Kansas' fall foliage is usually most visible just before and after Halloween in late October and early November. The northern half of the state will begin to see leaves change in early to mid-October (October 10-17), while the trees located in the southern half will start their transition around mid to late October (October 17-24). Source

Below is our list of the top 10 picks for a fall foliage drive in Kansas! It won't be long before we begin to see the vivid green leaves transition to hues of gold, red, and brown. There’s no better way to experience the spirit of the season in Kansas than by inviting your best travel companion on a scenic joy ride through the autumn-kissed hills and vistas.

Glacial Hills Scenic Byway

Back to Top of List

Cruise through the deep and russet amber of the Glacial Hills in the northeast corner of the state during harvest time. Carved by ancient glaciers, the Glacial Hills Scenic Byway runs through a distinct landscape named for the rolling hills and the rock-strewn valleys. The receding ice left behind a beautiful landscape and highly fertile farmland that flourishes in the fall.

Glacial Hills

The Glacial Hills Scenic Byway is one of the premier fall drives in Kansas. The foliage that is visible from the state's glaciated region are…

Highway 169 - Chautauqua Hills

Back to Top of List

Plan a jaunt through U.S. Hwy 169 from the KC Metro to the beautiful Chautauqua Hills near the state’s southern border. Approximately 10 miles wide, the sandstone-capped hills make fields more suited for pastureland than crops. The Chautauqua Hills are picturesque for taking in a breathtaking Kansas sunset – the rolling plains warmed by the colors of the season, framed with cerulean, only make it more stunning. 

Highway 169

Take a scenic tour on a lesser known highway in Kansas - Highway 169.

Gypsum Hills Scenic Byway

Back to Top of List

Nestled in the Kansas grasslands is the Gypsum Hills, with an abundance of geologic diversity. The Gypsum Hills Scenic Byway is enchantingly noteworthy for its rolling, weathered hills and charming characteristics. An early October drive affords captivating views from two scenic overlooks that highlight the blushing buttes, canyons and mesas bathed in golden sunlight.

Gypsum Hills Scenic Byway

Nestled in the Kansas grasslands are the Gypsum Hills, or Red Hills, with plenty of geologic diversity. The 42-mile-long Gypsum Hills Scenic…

Flint Hills

Back to Top of List

Nature’s fiery color display is perfection on a mild autumn day on the Flint Hills National Scenic Byway. Stretching more than 47 miles across the Flint Hills of Kansas, the byway is a two-lane, paved road and is a favorite fall foliage drive. In late August, Monarch butterflies can be seen fluttering across the hills as they begin their migration. The Byway is a beautiful drive year-round showing off the panoramic vistas of the tallgrass prairie.

Flint Hills Scenic Byway

The Flint Hills National Scenic Byway offers incredible views of the fall colors in Kansas. The trees that rest in the gullies of the Flint…

Kansas Badlands

Back to Top of List

In the northwest and southwest regions of the state, take a trip to Logan and Gove counties, for a few of the best-kept secrets in Kansas. Perfect to explore on a breezy September day, when it’s not too hot and there’s a crispness to the air. View land that was once part of a giant sea. Glacial periods, centuries of rain and wind erosion have shaped towering, blond-colored rock formations, some reaching 100 feet in the air. || Monument Rocks + Castle Rock & Badlands

Native Stone Scenic Byway

Back to Top of List

The Native Stone Scenic Byway also stretches across the beautiful Flint Hills, offering a variety of structures constructed from its native limestone. Fall is a festival of colors as the byway cuts through the rolling terrain – highlighting both the natural wonder of rock formations and the amazing craftwork of masons who built walls, bridges and buildings with native stone.

Maple Leafin'

Back to Top of List

What says fall more than maple syrup and some leaf peepin'? There are several communities that celebrate their plethora of maple trees in the fall. Hiawatha is hosting its Maple Leaf Festival on September 23, 2023, while Baldwin City is hosting its annual Maple Leaf Festival on October 21-22, 2023.

Arikaree Breaks - Land & Sky Scenic Byway

Back to Top of List

Formed by wind-deposited sand, silt, and clay, the Arikaree Breaks in Cheyenne County are a rugged wonder. The breaks are covered by shortgrass prairie including buffalo grass, yucca, and prickly pear cactus. Wind in your face; autumn in the air. Take a 36-mile drive right off the Land & Sky Scenic Byway through the deep ravines and gullies of the breaks to celebrate the end of summer. || Northwest Kansas

Land & Sky Scenic Byway

It isn't just the trees that boast amazing fall colors. The orange looking prairies are something to cherish during fall!

Arikaree Breaks

These loess rock formations can take on some fascinating colors during fall!

Cimarron National Grasslands

Back to Top of List

Go for a scenic, autumnal ride on a 50-mile, self-guided tour of the Cimarron National Grasslands in southwestern Kansas. The drive highlights many of the interesting wildlife features of sandsage prairie. The grasslands include rock cliffs, cottonwood groves, grassy fields, yucca and sage bush. The prairie habitat also attracts an interesting collection of wildlife species such as mule deer, coyotes and black-tailed prairie dogs.

Cimarron National Grasslands

The Cimarron Grasslands in Southwest Kansas are a real treasure to visit during Fall. Hike the turkey and santa fe trails.

Frontier Military Historic Byway

Back to Top of List

Travel through time, visiting multiple forts, museums and other historical gems – take the car for a spin on the Frontier Military Historic Byway. Roll the windows down. Pull on your comfy sweatshirt as you take in the colorful woodlands of the Marais des Cygnes Wildlife Refuge and Marais des Cygnes Wildlife Area. It’s a wonderful opportunity to enjoy nature – be on the lookout for deer!

Discover the Fall Travel Season in Kansas!