Stowe Fall Foliage Facts & FAQs

August 18, 2021


The fall season is a unique time of year in Stowe, Vermont. With vibrant shades of red, orange and yellow transforming the hillsides, leaf peeping in Stowe is an experience you’ll never forget. Below are frequently asked questions about viewing fall foliage in Stowe, Vermont – named by Travel + Leisure as one of “The Best Places to See Fall Foliage in the United States.”

When is foliage prime for viewing in Stowe?

From early September through mid-October, a long “prime foliage” window allows visitors to catch a glimpse of Stowe’s legendary colors—from yellows and greens, to reds and oranges—usually the few weeks leading up to “peak” and the week after.

When is “peak foliage” in Stowe?

It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly as “peak foliage” is a very narrow window, and many factors including the weather impact the timing and duration of the foliage season as well as quality of colors. As a general rule of thumb, the most brilliant colors of “peak foliage” are visible around the last week of September and first two weeks of October. Hues of ruby, crimson, fire orange and gold can be seen.

Where can I view foliage in Stowe in the Stowe area?

You’ll see beautiful foliage around every corner. The colors peak at different times in different places throughout Stowe’s diverse terrain. The higher elevations, including Mt. Mansfield and Smugglers’ Notch, often peak sooner than the historic Village. Our Foliage Finder Stay up-to-date on when and where foliage is turning up along popular scenic drive routes in the area with the Stowe, Vermont Foliage Finder.

How does foliage change?

The weather plays a large role in determining the foliage season. A wet spring, temperate summer and cool nights and warm days in the fall typically make for a spectacular leaf-peeping season. Warmer fall days produce sugar in the leaves, which is then trapped by the leaf when the temperature drops at night. As sugar accumulates, the leaves turn hues of red in various maple and oak trees. Leaves of birch, elm, poplar, hickory and redbud always turn hues of gold and yellow.

What if I want to book a trip to view the foliage in Stowe, Vermont?

As you can imagine, it is a busy time of year in this two-time USA Today 10Best Destination for Fall Foliage. Stowe-area accommodations can fill up fast—especially for the weekends. Those who book as early as a nine months to a year out will secure the best availability, though you may still find lodging closer to the season. If you have flexibility in your travel schedule, midweek rates tend to be lower. Lodging availability can be limited on holiday weekends like Indigenous Peoples’ Day, which is also when many activities conclude for the season. Most lodging properties will require a two-night minimum during fall foliage season as well. Calling in advance to make reservations at restaurants is highly encouraged.

What if I missed peak foliage in Stowe?

While Stowe is a four-season destination, there are many fall activities to experience outside of the foliage season—from guided tours to zip lining, arts events, and much more!

For more information about foliage in Stowe, visit our foliage information hub.

Featured photo by David Long. Photos by Mark Vandenberg.

Explore more:

Fall Guide Visitor Resource