A few of the regions in Oregon are hitting peak color this week so it’s a great time for a road trip. Don’t let a little rain stop you from cycling through wine country or hiking to a picturesque waterfall. Review the foliage photography tips post from October 12 and don’t forget your camera. You can post your favorite shots to the Oregon Fall Foliage Flickr group. And try using our new favorite synonym for foliage in a sentence today: frondescence.
Willamette Valley, 800.547.5445 for visitor information
The colors are at peak in the mountains east of the Willamette Valley. The West Cascades Scenic Byway makes for an adventuresome day trip. The McKenzie River Highway exhibits various shades of yellow, deep golds, burnt orange and splashes of red. Make the loop around old McKenzie Pass (Hwy 242) before snow closes the road. Red vine maples are a striking contrast against the black volcanic lava fields. The valley is almost at peak. The Oregon State University campus has begun to turn with a brilliant array of colors.
Eastern Oregon, 800-332-1843 for visitor information
The color change is just beginning in Eastern Oregon. Some light yellows are showing in the aspens and cottonwoods. The ground shrubs are peaking in their hues of orange and reds. The Hells Canyon and Elkhorn Scenic Byway are always good for a weekend trip to see the fall colors and diversity of landscapes in Eastern Oregon. Echo in Umatilla County has an arboretum with about 100 trees which are just now starting to turn.
Greater Portland, 800.962.3700 for visitor information
The color change is almost at peak in the Greater Portland area; lots of yellow, orange and red mixed with green. Things are looking bright, and color is really beginning to pop against these beautiful, blue autumn skies. The Vineyard & Valley Scenic Tour Route in Washington County is a beautiful drive just outside of Portland.
Southern Oregon, 800-448-4856 for visitor information
The color change is nearing peak in parts of Southern Oregon. The views driving upriver towards Diamond Lake on the North Umpqua Highway 138 are spectacular. The color change in the Klamath basin is just starting with a blend of yellows, greens and some amber. The road from Fort Klamath to Crater Lake National Park offer stunning viewing spots.
Central Oregon, 800-800-8334 for visitor information
The color change is nearing peak in Central Oregon. It finally looks like fall with crimson reds, burnt oranges and rusts, dark purples and warm hues of gold throughout the region, complemented by the steady forest green. There is a spectacular display of vibrant fall colors in Bend, traveling along Mt. Washington Drive between Century Drive and Skyliners Road. Enjoy the orange and reds along the Deschutes River in a canoe.
Mt. Hood/Columbia River Gorge, 888-622-4822 for visitor information
The color change is just beginning for the lower Mt. Hood and Columbia River Gorge region. Multnomah Falls is just starting to see color, including the vibrant vine maples. The color change is late this year and some cold weather could be the jump start the leaves need.
Oregon Coast, 888.628.2101 for visitor information
The color change is just starting in the Coast Range. Alders are turning yellow and the showy vine maples stand out against the Douglas fir and cedar. Storm watching is a favorite fall activity on the Oregon Coast. Rain has knocked some of the leaves down but what’s better than seeing fall leaves swirl about, while hunkered down in front of a fire? Or get out and hike some of the 26 miles of trail at Cape Perpetua. Or climb the Astoria Column and check out the view from 125 feet up.