Plan and Document Fall Road Trips with a Dash Cam
If you're planning on undertaking some of America's most scenic fall drives and want to document your trip, consider setting up a dash cam to capture autumn colors along your route. To choose the best dash cam for a fall road trip, you'll need a camera with some key features that make it easy to use. You should also choose a camera with high enough resolution to create an impressive fall foliage video. Here are some of our recommendations for the features needed to capture the vivid colors and scenery you'll experience during an autumn drive.
- High Resolution - 1080p, 1600p or 4K
- Integrated smartphone companion app
- SD card with 16GB storage or higher
- GPS tracking
- LCD screen
- Voice control
A dash cam with these features improves your driving experience and can make documenting a road trip a simple process. Learn how easy it is to install a dash cam and consider some of these top locations for fall road trip destinations.
Scenic Fall Drives Across America
New England is known for its stunning, colorful foliage, and this part of the country is a popular destination for fall road trips. These East Coast fall road trip ideas take you up and down the coast, where you'll find amazing vistas and incredible natural views waiting for you. Whether you're driving through the mountains or exploring the Finger Lakes, make sure your dash cam is ready to go to record the beautiful scenery.
- The scenic 42-mile drive from Fort Lee, NJ, to the Bear Mountain Bridge in New York along the Palisades Interstate Parkway immerses you in beautiful fall foliage as well as providing views of the Palisades cliffs and the New York City skyline.
- Often considered to be one of the best fall foliage drives in New England, leaf peepers won't want to miss the Route 100 in Vermont. Stretching the length of the state, it's 216.6 miles of sudden vistas, lovely lakes, covered bridges, and family farms.
- The Finger Lakes Cheese Trail in New York state includes stops at a variety of family dairy farms that produce artisanal cheeses. Enjoy the beautiful fall leaves as you travel from farm to farm throughout Schuyler, Seneca, Tioga, and Tompkins Counties. It's a good idea to call individual farms before visiting; you can see a full list of farms and a map to help plan your trip at the Finger Lakes Cheese Alliance.
- Stretching from the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina to the Shenandoah Region of Virginia, the Blue Ridge Parkway is 469 miles through the southern and central Appalachian Mountains. You'll see incredible mountain views, amazing waterfalls, and so much more.
Keep going down South and you'll find more natural beauty than you can see in a lifetime of road trips. Start on the Cohutta-Chattahoochee Scenic Byway in northwest Georgia to experience 54 miles of charming rural communities and incredible natural treasures, from historic Prater's Mill to Fort Mountain State Park. If you're looking for a longer trip, take the Natchez Trace Parkway, which stretches 440 miles from Nashville, TN, to Natchez, MS. Tennessee and northwest Alabama typically reach peak fall colors in late October through mid-November, while Central Mississippi shines a bit later, through roughly the first three weeks of November.
If you're looking for destinations west of the Mississippi, continue your fall road trip journey into Texas. The Texas Hill Country is known for incredible natural springs, swimming holes, caverns, and Old West charm. Farther west, spend a few hours on Enchanted Circle Drive in New Mexico where you can see some of the oldest rocks in the Southwest, visit the beautiful forests in Red River, and enjoy the gorgeous views and abundant wildlife around Eagle Nest Lake State Park. If you're in the mood for a challenge, try Trail Ridge Road in Colorado, the "Highway to the Sky" with 48 miles of scenic wonders and thrilling views as it winds its way up to an elevation of 12,183 feet. Moose, elk, and bighorn sheep aren't uncommon, but make sure you plan your trip early in the season, as snow and ice can cause dangerous conditions and close the road.
The northwest area of the U.S. has some of the most dramatic and remote areas of the country. Mt. Hood Scenic Byway is a 105-mile journey that centers around Oregon's highest peak and runs along the Hood River. With easy access from Portland, this route features dazzling red and yellow fall autumn colors that display their stark contrast against evergreens and mountains.
Another area that guarantees you'll see stunning fall colors is through Wyoming and the Yellowstone National Park. With fiery foliage and grand mountains in the background, you'll see an abundance of wildlife and an array of colorful trees that would make an enviable fall foliage video. If you're in the area, consider taking a drive on the Beartooth Scenic Byway, described by some as “the most beautiful drive in America”. The Chief Joseph Scenic Byway contains 47 miles of switchbacks and lookout points as you pass through the Shoshone National Forest.
Tips for Capturing the Perfect Video Clips and Photos
While having a high-quality dash cam with a large enough memory card and easy access to view and download your videos are all important, you also will want to make sure that you’ve got the dash cam set up properly. Here are some useful tips for capturing the perfect fall road trip video.
- Try your best to keep your windshield as clean as possible since dirt can ruin a beautiful scene.
- Likewise, always make sure your dash cam lens is clean, although you won’t need to clean it as often as your windshield.
- Ensure proper placement of your dash cam - if you mount it too low, you’ll be capturing a lot of the front hood of your vehicle. If it’s mounted too high you might not be able to easily access the controls or see the dash cam screen, if it has one.
- If possible, use a dash cam with a polarized lens filter to reduce glare from other vehicles and objects while you’re trying to capture footage.
- Use a dash cam with voice commands so you can take photos and start or stop your recording with just your voice instead of having to take your hands off the wheel.
Enter the Fall Road Trip Video Contest!
We’d love to see your best fall road trip video - enter the Cobra Contest for Best Fall Road Trip video and we’ll award the top submissions with a new SC series smart dash cam.
Simply upload a clip of your video at our Fall Road Trip Video Contest page by November 30, 2021 and we’ll pick and notify the top winners via email in early December. Enter as many times as you’d like!