Wedding Photographer Blog

North Carolina Fall leaf changing color schedule

David Morgan - Wednesday, September 02, 2015
North Carolina Fall leaf changing color schedule

According to, this fall is shaping up to be one of the more spectacular foliage seasons we’ve experienced in many years, primarily due to the unusual heat and lack of rain that we have experienced.  Even the overwhelming heat this summer has a silver lining though, because we love to plan our North Carolina engagement and family portrait photography around the local fall foliage!  Ultimately, the weather in September will determine the color progression, so if this heat wave continues, then fall color changing will start a little later.  As of now, here is what we apparently can expect in the coming weeks (let me put on my meteorology hat to bore you really quickly):

fall foliage map of north carolina 

    October 2-9: Highest elevations north of Asheville above 5,000 feet show the most color, especially in the Mount Mitchell, Craggy Gardens, Grandfather Mountain, Beech Mountain, Rough Ridge and Graveyard Fields areas.

    October 8-16: Color will increase in elevations greater than 4,000 feet, including the Mount Pisgah, Black Balsam Knob, Devil's Courthouse, Waterrock Knob, and southwest of Asheville on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It will also be peak color in the Highlands area, including Whiteside Mountain, where there are plenty of waterfalls to enjoy, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, including hikes to Alum Cave and Chimney Tops.

    October 14-23: Many of the surrounding mountains around Asheville will show plenty of color, especially in the 3,000-4,000 foot elevation range. A great hike in Pisgah National Forest would be Looking Glass Rock or Cradle of Forestry. North of Asheville, head to Linville Gorge with hikes to the top of Table Rock and Hawksbill Mountain. West of Asheville, Bryson City and the Nantahala Gorge will shine.

    October 20-29: The city of Asheville (2,000 feet elevation) shows the brightest colors, along with areas around Hendersonville and Brevard. This is the perfect time for a waterfall hike in DuPont State Forest or leisurely walk at the NC Arboretum. This is obviously the peak leaf color for Biltmore Estate as well.

    October 25-November 4: The color show concludes in the Chimney Rock area (elevation of 1,300 feet). Ride to the top of Chimney Rock or take a boat tour on Lake Lure. This is also peak time at Lake James and South Mountain State Parks.


charlotte portrait photography  charlotte engagement photography groom receiving some love from his fiance in the north carolina autumn colors

You can get even more foliage information at:

As you can see, we have plenty of opportunities to get those fall colors in your engagement or family portrait sessions! The first of October is LESS THAN A MONTH AWAY and the month is booking up quicker than we can say "pumpkin spice latte"….so contact us at and let’s get you on our schedule!

bride kissing groom in the asheville mountains 

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They made sure we were comfortable with the camera at our engagement photo session which put me at ease on my wedding day! Our pictures turned out beautiful and we couldn't have asked for a better experience!

Jenny & Peter

Jenny & Peter