While summer is fleeting in mountain towns, the arrival of autumn colors softens the blow somehow. As the season bids us adieu, we are treated to a spectacle of brilliantly warm hues as the days become shorter, the air crisper, and the promise of snow awaits.

If you are drawn to the spectacle Mother Nature displays this time of year (typically late September through October for most of Idaho), here are a few places around the valley to get your leaf-peeping fix. Remember, drought years can delay the process by a week or two.

Be mindful to keep Fido on a leash, be aware of hunters, -and never trespass no matter how tempting it might be to get the perfect picture.

Beginning up north- 

  • Stanley and the Ponderosa Pine scenic byway puts on a beautiful display with the Sawtooths providing an amazing backdrop.
  • Galena Lodge- and southward. Out Prairie Creek, Baker Creek, and along Harriman trail will offer pockets of color within the Boulder Mountain range.
  • Back in Sun Valley, the Bald Mountain overlook, and up towards Trail Creek, and don’t forget about Proctor trail- always a local fall favorite.
  • Along the BCRD trail -on foot or bike, take in an autumn day with great views of the valley.
  • Botanical Garden- mid-valley. They offer a variety of plants and trees in the garden for easy strolling through the grounds.
  • Canyons- East Fork, Hyndman, Croy, Quigley- never disappoint this time of year.
  • Draper and Howard preserves. Looking to be along the water? The preserves in our area provide a waterfront view and perhaps some wildlife having a drink. 
  • Silver Creek. The preserve located south of Bellevue, and near Carey is a protected habitat managed by The Nature Conservancy. Dramatic views of the valley and the preserve abound. Wildlife habitats are not to be missed!