RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN)– We are now in the third week of October, and this is typically the time to see the best colors in the North Carolina Mountains.
Last year, North Carolina saw a delay in peak fall colors by nearly three weeks.
This year, as we hit the normal peak time to see colors, the mountains are filled with the reds, oranges, and yellows of fall.
This week, the peak colors can be found around 3,000 feet, making them highly visible from the Blue Ridge Parkway and in cities like Boone.
The colors are most vibrant in the maples, sourwoods, and birches. Heading up to higher elevations, like Grandfather and Beech Mountains, will quickly provide a drop off in color.
Once you get above 3500 feet, the colors are now past peak. In many places above 4,000 feet, the leaves are completely gone from the trees.
The height of peak colors will continue to drop through the rest of the month. The week of the 26th will feature peak colors in places like the city of Asheville.
The beginning of November will bring peak colors to all of the Piedmont.
While there are some nice colors around Central North Carolina right now, our peak time usually arrives around the second week of November.
If you are planning on heading west to see the fall colors, the weekends have produced massive crowds on the Blue Ridge Parkway and other scenic routes.
Some places are also requiring registration in advance to get on the trails or visitor areas.