Fall colors are fading throughout the state but the beauty of fall is far from over. The colors are not as vibrant and there are more leaves on the ground than in the trees but a drive anywhere in the state reveals pockets of color mixed with Oregon’s signature evergreens. This is the last fall foliage update for 2009, but our leaf watchers suggested some great winter activities to inspire you after the colors change from reds and yellows to whites and grays. So look for a winter activities post this weekend.
Check road conditions and weather before heading to the mountains on TripCheck.com or by calling 511.
Southern Oregon, 800-448-4856 for visitor information
The colors are starting to fade in Southern Oregon. Stroll through Lithia Park in Ashland or Jacksonville’s historic cemetery.
Mt. Hood/Columbia River Gorge, 888-622-4822 for visitor information
The colors are starting to fade in the Columbia River Gorge and lower portions of the Mt. Hood Territory. The trees have almost fully given up the battle for green and the hills are a vibrant splash of gold, yellow and orange canvas. Highway 26 up the Mt. Hood Corridor brings you a moving picture show as you go up the mountain from Clackamas, Sandy and into the canopy of the Mt. Hood National Forest.
Central Oregon, 800-800-8334 for visitor information
The color change is over in Central Oregon. Current colors are rusts, fuschias, plums, browns and the green of stead-fast evergreens. Catch glimpses of these lingering fall colors in the Old Mill District where deciduous trees are still clinging to some of their rusty-golden leaves and the branches of Mountain Ash are dotted by red berries.
Willamette Valley, 800.547.5445 for visitor information
The color change is starting to fade in the Willamette Valley. While the leaves are more than 50% off the trees, oranges and dark yellows highlight scenic drives through the wine country and views along river parks. Suggested drives this week are Hwy 33 outside of Salem and Territorial Highway from Monroe to Cottage Grove through pastoral landscapes and past wineries.
Eastern Oregon, 800-332-1843 for visitor information
The colors are starting to fade or are done throughout most of Eastern Oregon. In the higher elevations of the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, a few tamaracks are in full yellow color. Drive the Hells Canyon All American Road and Elkhorn Drive Scenic Byway.
Greater Portland, 800.962.3700 for visitor information
The colors are starting to fade in the greater Portland area. The numerous deciduous trees found throughout the city of Portland and the city’s 5,000-acre Forest Park create a stunning palate of yellow, orange and red. Ride the MAX light-rail train to Washington Park to see the wonderful colors in Hoyt Arboretum or stroll through the Saturday Farmers Market at Portland State University to see the fall colors in the city’s South Park blocks.
Oregon Coast, 888.628.2101 for visitor information
The colors along the Oregon Coast are starting to fade. Heavy rains and wind stripped leaves from the trees, leaving the occasional tree decorated with the last orange, yellow, or red leaves.