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The 5 Best National Parks to Visit in October


October is arguably one of the best times to visit a national park. Why? Because when autumn rolls around, the crowds are thinning out, the leaves are changing color, and the weather is finally cooling down.


With almost 60 national parks in the U.S., the options for an idyllic fall vacation are plentiful. However, if you’re looking to narrow down your list of national parks to visit in October, here are some of our favorites below.


1. Great Smoky Mountains



A visit to the Great Smoky Mountains in the fall should be on everyone’s bucket list. The colorful display of reds and yellows fill the tree lined mountains as far as the eye could see, making it a top destination for fall foliage seekers. Enjoy the scenery with a drive or hike at one of these popular destinations in October.


2. Grand Teton



If you’re looking to get away from the crowds and enjoy a peaceful day in nature, Grand Teton is the ideal spot. Like other destinations on this list, Grand Teton National Park is a great place to see fall foliage and active wildlife. According to the NPS, the fall season lasts from September through mid-October.


We encourage you to see Grand Teton unlike the rest by scheduling a van tour with Scenic Safaris, where you get the chance to experience nature how it was meant to be.


3. Rocky Mountain



Located in northern Colorado, a visit to Rocky Mountain National Park will leave you feeling on top of the world. Due to its higher elevations, aspens in this national park begin changing color in August and last through October. Those who enjoy watching nature in action might even get to witness an elk bugling in person—as elk are actively engaging in this male dominance activity in late October.


4. Zion



Due to its clear days, mild temperatures, and low water levels (safer for hiking), this southern Utah national park is best visited in the fall. Looking to capture some fall foliage photo ops while you’re there? To get the best fall color experience of Zion Canyon, we suggest planning your vacation around the third or fourth week of October.


For a full western experience, reserve your stay at Parry Lodge, a mere 35 minute drive from the national park.


5. Yosemite



To see Yosemite National Park light up in fall color, peak season is said to be in late October. Popular destinations include Tioga Road near the Tuolumne Grove trailhead and the Yosemite Creek picnic area.


Looking for more popular national parks to visit? See where else you can travel to this October by visiting our website.



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