Bright orange leaves dominate a scene on a rocky surface with a lone hiker on a trail. Blue sky peeks through some leaves.

Bigtooth maple trees make Guadalupe Mountains National Park one of Texas’ best places to see colorful fall foliage. “I had planned to be in the Guadalupe Mountains on an unrelated assignment and was lucky that it coincided with the change in colors,” says photographer Kenny Braun, who took this shot last October while hiking Devil’s Hall Trail. Luck certainly helps when it comes to catching peak leaf display, but summer conditions this year portend a colorful fall. Elizabeth Jackson, Guadalupe Mountains’ chief of interpretation, says the season’s soaking rains should enhance brilliant colors. An October cold snap of three to five days and mild winds would also help, she adds. Guadalupe Mountains’ fall foliage typically lasts from mid-to-late October through November. The park updates a Fall Color Report on its website and social media channels. “Trying to predict natural events is difficult,” Jackson says. “We anticipate a good color season, but it could be very, very good.”

From the October 2021 issue

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