Fall is one of the most amazing times of the year to go hiking.
We love hiking the trails in the National Parks, especially in the fall.
Visiting US National Parks in the fall is amazing!
The weather is cooler, there are fewer people, and the colors are out of this world!
We are sharing the best fall hiking in the US that you want to add to your must-do list this year.
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FALL HIKING GEAR
DOWNLOAD our US National Park checklists to make it easy to pack what you need for your next trip!
DOWNLOAD our Day Hike Packing Checklist!
1. US National Parks Pass: You can order passes online or get them at any of these Federal Recreation Areas.
→ BUY THE PASS AT REI and they will donate 10% of sales to the National Park Foundation.
2. Fall Hiking Shoes: → Check out our FAVORITE hiking shoes/boots!
3. Fall Hiking Socks: → Check out the BEST SOCKS EVER!
4. Fall Clothing for Hiking (Layers)
- WATER: → We carry water bottles or hydration backpacks
- FOOD: → Check out our favorite healthy snacks
- Flashlight: → Check out the headlamps we like
- National Park maps
- Lip protection with sunscreen
- Polarized sunglasses
- Hand lotion
- Female urination device
- Toilet paper (carry out in a bag – do not bury)
- Hand sanitizer
- First aid kit
- Bags to pack out trash
- Walking stick or trekking poles
- Cell phone
- Portable charger
- Guide books
- Camera Gear – DOWNLOAD the free checklist!
- Photography gear for hiking
The Best Fall Hiking in the US
Fall is the best time for hiking because the weather is more temperate and the autumn colors are beautiful.
If you enjoy taking pictures on your adventures, check out our photography gear for hiking!
Hiking at Yosemite National Park in the Fall
We love Yosemite and for good reason. There are so many incredible hikes to go and gorgeous scenery. There is always something to do at Yosemite.
Vernal Falls is a must in the fall. This is one of the only waterfalls in Yosemite that does not dry up by the time falls arrives.
With three different hiking options in one, there is a hike for everyone on this trail.
You can choose to hike the 1.6-mile look to the base of the falls. The 2.4 miles to the top of Vernal Falls or you can go all the way to Nevada Fall on the 5.4-mile loop.
No matter which hike you choose you are guaranteed some incredible views along the way that won’t disappoint.
Yosemite National Park Lodging & Tours
- Hotels Near Yosemite National Park
- Vacation Rentals Near Yosemite National Park
- Tours Near Yosemite National Park
Hiking at Zion National Park in the Fall
Zion National Park Hikes are out of this world, so of course, they are on our best fall hikes in the US.
Fall is the best time to hike Zion. The temperatures are cooler and the crowds are gone.
If you are wanting to see an abundance of color, plan your fall trip to Zion for late October when the colors start changing.
At Zion National Park there are easy, moderate, and strenuous hikes.
Canyon Overlook Trail is the perfect beginner hike in the fall at Zion. There you will see some of the most amazing colors on this easy trail.
While hiking you will be able to take in the views from Zion Canyon. This is one hike you don’t want to forget your camera on because the colors are incredible. This hike is just about a mile long making it perfect for families.
Angels Landing is another one of those fall hikes in the US that is a must. This is the most popular hike in Zion and for good reason.
On this 5.4-mile hike, you will climb over 1500 feet above the canyon floor. As you climb you will take in the fall colors all along the way, especially on the canyon floor.
If you plan to hike this trail remember it is steep and will take at least 3 hours to do and will require you to use a chain handrail at times.
Observation Point is a strenuous hike on our fall hiking in the US list. This is one you will want to prepare for as it is 8 miles and climbs 2300 feet in elevation.
On average it takes 4-6 hours to complete, but is well worth it! At the top, you will see Angels Landing and other Zion landmarks, not to mention all the trees changing colors.
→ CHECK OUT these hikes from Las Vegas if you want to extend your trip!
- Zion National Park Travel Guide
- Zion Hiking Trails
- Zion National Park in the Summer
- Zion National Park in the Fall
- Zion National Park in the Winter
- Zion National Park Tours
Where to Stay Near Zion
You definitely want to stay in Springdale which borders the entrance to Zion. Here are a few of our favorite places to stay close to Zion:
→ Holiday Inn Express – our favorite place to stay with an outdoor pool and amenities you’d find in a high end hotel
→ Zion Lodge – we haven’t had a chance to stay here yet, but you can’t go wrong staying right IN the park!
→ Under Canvas Zion – if you want to experience a less crowded part of Zion, this is the place! It’s in the Kolob section of the park.
Hiking at Arches National Park in the Fall
Arches National Park in the Fall is not only breathtaking, but the perfect time to go. The weather is great and the crowds are fewer. We couldn’t just pick one go-to hike at Arches, we had to pick two to add to the best fall hikes in the US.
First on the list, Devil’s Garden Trail. It is the longest hike in Arches National Park. It is 7.2-miles roundtrip. It is perfect to go on this time of year because of the cooler temperatures.
If you are hiking with kids, or not up for the 7-mile hike, be sure to go on the first mile of the hike to Landscape Arch.
The other must-do fall hike is to Delicate Arch. It is a 3-mile roundtrip hike. Here you will see Delicate Arch, which cannot be seen from the road. It is definitely worth the hike that you don’t want to miss.
- Arches National Park Travel Guide
- Arches & Canyonlands 3 Day Itinerary
- Arches in the Spring
- Arches in the Summer
- Arches in the Fall
- Arches in the Winter
- Arches National Park Hiking Trails
- Arches Packing List
- Where to Stay in Moab Near Arches
- Tours Near Moab, Utah
Where to Stay Near Arches National Park
READ OUR FULL GUIDE: Places to stay near Arches National Park in Moab
• Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Moab – we enjoyed our stay and highly recommend this hotel due to its location close to Arches.
• Red Cliffs Lodge – rooms up to 6 people – located 17 miles from Moab, this lodge is known for its beautiful location, winery and activities like horseback riding, fishing and more!
• Condos south of town – we really like the King size bed in the master, washer and dryer in the unit and a swimming pool/hot tub (just a 5 minute drive south of Moab).
Hiking at Grand Teton National Park in the Fall
It’s no surprise that Grand Teton National Park in on our list for the best fall hiking in the US.
There is so much adventure at Grand Teton in the Fall, and hiking is definitely one of them.
If you are looking for an easy hike to do that showcases the beauty of the Grand Tetons in the fall be sure to hike Lakeshore Trail.
It’s an easy hike that you can stroll on as you enjoy the views of the Teton Range and Jackson Lake.
It only takes about 2 hours and is perfect for to see and photograph the fall colors!
Where to Stay in Jackson near Grand Teton:
There are a variety of lodging options in Grand Teton as well as Jackson. Here are the 3 favorite places we recommend:
- Elk Refuge Inn – this is right across from the refuge and the closes hotel to the park entrance – our favorite place to stay!
- Elk Country Inn – awesome property if you want to be in town.
- Vacation Rentals – we LOVE having a kitchen to prepare our meals!
- Hotels in Jackson Hole
- Rent an RV – have it dropped off at your vacation destination!
Hiking at Acadia National Park in the Fall
Did you know that Acadia National Park is the most visited National Park in the fall?
Everywhere you look the landscape is bursting with color.
The most popular fall hike in the park is Cadillac North Ridge Trail.
This is a 4.4-mile round trip hike that takes you up 1528 feet where you will see some of the most incredible views of the ocean and the forest.
Acadia National Park Lodging & Tours
- Hotels Near Acadia National Park
- Vacation Rentals Near Acadia National Park
- Acadia National Park Tours
Hiking at Rocky Mountain National Park in the Fall
We can’t forget about Rocky Mountain National Park on the best fall hiking in the US.
As the aspen trees change to the most beautiful golden colors, you can’t help but be amazed by their beauty.
In the distance you may see snow on the mountains if you go late enough in the fall.
At Rocky Mountain National Park there are so many hikes to choose from, but we are a fan of Cascade Falls this time of year. It is a 3.5-mile hike that takes you into the forested country to the waterfall on the west side of the park.
Many people prefer Cub Lake this time of year. It is 2.3-miles long. On this hike, you will travel to the mountain pond through the woods seeing all the fall colors along the way.