Predicting the peak of fall color can be difficult. Missouri is blessed with a great variety of trees, shrubs, and vines. Their leaves turn at different times, so Missourians enjoy a fall color season that may last four to six weeks. Sassafras, sumac, and Virginia creeper are some of the earliest to change, beginning in mid-September. By late September, black gum, bittersweet, and dogwood are turning.

The peak of fall color in Missouri is usually around mid-October. This is when maples, ashes, oaks, and hickories are at the height of their fall display. Normally by late October, the colors are fading and the leaves beginning to drop from the trees.

The progression of color change starts earliest in north Missouri and moves southward across the state. Generally, the color change is predictable, but it can vary from year to year. Much depends on the weather.

Where’s The Best Place?

You can enjoy Missouri’s fall color almost anywhere.

  • For spectacular vistas, choose routes along rivers with views of forested bluffs, and along ridges with sweeping scenes of forested landscapes.
  • On a smaller scale, drive on back roads, hike, or take a float trip under a colorful forest canopy on a clear, blue-sky day. Visit MDC Conservation Areas and Missouri State Parks.
  • Even treeless areas, such as prairies and roadsides, display beautiful shades of gold, purple, olive, and auburn with autumn wildflowers, shrubs, and curing, rustling grasses.
  • If you can’t get out of town, enjoy places with mature trees, such as older neighborhoods, parks, and even cemeteries.

Follow the show of Missouri’s fall color, and find events on your route

The Missouri Division of Tourism’s online calendar (see Visit Missouri under External Links below) is packed with events happening all across Missouri this fall. Find those along your preferred routes.

Fall Color Updates Run September–November

Central Region, including Columbia, Jefferson City, and Lake of the Ozarks

Fall color has ended in the Central Region.

11/25/2015 - 10:09pm

Kansas City Region

Fall color has ended in the Kansas City Region.

11/19/2015 - 12:08pm

Northeast Region, including Kirksville and Hannibal

Fall color has ended in the Northeast Region.

11/12/2015 - 11:36am

Northwest Region, including St. Joseph and Chillicothe

Fall color has ended in the Northwest Region.

11/19/2015 - 12:08pm

Ozark Region, including Rolla, West Plains, and Eminence

Fall color has ended in the Ozark Region.

11/19/2015 - 12:09pm

Southeast Region, including Cape Girardeau, Farmington, and Poplar Bluff

Fall color has ended in the Southeast Region.

11/12/2015 - 11:37am

Southwest Region, including Springfield, Branson, and Joplin

Fall color has ended in the Southwest Region.

11/25/2015 - 10:09pm

St. Louis Region

Fall color has ended in the St. Louis Region.

11/19/2015 - 12:11pm

Key Messages: 

We help people discover nature.

Why Leaves Change Color

Jack Frost is not the culprit. Some leaves change color weeks before the first icy nights.

Read more

Content tagged with

Shortened URL