With a dazzling display of fiery colors, fall is definitely one of Mother Nature’s most spectacular shows. With over 3000 miles of national scenic byways, and many other equally scenic roads, taking a drive is a great way to experience all that fall has to offer. Here are some of OROGOLD’s picks of America’s most scenic fall drives.
Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia and North Carolina
Fondly referred to by many as ‘America’s favorite drive’, the Blue Ridge Parkway covers 469 miles of stunning scenery and a rich sense of cultural heritage. Beginning in the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia and ending in North Carolina’s Great Smoky Mountains National Park, fall is one of the best times of the year to take this drive. The speed limit is typically 45 miles per hour, allowing you to meander along at a leisurely pace, fully taking in your beautiful surroundings. For those doing the drive in October, OROGOLD recommends paying a visit to the Mabry Mill, where craft demonstrations are held each Sunday for the public, including a delicious apple-butter making demonstration.
Columbia River Highway, Oregon
A 75 mile scenic highway that winds its way up cliffs measuring 900 feet, the Columbia River Highway is the drive to take if you want to see dramatic fall scenery. Built in 1913, the highway was created to highlight the natural beauty of the surrounding area, making it no surprise that it earned itself National Historic Landmark status. The cliffs that the drive take you through overlook the river and valley below, with the landscape lighting up with vibrantly striking shades each fall. If you want to further explore the area, OROGOLD would recommend that you stop off and take advantage of one of the many hiking trails around the highway, some of which lead to picturesque hidden waterfalls.
Grand Mesa Scenic and Historic Byway, Colorado
Colorado’s landscape turns into a brilliant tapestry of colors each fall, helped by the popular Aspen trees that transform into vivid hues of gold. The Grand Mesa Scenic and Historic Byway begins at route 70, and takes you through narrow canyons, evergreen forests, fields of wildflowers, and sprawling lakes, reflecting the fiery shades around them. The 63 mile byway ends at the world’s largest flat-top mountain, the Grand Mesa, which offers dramatic views of the Rocky Mountains and sprawling forests. If you are travelling in October, then you are right on time for Applefest, which is held by the town of Cedaredge in celebration of the area’s apple harvest. Another stop that OROGOLD would suggest you make is to the tiny town of Skyway, which is nestled into the Grand Mesa National Forest.
There is no denying the beauty that fall brings, casting a gorgeous new light over even the most captivating of natural landscapes. From a dramatic drive up the Columbia River Highway, to a leisurely meander along the Blue Ridge Parkway, these fall drives are definitely ones that you should try to make!