Where to Go for Fall Colors at the End of November

Know when to go, if you visit too early, you’ll be disappointed.

Fall Colors are Back– Almost

There’s a rare patch of land in Texas that’s just right for growing maple trees– a tree that doesn’t usually grow well in the climate and soil of the hot and dry state.

The area is called Lost Maples State Natural Area and it’ll make you wonder if you’re lost or if the trees have lost their way. The park, which is two miles northwest of San Antonio and near Vanderpool, Texas, is a popular fall retreat. It’s one of the only areas in Texas where the leaves change into vibrant colors. But don’t go running to see the trees as soon as October rolls around– you’ll be disappointed.

Trees over a lake at Lost Maples in the fall.
Photo by Adam Baker.

The nature of Lost Maples is beautiful year-round but for fall colors, you have to wait. The leaves don’t change until the middle of October and the most vibrant colors usually don’t happen until the beginning of November, with some of the best fall foliage arriving as late as November 27.

Lost Maples State Natural Area tracks the colors and posts weekly updates.

If you get anxiety when you don’t have a cell signal, Lost Maples may not be the place for you, cell service isn’t available in the Natural Area.

Things to Know if You Go

Lost Maples fills up fast. When the parking lots are full, the park closes for up to three hours. Lost Maples state park site says that as late as November, parking lots fill up on weekends, especially on holiday weekends when they say lots can fill up as early as 11a.m.

Maple trees in the fall aren’t the only thing to see. The park is a nature area with scenic canyon walls, a picturesque river, and fields of wildflowers.

The park has over 10 miles of trails, including one that takes you along the top of the cliff wall for Instagram-worthy views. Don’t fret if you’re visiting from out of town. There are 36 campsites and campers with reservations can enter the park even when it’s closed for being full.

Activities: Hiking, photography, fishing, birding, camping, backpacking, stargazing, geocaching

Vivian Farmer
After reading books about far off places as a child, Vivian was hooked on travel writing. She traveled during her college years and wrote about wine, oil painting and wild hogs. She's planning her next adventures and writing about anything and everything travel related.