Fall Color Reports for 2021

Our fall color reports for the 2021 season have concluded. We hope to see you in the Park this winter.


This will be our last fall color update for the 2021 season. While most higher elevations have lost their leaves, there’s still some color to be found in the lowest elevations of Hickory Nut Gorge. We expect that this will be the last week to see fall color around the Park, so stop by this weekend and experience the end of this gorgeous season.

Thursday’s rain didn’t take many leaves, luckily, and we have incredible color right now. We do expect that the colder temperatures coming in may impact that so this is a great weekend to get out and explore.


Fall color is at its peak in Chimney Rock. Whether you’re hiking, taking in the views or cruising up the Park road, there are vibrant autumn shades everywhere! We expect this weekend to be the best for color despite the rainy weather today. This is the last fall color of the season so don’t miss it.

View from the Opera Box this week


Fall foliage is on display in Hickory Nut Gorge. Although you may find plenty of trees who have yet to turn, or are just starting, the forest is showing its colors. The highest elevations in the gorge have begun to pass peak, but most of the area will likely have vibrant color throughout the next week. Cooling temperatures will encourage the transition in those leaves who have yet to change. This coming weekend looks like perfect temperatures to get out and take in the magic of these seasonal shifts as we approach peak color for the season.

View from the Opera Box this week


Fall color is starting to make it’s splash in Hickory Nut Gorge. If you’re coming from Asheville, Hendersonville or Black Mountain you’ll enjoy a beautiful drive as you descend into the area. It’s easy to spot golden hickories, red sourwoods and rich brown magnolia leaves as you make your way into the valley. When you reach Chimney Rock Village much of the foliage surrounding the town is still green, but as you look up at the ridges above you’ll find plenty of the seasonal transition beginning to creep down the mountains. When you enter the Park, our three mile road to the top hosts vibrant shades of red, orange and yellow hues enrich your views. Head out on any trail to find vibrant examples of autumn leaves enhancing the woodland scenery.


Fall hues are beginning to arrive in Hickory Nut Gorge. Although it’s still spotty, you can see the ridges slowly transitioning to their seasonal hues. As you approach the Park from Hendersonville or Asheville, the road will be lined with changing trees. The vibrant sourwoods have begun to show their bright red leaves, adding variety to the yellowing poplars and purplish dogwoods. Don’t be worried you’ve missed wildflower season, there are plenty still blooming throughout the Park. We anticipate more color arriving daily! 

.View from the Opera Box this week


Chimney Rock is still a couple weeks away from peak fall color. If you’re coming from Black Mountain, Asheville or Hendersonville the roads leading in should offer some fall hues, but if you’re standing on the Chimney looking out you’ll still find a mostly green color scheme. That said, we do have poplar trees yellowing and dogwoods brightening the understory with their reddish-purple leaves. You can still find many wildflowers in bloom continuing to add some interest along your trek. The forecast for the coming week looks like the perfect weather to encourage more color change as the cooler temperatures set-in.

In a greater regional trend, fall color has been delayed this year by warm temperatures and heavy rains. Experts are predicting fall color progression throughout the mountains to be behind last year by about 5 days.

View from the Opera Box this week


There hasn’t been too much progression from last week here in Hickory Nut Gorge. Recent weather patterns seem to have slowed down the transformation in the area, but you can still find pockets of color cropping up as you look at long-range views of the mountains.  As you drive to the Park through higher elevations such as Black Mountain, Asheville, and even Fairview, you may spot more color progression as the fall weather makes its way through the mountains. The view from the Opera Box this week is a little dreary, but it represents the rainy weather we have had for the last five days.

Check back next week for another update. We’re hoping for some cooler temperatures and sunny days to help the color look its best!

View from the Opera Box this week


Peak fall color is still weeks away for Hickory Nut Gorge, and most of our forest is still green. Due to much of the area being lower elevation mountains, we typically see our brightest colors in late October or early November. We’re closely monitoring weather patterns to see when we can expect our prime leaf color. However, this is a beautiful time to visit if you want to check out fall wildflowers that bring their own hues to the trails. Hikers will be delighted to find a variety of goldenrods, asters and other fall wildflowers to enhance their hike. Although the major changes haven’t happened yet, you may also spot some of our earliest transitioning trees as you glance across to the ridge lines along your trek. 

View from the Opera Box this week

Fall is in the air! Check back here for color updates every Thursday.

We are still mostly seeing the yellowing of poplars throughout these lower elevations, and sporadic dogwood trees can be found changing along the trails and roadsides to their reddish-purple hue. Fall flowers are still in bloom, so don’t forget to look a little lower to spot some different fall color.