Planning for an Oregon Fall Trip

Fall is just around the corner! We wanted to highlight a few of the hotspots that popped last Fall to help get an edge on your trip planning.

As you plot your adventures and make your checklists, remember to check back every week during the season (starting in September) to stay current on where to spot autumn shades. When colors start to show, don’t forget to share your photos with #ORFallFolige for a chance to get featured on this blog!

Willamette Valley

  • Follow one of the country’s most beautiful whitewater trout streams along the enchanting McKenzie River Highway (Highway 126) east from Eugene-Springfield through bright fall foliage to the McKenzie River’s source at Clear Lake, a great spot for fishing, picnicking and hiking. A side trip along Highway 242 winds over McKenzie Pass in the high Cascades until winter snows close the route.
  • In Eugene, you never have to go far to spot shades of yellow, orange, and red! Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy a stroll through downtown to see the trees turn along Pearl and Willamette Streets.

Fall scenes showing nicely on Frissell Creek – a tributary to the South Fork of the McKenzie River from Deigh Bates

Greater Portland

  • Enjoy some of Portland’s most spectacular fall colors while strolling through Hoyt Arboretum.  Pick up a free self-guided tour of fall foliage at the Hoyt Arboretum Visitor Center.
  • Widely praised, Portland’s Japanese Garden is beautiful in every season but autumn is perhaps the most dramatic and colorful. See Japanese maples and many other Asian trees and shrubs in fiery autumn color

A nice view of the colors fading from Council Crest Park in Portland from Instagrammer MikeWarner

Mt. Hood/ The Gorge

  • Follow the Mt. Hood Scenic Byway around the base of Oregon’s highest peak (11,235 ft / 3,424 m), and traverse timbered slopes, temperate rain forests, semi-arid uplands, and mountain meadows. The route descends through the farm land and orchards of the Hood River Valley to the magnificent, Historic Columbia River Highway Scenic Byway, where visitors can see 11 waterfalls in an 11-mile (18-km) section. Completing the loop back to Portland is an easy day’s drive.
  • Mid October is the perfect time to check out local favorite hikes like Bridal Veil Falls or Angels Rest and surround yourself in fall colors

Color  near the Colombia River Gorge from Instagrammer Sumrvalentine

Southern Oregon

  • Travel to the Klamath Basin (Highways 97, 66) to see endless aspen groves and the state’s largest body of water, Klamath Lake, which is a resting spot for some 7 million migratory waterfowl from the peculiar pelican to the snow goose.
  • Fall colors come a bit later to Southern Oregon, plan on checking out Klamath Falls or Running Y Ranch towards the end of October!

Full range of color popping at the Running Y Ranch near Klamath Falls

Central Oregon

  • Hike or bike the Deschute River Trail near Dillion Falls trailhead to see Central Oregon’s full range of colors.
  • In the heart of Central Oregon, take a stroll through Bend’s beautiful Drake Park. Also, see the amazing shade of crimson of the Burning Bush, just changing colors in Bend’s Old Mill District.

Yellow colors burst downtown Bend from Visit Bend

Eastern Oregon

  • The Wallowa Mountains (Highway 82) reach through two river valleys leading north and east from La Grande in high ranch country, remote northeastern Oregon. Wallowa Lake is at the foot of these mountains, whose lofty splendor is often compared to the Swiss Alps.
  • Early into the season, plan a road trip to Eastern Oregon to chase the changing colors around the Elkhorn Mountains and Powder River Recreation Area!

Yellows showing brightly in Eastern Oregon from Timothy Bishop – Baker County Tourism

Oregon Coast

  • See a rainbow of color when the yellow alder leaves, the orange of the maples and the reds of the dogwoods decorate Highway 126, connecting Eugene to Florence on the Pacific Coast.
  • Heading to Pacific City in early November? Take Highway 22 from Salem and enjoy the drive through stunning Fall colors.


Oregon’s Fall Foliage Starts to Fade Post-Peak

What a beautiful Fall season it has been this year! From what we’re hearing and seeing, Oregon’s Fall colors are fading through the state. With snowfall hitting some areas of the Cascades and winter temperatures rolling in, it’s a great time to see Oregon’s winter coat arrive.

Check back here periodically as we’ll be posting tips, trips and throwbacks to Oregon’s beautiful Fall seasons throughout the year from now on. Here are the brief last reports of the season with some of our favorite submitted #ORFallFoliage photos: 


(note: information based on responses from our leaf reporters by 11/16/2016)

Council Crest.jpg

A nice view of the colors fading from Council Crest Park in Portland from Instagrammer MikeWarner

Willamette Valley:

  • Throughout the Willamette Valley Fall colors are now fading out and holiday preparations are beginning! Find out what’s new in the South Willamette Valley at Eugene, Cascades & Coast.

    Eugene campus.jpg

    Fallen leaves on the University of Oregon Campus from Instagrammer JimArnold

Central Oregon:

  • Some color still remains along parts of the Deschutes near town, but overall Fall shades are off the trees in Bend. Keep up on events and happenings there at VisitBend.

Oregon Coast:

  • Fall color along Oregon’s Coastline is all gone now, just in time for whale watching season! Now (mid-November) is the time to watch for these beautiful creatures popping up along the coastline as we close toward winter months.


Oregon Fall Foliage Colors Still Shining

Peak might have already passed for most of the areas through the state, but quite a few colors are still shining through nicely! Check out the most recent reports below with some of our favorite submitted photos: 

(note: information based on responses from our leaf reporters by 11/4/2016)


Fall colors spotted on the University of Oregon Campus by Instagrammer kellimatthews

Willamette Valley:

  • The South Willamette Valley is still showing color in a “just past peak’ phase. Trees lining Eugene and Springfield’s downtown areas are shimmering with leaves dropping quickly but colorfully.
  • Now is a great time to explore the Saturday Market before the Holiday Market begins, and to discover South Willamette Valley wines with Pinot Bingo!


    Corvallis has some excellent Fall color popping from Instagrammer rouse_jen

Eastern Oregon:

  • Fall foliage in Baker County is still at peak in many locations but is starting to fade in spots.
  • Sounds like the Elkhorn Scenic Byway loop continues to be a winner for Fall colors!


    Gorgeous Eastern Oregon Scenery from Base Camp Baker

Central Oregon:

  • Bend and Central Oregon are past peak but have some trees and bushes around town hanging on with Fall color – paired with some surprising Fall sunny weather this weekend!
  • Today marks Bend’s First Friday Art Walk through downtown and the Old Mill District too. Find more on events like these at Visit Bend’s site.

Color lingers in plenty of high desert foliage near Bend – via Visit Bend

Southern Oregon:

  • With Roseburg peaking last week, and Ashland showing color off nicely in areas like Lithia Park and North Mountain Park!

Oregon Coast:

  • Color along the coast is starting to fade but viewing along Hwy 22 is a beautiful drive toward the coast that is showcasing great color right now.

Colombia River Gorge:

  • Word last week is that color there but starting to fade near areas of the Gorge with some areas like Multnomah Falls showing yellows and orange

    Multnomah Falls.jpg

    A recent shot of the gorgeous Multnomah Falls from photographer Kami McKeon