The Best Hiking Locations To Shoot At This Fall

Photo by Nathaniel Gerdes

Fall hits each year and it feels like a race against the clock to go out and capture as many autumn photos as you possibly can. If you’re anything like me then you plan all year for those fall shot. I have been in love with fall since I was a kid. The weather, the colors, the vibes. It’s the most magical time of year in my opinion. Camping, hiking, fires, s’mores, foggy mornings, scary stories, flannels, and cider donuts. There are so many opportunities for some great photoshoots outdoors. It’s all a matter of finding the time and place to go. Think of how many people travel just to experience the leaves changing, and forget about mentioning Halloween because that’s a whole other story. Here at H, we put together a list below of a few magical hikes you can do across the United States that will satisfy your fall photo cravings. We hope that you get to do a couple of them. Make sure you tag us in your Instagram photos if you do. We love to see fall adventures.

  1. The Enchantments

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20 enchanting miles of lakes and larches #pnwonderland

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Where: Central Cascades, Washington

All Trails Link: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/washington/the-enchantments-trail

Length: Depends on the hike you decide. Shortest is 7 miles. Time: 8-12 hrs

Difficulty: Strenuous

This is a national park that was formed by glaciers so the lakes and rock formations are nothing short of incredible. It will be a tough day, but the experience is worth it. If you go early enough in the fall, you will be able to see some beautiful colors. At this time of the month, you will encounter snow, but it’s totally worth the effort to get some stunning views and insane shots for your portfolio.

  1. The Stowe Pinnacle Trail

Where: Stowe, Vermont

All Trails Link: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/vermont/stowe-pinnacle-trail

Length: 3 miles Time: 2-4 hrs

Difficulty: Moderate

In the fall this trail is 3 miles of gorgeous foliage that will make your jaw drop. It’s the perfect day hike, and if you start early enough, you can end the day visiting one of Vermont’s many breweries. There are a few areas of steep climbing, but the view at the top of the entire valley below will make you persist. Make sure to carry some outfit changes and props with you so you can make the most out of this hike.

  1. Precipice Trail

Where: Acadia National Park, Maine

All Trails Link: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/maine/precipice-trail

Length: 1.4 miles Time: 3 hrs

Difficulty: Strenuous

The precipice trail is not for anyone who may be afraid of heights. I know this because I discovered my fear of heights while hiking it. It is a very steep out and back trail where you have to use iron rungs and small ledges to get to the top of Champlain Mountain. I did this hike during the beginning of November, and there was still some gorgeous color across Acadia National Park. This hike should not be completed when it is wet out, and small children may not be able to handle such a hike. All Trails says it is heavily trafficked, but when I went there was no one on this trail. It’s great for anyone looking to get their adrenaline pumping.

  1. Cathedral Lake Trail

Where: White River National Forest, outside of Aspen, Colorado

All Trails Link: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/colorado/cathedral-lake-trail

Length: 5.3 miles Time: 4-6 hrs

Difficulty: Moderate to Strenuous

The best time to use this trail is from June through the beginning of October before the snow settles in. You will be hiking through beautiful golden groves of aspens. The beauty that surrounds you will make you forget how hard this hike can be. The final part is a series of switchbacks heading up into a forest that opens up to a view of the lake. Whether it is cloudy or sunny, the views will be breathtaking. It is definitely the wholesome Colorado experience. Dogs are allowed but must be on a leash and it is often heavily trafficked in the afternoons. If you aren’t from Colorado or the Aspen area try to give yourself some time to acclimate to the higher elevation because this hike will feel ten times harder if you don’t.

  1. Alamere Falls Hike

Where: Point Reyes National Seashore, California

All Trails Link: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/california/alamere-falls-via-coast-trail-from-palomarin-trailhead

Length: 8.8 miles Time: 6-8 hrs

Difficulty: Moderate to strenuous

Located near Bolinas, California this trail is a heavily trafficked out and back loop that is well worth the experience. Fall in northern California has very favorable weather. You won’t find the foliage that you would in Colorado and New England, but you will experience some beautiful ocean scenery and a cool waterfall that empties out into the sea. For this hike, you will take the Coast Trail from the Palomarin Trailhead. Take care to not miss the unmarked trail to the falls which are located about four miles up. There will be a little rock climbing involved in the end. You could also hike to the top of Mount Tamalpais from the Bootjack Trail Loop.

  1. Shi Shi Beach Trail

Where: Neah Bay, Washington

All Trails Link: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/washington/shi-shi-beach-trail

Length: 6.7 miles Time: 5-9 hrs.

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

The hike to Shi Shi beach from the parking lot is only two miles and it takes you through lush rainforest. You can make it to the beach and back in a day if you want to do an overnight camping trip you will have to park at a different lot and walk a bit further. A day hike is sufficient to explore the beach, but be warned you will want to stay because of how beautiful and peaceful it is. The last part of the hike is very steep to climb down to the actual beach you will be using a rope to walk down backwards.

  1. Mount Lafayette and Franconia Ridge Trail Loop

Where: White Mountains New Hampshire

All Trails Link: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/new-hampshire/mount-lafayette-and-franconia-ridge-trail-loop

Length: 8.5 miles. Time: 6-8 hrs.

Difficulty: Moderate

This trail is beautiful, especially during the fall. If you aren’t interested in completing the loop, then you can do the hike to the top of Mount Lafayette in four hours. On a clear day, you will be unlikely to find better views in New England. You will get to ascend three peaks if you do this entire hike, and the knife’s edge between the three mountains at the top is exhilarating. I did the old bridle path up to the Greenleaf hut where you can stop for some food and drinks or rent out if you want to make this hike into a camping trip. The climb is worth it. Bring lots of layers for the top because it’s quite windy.

  1. Indian Head Mountain Loop

Where: Catskill State Park, New York

All Trails Link:

https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/new-york/indian-head-mountain-loop

Length: 5.9 miles. Time: 4-6 hours

Difficulty: Strenuous

In the beautiful Adirondacks, this is the place to witness fall magic. Indian head loop will lead you to a spectacular viewpoint where you will undoubtedly be photographing for hours. Our advice is to hike up in the dark to see the sunrise. Rain or shine this is a terrific spot so make sure to add it to your bucket lists.

So, what are you waiting for? October will be over before you know it. Better sooner than later on these hikes guys. Get out there before it’s too late and you have to wait until next year to capture those awesome shots.


What are some of your favorite locations to shoot at? Share with us the comments below

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