The Fall colors are peaking in the Winding Stair Mts.

Great State

TALIHINA, Okla. (KFOR) – Late afternoon, southern LeFlore County, Oklahoma.

If the phone isn’t ringing off the hook from ‘city folk’ asking about when the peak colors will show, Chrystal Sloan is out walking among them herself near Talimena State Park.

“I grew up out in the woods,” she tells us. “I spent a couple of years in town but it just wasn’t for me.”

There are a baker’s dozen of hardwood tree varieties that change their colors in the Winding Stairs and Kiamichi mountain ranges.

“This is beautiful,” she gushes. “It doesn’t get any better than this.”

Hickory, Dogwood, the bright red Spicebush and Buttonbush, Blackgums, Maples, and Sycamores.

Contrast them against the Shortleaf Pines and even the muted browns of fall pop almost purple as they peak.

Chrystal suggests, “The end of October to early November. Somewhere in there.”

Traffic picks up along the 40-mile, twisting Talimena Scenic Drive.

Among the cars on this late afternoon, Roger and Beth Mattson, who live right along the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia, a much more famous fall color drive.

Roger says, “It’s days like this that make me enjoy Oklahoma.”

“I actually compare this favorably to the Blue Ridge Parkway,” argues Beth.

The colors of the season in Oklahoma can be fickle.

They were late in coming this year because September was warm.

Peak season is nearly impossible to predict, here almost overnight, and gone just as suddenly in a stiff wind.

“It just depends on the weather,” insists Sloan.

2021 is as good a year as any, a bite to the mountain air.

A sun that sets early on the horizon sends its rays through dying leaves at just the right angle.

On this winding path through the forest, you just can’t help but stop to appreciate the view.

Chrystal Sloan tells us the peak fall colors should last for about a week, from November 12 through November 20, 2021.

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