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How to pick the best weekend to see the leaves changing

As temperatures cool across the US, the leaves will begin to change. Use this prediction map so you don't miss peak changing weekend.

The start of autumn is just over two weeks away. As temperatures cool across the US, the trees will begin to change color, creating some of the most breathtaking visuals of the year.

If you plan to make a trip to some of the most scenic spots to view the changing of the leaves, it's best to plan ahead, as traffic can get pretty bad and places to stay will book up pretty quickly.

Catching the peak leaf changing weekend usually takes a fair amount of guesswork, based on how quickly the temperatures begin to fall, elevation, where you live and several other factors. Fortunately, SmokyMountains.com has provided a Fall Foliage Prediction Map for 2017 to help you plan your upcoming trip, not just to Tennessee but the entire country.


To use the prediction map, click or move the slider along the timeline. The map will update to show its prediction for the progress of leaves changing that week.

From green (no change) to brown (past peak), try to pinpoint where on the map you plan to view the changing of the leaves and move the slider until your area shows either near peak (red) or peak (crimson) and you will know approximately which weekend you should plan a trip.

And if you can't make it to the peak weekend at your favorite spot, you can also use the prediction map to find out where else you could go to peep some leaves somewhere else.

When using the map, just keep in mind that it's not 100 percent accurate. It is a prediction map, after all. Many things can alter when and how fast the leaves begin to change.