Interactive map helps find peak leaf-peeping days

One of the best things about hunting is that it gets you outside during what is in my opinion the most beautiful time of the year. But if you don’t hunt and want to see the leaves change, Country Living Magazine has a great tool for you.

If you hunt, you probably find yourself in the best fall foliage environments at exactly the right time. Before I had to get a grown-up job, I went to the hills as often as possible during hunting season, so I was able to keep tabs on the leaf situation as it was developing.

These days, I don’t get up into the mountains as often, but I still make it up there enough to see some great fall colors. But I stumbled on a great tool that might give me a better idea of when I need to get up to the hills, if all I want to do is see some gorgeous coloration.

Country Living Magazine developed an interactive map that shows when the leaves are expected to change throughout the country. It’s color coded so you can see at a glance if your favorite leaf-peeping spot is ready, or if it still needs a week or two to ripen a bit more.

The map can be found at CountryLiving.com, then search for “Fall Foliage Map,” or click here. I have to admit, this is the first year I’ll have used it, so I don’t know how accurate it’s going to be. But so far, it looks like it might be pretty close.

It’ll tell you when there’s no change to the leaves, minimal, patchy, partial, near peak, and when the fall colors are in their peak. It’ll also show you when they’re past their peak. Right now, it’s saying much of Wyoming’s high country will be near or at peak the week of Sept. 28. The lower areas will hit peak around Oct. 12.

Right now, it’s showing the high country around the Continental Divide as “partial,” which is just before “near peak,” so if you get up there now, it’ll probably be worth the trip. But if this map is correct, it’s about to get even better.

Happy fall to you, whether you’re hunting, leaf-peeping, or both.

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