Update 10/12/12

Eugene, Cascades, and Coast
Fall colors are nearing peak at the higher elevations of the Eugene, Cascades, and Coast region. However, the valley and the coast are still beginning their color change.

Changing leaves on grape vines

Now that much of the smoke from the Pole Creek Fire has lifted, rangers recommend a scenic drive along 242 or along the Aufderheide drive. Stop by the McKenzie River Ranger District and pick up an interpretive CD for 76 mile drive down to Westfir.

Near Proxy Falls on Highway 242

If you would rather stay in the valley, Eugene is hosting two unique events this weekend. First, head out to Clayfest for an opportunity to view and buy ceramics from all over the state. On Saturday, run with five-time U.S. 800 meter Champion and two-time Olympian Nick Symmonds and a myriad of other elite Eugene area runners at the Inaugural Nick Symmonds Springfield 800.

Oregon Coast

The fall color change is in the beginning phases along the Oregon Coast. Head to Lincoln City with your kite for the Lincoln City Fall Kite Festival, or see a celebrity and do the thriller at the Coos Bay Zombiefest.

Willamette Valley
The fall color change is still in the beginning phases throughout most of the Willamette valley. Salem residents and visitors should the Third Annual Multicultural Ball for dancing and food.

Greater Portland
Portland’s trees are past beginning but not quite near peak. Go for a hike through an urban forest or enjoy harvest fun and activities this weekend at the Applefest, the Cedar Mills Cider Festival, or the Great Onion Festival.

Portland Park Blocks

Mt Hood/ The Gorge
The Gorge is still in the beginning stages of the leaf change, but locals expect the vine maples and big leaf maples to give quite a show of red and yellow throughout the woods. Higher up around Mount Hood things are much closer to peak fall colors. Head up to the Timberline Lodge for some stunning views of the valley or head east to the orchards around Hood River to get a panoramic view of the mountain.

Central Oregon
Fall foliage in Central Oregon is near peak! Head out to the aspen groves of Shevlin Park for some beautiful trembling yellow leaves. Another local favorite is Mirror Pond at Drake Park, where crimson covered maples strike your eyes.

Maple tree at Mirror Pond in Bend

Then when your eyes have tried of trees, head indoors for the Bend Film Festival.

Eastern Oregon
Word from La Grande is the trees are beginning to change, while in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest trees are nearing peak fall color. Taking a walking tour of the Eastern Oregon University campus is a good way to see some impressive street trees in a relaxing atmosphere.

Eastern Oregon University

Rangers also recommend Ollokot Campground for some superb color change in the aspens and tamaracks. Steens Mountain turned orange, red and yellow this week.

Steens Mountain (courtesy: Nils Eddy)

This weekend in Sumpter, leaf peepers are invited to take a train ride during the Sumpter Valley Railroad Fall Foliage and Photographers Weekend.

Southern Oregon
Trees are still just beginning to change colors throughout most of Southern Oregon. Rangers in the Diamond Lake ranger district recommend Highway 138 for beautiful waterfalls and fall colors. Also, the vineyards in the valleys are a sight to see. This weekend is a good time to explore local festivals. Drive out to Canyonville for the Canyonville Pumpkin Festival or swing on into Medford for the Medford Jazz Festival.

2 thoughts on “Update 10/12/12

  1. Recommend Route 224 along the Clackamas River to Detroit Lake. Colors along the river are looking very good as of Saturday, October 13, 2012.
    Also traveled the McKenzie Hwy from Sisters to Eugene on Sunday the 14th.
    The autumn foliage along this route is peak to near peak in the areas above 1000-1500 feet. Proxy Falls area had some great color amongst the lava fields on Sunday. The vine maples along much of this highway are lighting up the whole forest. Patchy color closer to Springfield-Eugene. The 2012 fall foliage season is in full swing, get out an enjoy this magical time of year!

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