You may think you need to go all the way to the east coast to witness beautiful fall foliage, but that’s not true! Picture this: trees bursting to life with color. Rolling hills of red, orange, and yellow. Crisp autumn air filling with the heady scent of campfire smoke… yep, you can find all of that right here in Texas! So without further ado, here are the 10 best places to see fall foliage in Texas!
Where to See the Best Fall Foliage in Texas
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1. Lost Maples State Natural Area - Best Fall Foliage in Texas
I have to start with the #1 spot for places to see fall foliage in Texas: Lost Maples! This protected natural area outside of San Antonio is also one of the most popular spots in the whole state for leaf peeping, so don’t be surprised if it’s busy on a fall weekend.
Of course, it’s so popular for a reason—Lost Maples is home to a certain kind of Bigtooth Maple tree that’s renowned for it’s eye-popping fall colors! Come autumn, the entire natural area is awash in yellows, oranges, and reds. It’s no wonder lots of people go here to hike, camp, and enjoy the cool fall weather!
Entrance fee: $6 for those 13 and up (12 and under enter for free).
2. Garner State Park - Gorgeous Fall Leaves in Texas
Only about 40 minutes away from Lost Maples, Garner State Park is another hugely popular place to see fall foliage in Texas! With over 1,770 acres of scenic hill country, this state park is a great place to hike or even camp. Some of the best places to see the fall foliage are along the Frio river — just look how it reflects on the water!
Entrance fee: $8 daily for those 13 and up (12 and under enter for free).
3. Tyler State Park - East Texas fall foliage
If you’re reading this later in the fall season, like between Thanksgiving and Christmas—no worries! You can still catch some beautiful fall foliage by heading to Tyler State Park, located just outside of Tyler, Texas. This state park is home to a litany of massive old-growth trees that’ll absolutely take your breath away at the height of autumn and up through the New Year.
Tyler State Park is spread around a lake, so you can hike and mountain bike as well as enjoy water activities like boating and fishing. Head for just a day or soak up the fall foliage overnight at one of Tyler State Park’s cozy cabins (they have tent campsites, too!).
4. Colorado Bend State Park
This is a great day trip from Austin! It’s just a quick two-hour drive northwest but it feels like you’ve entered into a whole different world. Not only are there plenty of miles of hiking trails to explore, Colorado Bend State Park is also home to one of Texas’ largest waterfalls AND a unique underground cave system!
So if you’re headed to Colorado Bend State Park this fall for some foliage, be sure to make the trek to Gorman Falls. It’s beautiful anytime of year, but truly stunning surrounded by the vibrant hues of autumn! Afterwards, choose between a relaxing dip in the swimming hole at Spicewood Springs or a guided tour of the cave system.
Entrance fee: $5 for those 13 and up (12 and under enter for free).
5. Guadalupe River State Park - Beautiful Fall Foliage
Another top contender for the best fall foliage across the state of Texas? Yep, Guadalupe River State Park. Similarly to Lost Maples, this park may get a little busy in the fall, but there’s certainly a solid reason why.
Wanna know why this park is such a beloved spot for leaf peeping? Well, when the leaves change from green to yellow, orange, and red, the contrast between the warm leaves and the bright turquoise waters of the Guadalupe River are nothing short of breathtaking. If you go before it gets too cold, the river also offers lots of fun fall activities: boating, swimming, fishing, canoeing, and even tubing!
Entrance fee: $7 for those 13 and up (12 and under enter for free).
6. Enchanted Rock State Natural Area - Hill Country Fall Leaves
While this protected natural area is decently popular year round, it’s often overlooked for being the autumnal gem that it is! If you’ve been to Enchanted Rock State Natural Area before, you know it’s a pretty spectacular sight: the area is named after the massive granite dome that towers above a scattering of mesquite and oak trees.
I highly recommend visiting Enchanted Rock in the fall because you can get an incredible, panoramic view of the foliage by doing the Summit Trail hike straight up the rockface. Pro tip? Go just before sunset and bring a dinner picnic!
Entrance fee: $8 for those 13 and up (12 and under enter for free).
7. Guadalupe Mountains National Park - Fall Foliage in West Texas
Don’t get confused, this is a totally different place than the Guadalupe River State Park! Located outside of El Paso, Texas, this national park is a great spot to spend a weekend (or even a whole week) enjoying the fall foliage Texas has to offer.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park is sizably larger than the other options on this list—in fact, it’s the largest protected area of wilderness in the entire state! So don’t let this off-the-beaten-path option fool you, if you want to enjoy the change of season without the crowds, this may be your best choice. Explore over 80 miles of trails, camp for a few days, and soak up the tranquility of nature to your little heart’s content.
Entrance fee: $10 for those 16 and up (15 and under enter for free). Permit is good for up to 7 days use.
8. Fort Worth’s Japanese Botanic Garden - Must-See Fall Foliage
Why go to the other side of the world to see the Japanese maples change color… when you can just see them in Texas?! Yeah, that’s right: the Japanese Botanic Garden (also the oldest botanic garden in the state) is home to some of the best fall foliage you can see in all of Texas.
So much so, they even host the annual Fall Festival each year to celebrate the change of season! It’s a great way to enjoy the bright colors of fall while also soaking up some Japanese culture. During the festival, visitors can enjoy traditional Japanese music, crafts and activities like papermaking and tea ceremonies, and more.
The Fall Japanese Festival will be held November 13-14th this year. Admission fees are as follows: adults for $12.00, Seniors (65+) for $10.00, Children (6-15) for $6.00, and children 5 and under are free. Photo from Facebook.
9. Daingerfield State Park - Fall leaves in North Texas
Located in Morris County, Texas, Daingerfield State Park is a great day trip for those in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Being home to a variety of deciduous trees—such as pine, sassafras, oak, and maple—means that Daingerfield transforms into an autumnal wonderland every year.
With over 500 acres of land, there’s plenty of hiking, mountain biking, and exploring to do. You can also take a swim, fish, or paddle around Pine Lake within the state park!
10. Austin - Fall Foliage in Texas
Don’t look so surprised — if you’ve spent any time in Austin in the fall, you know there are a beautiful few weeks every year that we’re blessed with stunning fall foliage! Between mid-October and mid-November, the city of Austin lights up in red, orange, and yellow.
The best way to do a little leaf peeping right in Austin? Get yourself to a city park! Ladybird Lake, Zilker Botanical Gardens, and Red Bud Isle, are all great options.
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