Plan Your Fall Colors Trip Now

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Check Out Our Guide to Planning Your Most Colorful Fall Trip Yet!

Plan Your Fall Colors Trip Now

It’s hard to believe folks, but that time of year is here. Fall colors are already starting to show around the Upper Midwest. This week we wanted to give you some tips on the best way to plan your trip through Minnesota and South Dakota to see all the plentiful fall beauty these states have to offer. With the days growing shorter and school in full swing, you’ll want to plan accordingly.

First, you might wonder why leaves change color in the first place. It all has to do with chlorophyll, an amazing chemical that trees produce mostly during the summer months. When the days get shorter, the nights get longer and the temperature starts to drop, trees produce less chlorophyll, which gives leaves their green color. Non-evergreen trees’ leaves then show their true colors, which are yellow, brown and in some cases, red.

The abundance of leaf colors can vary year-to-year depending on the weather and rainfall. A bad drought will delay colors, while an early frost can lead to leaves turning brown and dropping early. The best conditions for fall colors are a warm and wet spring, a summer that’s not too hot or dry and a fall with warm days and sunny nights.

In Minnesota, the colors generally work their way from north to south beginning in early September and ending mid-October. If you’re making a Minnesota trip in the early fall, you’ll want to check out the northern part of the state. If you’re going towards the end of September, you’ll find a splendor of fall colors and awesome autumn drives in the southern part of the state. Be sure to check out the Minnesota DNR’s Fall Color Map before you go to find where the colors are most plentiful. All of Midwest Outdoor Resorts’ destinations offer a bountiful array of autumn colors in the surrounding areas!

The Black Hills of South Dakota have some of the most scenic drives in the nation any time of year, but we’re especially partial to fall. A drive through Spearfish Canyon will give you a splendor of fall color, splashed with evergreens to create an amazing scenic landscape. Other beautiful drives include Vancoker Canyon from Sturgis to Nemo and the Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway which cuts through much of Custer State Park. Be sure to stop and see us at Rushmore Shadows Resort if you decide to take a fall trip to the Black Hills!

Autumn is really one of the best times to visit both Minnesota and South Dakota, as the temperatures have cooled, the bugs are gone and the big crowds have dispersed. Be sure to visit us at or call (800) 231-0425 and we’ll be happy to help plan your fantastic fall vacation. Happy exploring!

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