Where to See the Most Beautiful Fall Foliage in Texas

Let the leaf-peeping commence, y’all.

When you think of fall foliage, a few locations probably spring to mind, including New England, the Catskills, the Ozarks and the Pacific Northwest. If your travels take you to such destinations, enjoy the colors. But don’t sleep on Texas. The extra-large state varies in topography, elevation and ecology, so there are plenty of gorgeous spots for gawking at changing leaves within its borders.

These are eight of the best places to see fall foliage in Texas. The best views usually occur from mid-October through mid-November, depending on the location and weather, so plan accordingly.

Head two hours northwest of San Antonio, and you’ll enter the Lost Maples State Natural Area, with plenty of hikes, campsites, wildlife, and stargazing opportunities. In summer, Lost Maples is renowned for its wildflowers, but in fall, visitors flock to see the lush fall foliage. Bigtooth maples turn red and orange, providing a gorgeous backdrop for nature walks—there are 10 miles of trails, including a loop that ends in a prime vantage point above the park on a 2,200-foot cliff.
When to go: Halloween into the first few weeks of November

This Hill Country park is a year-round favorite. Visitors float down the Frio River during summer months and explore the 16 miles of trails during spring and fall. Autumn brings the added benefit of colorful forests, as the cypress, oak, mesquite, and persimmon trees change from their usual greens to bright yellow, red, and orange.
When to go: Late November to early December

This national park sits on the border of West Texas and Southern New Mexico, drawing visitors from both states, who gather for the area’s unique mix of mountains, canyons, and deserts. At night, the park is one of the best stargazing spots around, while during the day, you can take in the color-changing maples and other deciduous trees. For a good time, hike the McKittrick Canyon for views of beautiful landscapes and fall foliage.
When to go: The last two weekends of October into early November

The Texas Panhandle boasts the second largest canyon in the country. Located a short drive south of Amarillo, Palo Duro Canyon State Park features more than 30 miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails, so there’s always something to explore. There are also lots of campsites, and even a few luxury tents, so you can easily spend a few days in the park. Time your trip with the changing leaves, and you’ll see the local cottonwood trees turn bright yellow against the blue skies and red rocks.
When to go: Mid- to late October

Tyler State Park is a popular destination for hiking and fishing, with 13 miles of trails and a 64-acre spring-fed lake situated within the Piney Woods region. During the fall, those trees—many stretching 100 feet tall—turn shades of yellow, orange, and red, providing a full color palette for all your leaf-peeping activities.
When to go: October - November

Located about 10 miles south of Downtown Austin, McKinney Falls State Park offers travelers a relaxing respite for day-hikes, mountain biking, or weekend camping trips. Nine miles of trails wind through cypress trees and red oaks, and secluded waterfalls and pools run down from Onion Creek. It’s easy to spend a few hours or a couple days killing time in this park, especially during fall when the temperatures are cooler and trees brighten the sky with their changing colors.
When to go: Late October through early November

Another Piney Woods gem, Daingerfield State Park covers 507 acres of the scenic region situated in Northeast Texas. You can hike, bike, and bird-watch, or paddle your way across the 80-acre lake. The Rustling Leaves Trail is an easy trek around that lake, or for even better views, take the Mountain View Trail up to the highest point in the park. Once fall hits, the oak, maple, sweetgum, and sassafras trees oblige visitors with rich red, orange, and yellow hues, which provide a stunning contrast to the evergreen pines.
When to go: October to mid-November

Enchanted Rock gets its name from the massive mound of pink granite that dates back more than a billion years. Go ahead and climb your way to the top, or take off one one of the nearby trails, which cover 11 total miles. But as you stroll, keep your eyes peeled for the kaleidoscope of colors painted into the area’s oak trees.
When to go: November

Kevin Gray is a freelance writer and editor covering all things food, drinks, and travel. He’s written for The Dallas Morning NewsForbesLiquor.comMen’s Health, and Wine Enthusiast, and his extensive home bar is turning into a real Hoarders situation.