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The temperatures are cooling off, and school is in session. You might think that travel season is over, but fall is the perfect time to get in a few more getaways before winter comes. If you are in the Western United States there are a ton of great fall road trip options. Check out these fall road trip ideas that will have you packing your bags.
In the past week our temperature has dropped from the 90’s to the 60’s. Fall is definitely coming, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still travel. My family loves to get in some fall road trips during long weekends in the fall. A few final adventures before winter sets in and road conditions keep us home. The schools have several long weekends usually, and some even have fall breaks, so this is a great time to get in some of the shorter road trips we always put off. These are some of my favorite fall road trip destinations for those living in the Western United States.
Fall Road Trip Ideas In The Western United States
The Redwoods – Fall road trip to nature
The Redwoods are great all year long, but they are especially great in the fall. Fall brings slightly cooler temperatures, but not too cold, and lower crowds. If you travel in later fall, you will get to see some fall coloring, though not as colorful as the New England and Eastern States, the colors are still vivid and beautiful for the Western United States area. The Redwoods makes a great fall road trip if you just have a long weekend, as you can do several hikes per day. We spent a few days in the Redwoods in late March and really enjoyed it.
Moscow, Idaho – Fall road trip idea you never thought of
This might sound like a strange place to head for a fall road trip, but last year, my family headed up to Lewiston, Idaho for a funeral and to visit family. One day we were looking for something to do and so we headed up to Moscow, Idaho. We had a great time exploring the area and our favorite was the University of Idaho Arboretum and Botanical Garden.
The Arboretum is arranged by geographic location for the origin of the plants located there. There are gardens for Asia, Europe, Eastern North America and Western North America. It was really fun to walk through each section and see plants from different places. The colors are gorgeous in fall, and you will find this is a popular spot for portraits.
Some other great things to do in or around Moscow are University of Idaho football games, Visit Silverwood Theme Park in Athol, Idaho, and check out McConnell Mansion. If you are athletic, the Latah Trail Bike Path. It is a well groomed trail, mostly flat, that you can take between Moscow and Troy. While the path is used by many bike enthusiasts, you can also walk or run on the trail.
Yellowstone National Park – Fall will avoid the summer crowds
If you are in the Western United States Yellowstone National Park is a great fall road trip. Yellowstone closes to automobiles in late fall to prepare for the winter snowfall, but the majority of the tourist attractions are open through October. Going in the fall, with the weather cooling down will also bring out more wildlife for you to see. This is a great time to see elk and buffalo in the park.
St George, Utah and Zion National Park – Hiking without the summer heat
Maybe you aren’t quite ready for the summer to come to an end and want to escape to some warmer weather (if you live farther north). St George, Utah is a great fall road trip destination. There is so much you can do in the area.
From Zion National Park (one of my favorites!) to the St George Children’s Museum, there is something for everyone. While you are there I suggest visiting the Red Hills Desert Garden for a nice stroll. If you have a dino fan in your family, the St George Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm for an afternoon.
I also love St George in the fall because summer is just way to hot for me. I find that October is the perfect time to visit, avoid crowds and avoid the summer heat.
In case you haven’t noticed, I love National Parks during the Fall.
Southern California – Of course! My favorite destination for a fall road trip.
If you are like me, you live somewhere that goes from 90 degrees to 60, and it can sometimes feel like you missed out on that perfect, 70-80 degree weather. I love to go ahead and plan a road trip down to Southern California to get in one last warm weather adventure. Maybe you just want to go hang out on the beach, or maybe you want to hit up Disneyland during Halloween time.
No matter what you end up doing, you will enjoy one last time in the sun and warmth before winter hits. If you want to hit up a Southern California location, I suggest checking out Get Away Today. They have vacation packages for Disneyland, and other Southern California destinations for great prices.
Salt Lake City, UT – Fall road trip to a beautiful city
This one is on our itinerary for this fall. Fall is a great time to head to Salt Lake City and the surrounding area because it is not too hot, but there isn’t a ton of snow. While you are there, check out the Hogel Zoo, or my personal favorite is Gardner Village. They go all out for fall decor and decorations.
Yosemite National Park – A breathtaking fall road trip destination
No fall road trip list would be complete with out Yosemite on the list. Yosemite National Park is beautiful year round, but fall is a great time to visit. The crowds are lower and the weather is beautiful. And 2020 is the year to visit Yosemite. My friend Leslie has some amazing tips for planning a trip to Yosemite during social distancing.
Of course there are a ton of other great fall road trip options in the Western United States, but hopefully these have inspired you to plan a fall road trip and keep your travel bug happy.