Oregon’s Fall Foliage: Here before We Know It

The whole state of Oregon is starting to experience drops in temperatures, bringing with it gorgeous Fall colors. Due to continuing Forest Fires, please check the resources below before venturing out on day trips, to insure the route is open and to get an idea on current air quality.

 

Oregon Coast

  • Central Oregon Coast is getting ready to say good-bye to the warm and dry summer. Head over while you can to get the most out of the trails and campgrounds! Currently the tips of the vine maples are just beginning to think about turning. Check-in after a week or two to see some great color.
Oregon Coast by doublemdesignandphotography 10.08.2014

Oregon Coast (courtesy: Double M Design and Photography)

 

Willamette Valley

  • There is some lingering warm weather in the Willamette Valley. Fall is starting to set in with cooler temperatures at night. Allow a few more weeks before Autumn takes over completely.
NOV 2 Corvallis FallColorAndChurch2 PhotoCreditToScobelWiggens

Corvallis (courtesy: Scobel Wiggens)

Central Oregon

  • Bend is starting to cool down at night, the first step to stunning Fall color. This weekend, September 15th and 16th check out the Bend Oktoberfest. Located in downtown Bend the event will feature live music, food, wiener dog races, and, of course, beer!
Deschutes River near Bend by Michael Burkhardt

Deschutes River near Bend by Michael Burkhardt

 

Advertisements

Fall Drives, Walks and Trails in Oregon

The wonders of Fall are just around the corner! To help you prepare for your journey, we wanted to offer a few drives to reach each region, and fall trails to discover in Oregon. Follow along and watch for our first update of Fall when the season hits this September!

Willamette Valley

Where cityscapes and wide open fields meet, walk or ride around one of the numerous city parks throughout the Willamette Valley. Dotted along the I-5 corridor, venture just outside metro areas to see rushing rivers and raging colors.  Alton Baker Park in the heart of Eugene has a dedicated bike path on both sides of the Willamette River; escape on the trail and chase the falling leaves along the way! Or, enjoy a walk along the newly opened Mill Race Path in Springfield and marvel at the changing hills in the distance.

University of Oregon (Autzen, Fall), Eugene, by Paul Currier - November 2011

A look at Eugene in the Fall from Paul Currier

Greater Portland

Get above the city at Hoyt Arboretum and walk along the Wildwood or Hawthorn Trail. As a seasonal highlight, the scarlet shades are sure to amaze. Another amazing park located near park, the Portland Japanese Garden stands out as a place for tranquility, reflecting, and stunning fall colors. Alternately, get a taste for the city by picking a cup of coffee and walking along one of the last sections of the Willamette River at Tom McCall Waterfront Park.

Pearl District by bryangeli 11.02.2014

Portland’s Pearl District by Instagrammer bryangeli

 

Southern Oregon

Everyone needs to see Crater Lake! Oregon’s only National Park, Crater Lake changes with the seasons and during Fall comes alive with reds and yellows, a sharp contrast to the deep blue of the lake. Enjoy the drive along either highway 138 or 62 to add to the fall foliage colors.

Lithia Park in Ashland, by Graham Lewis 10.17.2014

Lithia Park in Ashland by Graham Lewis

Central Oregon

Check out Bend’s Drake Park and see twice the fall foliage in the aptly named Mirror Pond.  While in the area, hop on a bike and peddle Mount Washington Drive, enjoy the sun on your back and view the street lined with changing leaves.  If you are looking to leave the city, check out Deschutes River Hike accessible from the Meadow Day Use Area.

Bend

Leaves dropping downtown from Visit Bend

Eastern Oregon

In Baker County enjoy the views at the Leo Adler Memorial Parkway this biking and walking trail is lined with trees known to go scarlet red with fall colors.  For a scenic ride look no further than Old Highway 30 and watch the Elkhorns turn bright yellow. Of course, no trip to Eastern Oregon would be complete without gazing on the painted hills with their year round shades of Autumn.

14889706_10154448175355269_5753147092288153430_o

Elkhorn Scenic Byway by Base Camp Baker

Oregon Coast

There isn’t a better spot to see both beautiful foliage and views of the Pacific Ocean than along Oregon’s coast line.  With 363 miles of public land, cruise highway 101 to enjoy ocean side attractions on one side and view the changing colors on the other. Stop in at Cape Perpetua and grab a stunning view of both!

hebo

Color change in Hebo from the Siuslaw Forest Service

Mt. Hood/Columbia River Gorge

The Columbia River Gorge is known for spectacular fall foliage. Enjoy the drive along Interstate 84 and view the ever-popular Multnomah Falls. Enjoy some Oregon History by visiting the Vista house and driving along the Historic Columbia River Highway.

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 #ORFallFoliage 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.
frissell_trib_junction

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
council-crest

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
gorge

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!
runningy-fall2016-1

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.
visit-bend

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!
14889706_10154448175355269_5753147092288153430_o

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.