in the Pacific Northwest stays safe this fire season and we look forward to the regrowth of these forests.

Cover Photo by Bryan Collins at Onion River Campground, VT.

Larissa Runkle

Writer and climber, living on the road since 2018.

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