4 min read

2024 Spring Season Overview (free)

lasted 81 days, ending May 28th
2024 Spring Season Overview (free)
Browning Knob and Waterrock Knob as seen from Scott Creek Overlook on May 24th

That's a wrap! The spring color season has ended, or perhaps early next week it'll end if we're being technical. There are islands of spring colors currently dotting the landscape for peaks or ridgelines above 5800' and although not many areas sit this high, they nonetheless remain and keep our spring color season alive for a few more days. Our last scouting run was along the Waterrock Knob stretch on May 24th.

The 2024 spring coverage began March 8th, lasting 81 colorful days, ending May 28th. It has been a fun season, from covering the greening up of the mountains for the first time, to connecting with new partners and syncing up with the awakening of Parkway. First came the limbs and buds slightly changing color, mostly a shade of red. Then the forest floor exploded with wildflowers, soon followed by varying tree species putting on an array of spring colors as warmer temps slowly crept up from the valley floor during the month of April. By early May spring greens were the vanguard for color change, leading the charge up the mountainside to be replaced by a deep summer green a week or two later. And now as we close the books on the spring color season, we find ourselves looking for isolated color among a sea of green as summer takes over the Appalachians.

All in all this was a great season and we gave it a B

How we rank each season:

  • color coverage (isolated, widespread, spotty)
  • color timing (transition and overlap among different plant species; trees, flowers)
  • weather (rain, cold snaps, warm spells, snow)
  • color itself (vibrant, rich, dull, faded, long lasting/short lived)

Click and drag the slider to see the change in foliage!

Full leaf out will be a week away for the highest ridgelines above 6000', but this season is roughly the same as last year, with spring colors wrapping up around Memorial Day Weekend. It is not uncommon for this shoulder season to extend into the first or second week of June, but the trend as of late has been slightly before or by Memorial Day Weekend.

Scott Creek Overlook

Notice the majority green at our highest elevations, with the above and below pictures showing elevations between 5700 - 6240'. The greens are vibrant, indicating new growth, while the spring colors are a touch faded as they begin to transition from flower/bud to leaf.

Waterrock Knob Visitor Center

As we do for any season closure, we look back on our favorite moments. But before we dive into the long stretch of photos below, let me thank you for following along this season. Your support and interactions have been the feedback I needed to understand if this would work out and I am extremely grateful for your insights and suggestions . It has been a pleasure and privilege to provide ground truth foliage coverage for you all and I look forward to growing this service over the years to come. Look out for some new changes this coming fall season!

Mt Lyn Lowry on May 24th
zoomed in, last bit of spring color at 6240'

Favorites from this past season

March - May 2024