Wyoming Fall Foliage: A MapQuest Guide
Wyoming fall foliage features brilliant hues and spectacular scenery. The changing colors of leaves in autumn is one of nature’s most beloved rites of passage -- and makes for one of the most popular and inexpensive getaways for families. As part of LeafQuest -- a MapQuest series helping leaf peepers across North America find easy and rewarding destinations -- here are three recommended spots for viewing Wyoming fall foliage. — Andres Jauregui
Shoshone National Forest
Created in 1891 as part of the Yellowstone Timberland Reserve, Shoshone National Forest became the first national forest in the United States. While early European settlers sought to strike it rich by mining the surrounding mountains, archeological records show that the area has been continuously inhabited for the past 10,000 years. Today, the region hosts a variety of year-round outdoor recreational activities for tourists. The park is home to the largest population of bighorn sheep in the United States and is one of the last places to see grizzly bears in the Lower 48 -- although viewing the latter up close is not recommended. Fall colors in the forest, as in much of the region, is dominated by the shimmering gold of aspen foliage, which can peak as early as late September. The forest's offices are located in Cody, which is the gateway to Shoshone National Forest.
808 Meadow Lane Ave., Cody, WY 82414 | Get Directions
Grand Teton National Park
Words can barely describe the sublime beauty of a sunrise over the Grand Tetons in early autumn. The snow on the jagged, fault-block mountains turns pink from the early rays, which reflect onto glowing boughs of aspen, dark evergreens and tall, tan grass. Grand Teton National Park's vivid scenery is rivaled only by its biological diversity -- bison, elk and moose roam the park; bald eagles soar overhead. The Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center in the nearby town of Moose provides educational exhibitions and visitor information year-round.
Moose Entrance, Teton Park Rd, Jackson, WY 83001 | Get Directions
Yellowstone National Park
Generations of visitors have been inspired and awed by the majesty of Yellowstone National Park. Its natural attractions, like Old Faithful, draw tourists from around the world, and year-round ranger-led and self-guided activities give them plenty to do. Although the park's attendance swells during summer months, autumn in Yellowstone can be just as enchanting, as quaking aspen and willows explode into autumnal glory. Early in the season, cool fall temperatures are ideal for hiking and biking the park's network of trails. While colder weather makes some animal sightings less common, large herds of bison can still be spotted in the park.
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190 | Get Directions
Fall colors and the Grand Tetons on display at the Oxbow Bend overlook outside Yellowstone National Park.
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Want other great fall-foliage destinations? Check out more LeafQuest.