GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — If you are willing to travel, it’s now worth the trip to explore fall colors.
Writing this reminds me of writing the weekly snow conditions report during the winter. More often than not, I recommend heading to the Upper Peninsula for the best snow. This time around, you need to head there for the best fall colors.
Here’s where we stand in terms of current color as we head into the weekend:
If you travel to the U.P., you will be greeted with at least 50% change in color (except right along the shore of Lake Michigan). The best concentration of colors will be found in the interior sections of the western and central U.P., especially in the higher elevations where colors are peaking or will very soon. The Porkies and Huron Mountains are good examples.
Here’s a gorgeous picture from Yooper Steve of the Silver Lake Basin and Dead River, northwest of Ishpeming.
The Keweenaw Peninsula has really good color in the interior locations but along the coastline, it’s still a week away from peak. That goes for the Lake Superior shoreline as well. Interior routes are the ones that will bring the best ooh and ahs, such as a trip from Painesdale on M-26 to M-38. Observations reveal color isn’t as vibrant this year in many locations due to the semi-drought conditions.
The central, southern and eastern U.P. are at a solid 50% to 70% color change. Some of the best color can be found from Negaunee and Ishpeming areas. They dull it bit along US-2 near the Lake Michigan shoreline, such as Manistique and Escanaba.
The exceptional warm pattern this week may slow the color change process a bit so the northern lower peninsula is still a solid week and half to two weeks away from its peak. Still, there’s no question there are patches here-and-there that are beautiful.
The forecast will be ideal for chasing colors with minimal rain chances. Here’s Saturday and Sunday’s forecast:
Temperatures this weekend may allow you to view the colors in your shorts. Here’s Saturday’s high temperatures:
Sunday’s high temperatures:
A cautionary note if you are planning to head the the U.P.: It is estimated the the traffic flow will be five times greater than normal with tourists and nearly all the roads are two lanes. So be very careful especially when pulling over to the side of the road.