Best time to travel to Arkansas

Arkansas Fall Foliage

Marvel in Arkansas' patchwork of fall colors from the Ozark Mountains to the Mississippi River

Best time: October–mid-November

Arkansas Fall Foliage
Arkansas Fall Foliage
Arkansas Fall Foliage
Arkansas Fall Foliage
Route 23 near Ozark, Arkansas
See accommodations nearby

Arkansas is famous for its abundant forests and vast wilderness areas. Due to a wide variety of trees, the state looks especially beautiful during the changing seasons. Oak and hickory provide lots of yellow tones, and maples create red and orange accents. The Ozark Mountains in the north get the first yellow and golden tones in October. The central part of the state, namely the Arkansas River Valley and Ouachita State Park, start to turn a week or so later, reaching full transformation in early November. The southern part of the state usually dresses up in gold by mid-November.


The most popular hiking destination in the state—the Ozark Mountains— looks astonishing in fall. With several national forests consisting of oaks, black gum trees, hickories, and maples, the region stuns with colorful panoramas. Colors become the most vivid in the last two weeks of October. If you want to enjoy the colors from a car window, go on the scenic Boston Mountains Loop that runs on Highway 71 and Interstate 49 from Fayetteville to Devil's Den State Park. Being one of the top fall destinations in the state, Devil's Den State Park is located in the southwestern part of the Ozarks. The park boasts fossils of coral and crinoids along Lee Creek. The Upper Buffalo Wilderness is another great fall destination in the region. Hike the easy 3-mi (5-km) Whitaker Point Trail overlooking Whitaker Creek. Finally, you can explore the foothills of the Ozark Mountains at Lake Charles State Park.

The Ouachita Mountains

The Ouachita Mountains lie in the central part of Arkansas. The highest and the most prominent peak is Mount Magazine. The mountain is the highest peak of Arkansas and boasts two summits: Signal Hill, 2,753 feet (840 m), and Mossback Ridge, 2,700 ft (823.0 m). Signal Hill hike is especially popular during fall for its stunning 360-degree vistas. The Ouachita National Forest is another wonderful place to observe the changing colors of oak and maple trees. Pinnacle Mountain State Park is also a good spot for a fall hike. If you prefer to go for a ride, drive on Scenic Byway 7, one of the most beautiful roads in the United States, which traverses Ouachita National Forest.

Arkansas Delta

The historical Arkansas Delta Region boasts a unique landscape that consists of swamps, forests, and scenic lakes. Delta Heritage Trail State Park suits perfectly for a fall bike ride. Take a 12-mi ride (19-km) from Barton to Lake View, then go by kayak to Old Town Lake, and return by bike to Barton. Other scenic locations for fall photography are Lake Chicot State Park, Raymond Lake in Moro Bay State Park.

Where to stay

Major Arkansas parks such as Ozark National Forest and Ouachita National Forest have numerous campgrounds and lodging. If you stay at Mount Magazine Lodge, DeGray Lake Lodge, or Mather Lodge at Petit Jean Park, you'll be surrounded by nature, serenity, and stunning beauty throughout your whole stay. The map below depicts the aforementioned fall foliage viewing spots so you can find the optimal accommodation close to your place of choice.

Practical info

When is the best time to go to Arkansas to enjoy autumn's colorful display?

The fall foliage in Arkansas is most exceptional from mid-October to mid-November. The Ozark Mountains in the north exhibit the first golden hues. The central region is next in line, with full transformation around the beginning of November. The southern region reaches full golden transformation by mid-November. Show more

What are some places to see vibrant fall foliage in Arkansas?

You can witness the stunning colorful displays of fall foliage in the mountains, national forests, and state parks of Arkansas. The Boston Mountains, Upper Buffalo Wilderness, Devil's Den State Park, and Lake Charles State Park in the Ozark Mountains offer breathtaking views of fall foliage. The grandeur of Ouachita State Park in the central region is another great sight. For bike rides, Delta Heritage Trail State Park is the perfect destination. Show more

Which scenic drives offer the best views of fall foliage in Arkansas?

Arkansas boasts several scenic roads for fall foliage viewing. One of the best is the Boston Mountains Loop, encompassing Highway 71 and Interstate 49. Scenic Byway #7 traverses the Ouachita National Forest, offering mesmerizing views. The Talimena Scenic Drive, passing through the Ouachita National Forest, showcases breathtaking fall foliage panoramas over southeastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas. Show more

Which Arkansas state parks are a must-visit during the fall season?

Devil's Den State Park, Ouachita National Forest, and Pinnacle Mountain State Park provide unmatched natural beauty. For an extensive photographic experience, visit Lake Chicot State Park or Raymond Lake at Moro Bay State Park. The well-known Ozark National Forest and Ouachita National Forest are perfect camping locations. For a relaxing, nature-filled escape, the accommodations at Mount Magazine Lodge, DeGray Lake Lodge, or Mather Lodge at Petit Jean Park are the best options. Show more

Are there any unique landmarks to visit in Arkansas for fall foliage?

The southern region of Arkansas presents a unique landscape of swamps, forests, and scenic lakes in the Arkansas Delta region. For stunning 360-degree views, visit Mount Magazine, the state's highest peak with two summits. For bike riding, Delta Heritage Trail State Park also offers amazing fall foliage views. Devil's Den State Park displays fascinating fossil formations, and if you crave vibrant maple and oak trees, Ouachita National Forest is paradise. Show more

Ask a question
Last updated: by Olga Valchyshen