Oregon Fall Foliage Update 9/26/2014

Near Mt. Hood by wahkeenaphotos via Instagram

Near Mt. Hood by wahkeenaphotos via Instagram

Eugene, Cascades & Coast
The leaves are slowly beginning to turn in the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region. The first official day of autumn brought rain, but this weekend’s forecast calls for better weather. Grab the family and hit the road. Along the McKenzie River you will see gold in the big leaf maples and other broad leaf trees. It may still be a little wet so take a hike under the canopy that covers the McKenzie River Trail. Any direction you head, you are bound to find one of the more than 50 local farms and produce stands along the way.

Don’t have enough time to make it out of the city? With new students arriving, the Eugene Saturday Market and the University of Oregon will both be teeming with energy. Meander through the vibrant booths of art and farm fresh produce downtown or take in the 3,000+ trees that make the UO campus an arboretum. While on campus, stop by Sunday’s Fall Festival at the Museum of Natural and Cultural History.

Compete in the World’s Shortest Bike Race, a 13.1 foot (yes, foot) race Sunday at Falling Sky Brewing’s Oak Alley location.

Oregon Coast
The vine maples along the Oregon Coast have just begun changing colors. Peak is about two weeks away. Hike around Cape Perpetua Scenic Area, where the forest meets the sea. Make your way up Highway 101 to the Tillamook Forest Center where they are holding classes on the Patterns of Nature and Tracking in Tillamook area.

Salem by syrnlkb via Instagram

Salem by syrnlkb via Instagram

Willamette Valley
It definitely feels like fall in the Willamette Valley! Small hints of color can be spotted throughout this bountiful region. The tops of the maples have just begun to turn red. Corvallis has been seeing quite a bit of brown due to the dry weather. In Salem, head to Riverfront Park to see early autumn hues. Stop by the Straub Environmental Center this weekend for Nature Art Workshops.

Greater Portland
The leaves in the Greater Portland area have just begun showing their fall colors with some drastic changes this past week as the temperatures have dropped. Prior to this week, Portland had been experiencing extremely dry weather, so some leaves have already turned brown. Visit the Portland Farmers Market located at Portland State University to pick up some fresh produce while you’re in the area. Stroll through Mt. Tabor Park for great views of Southeast Portland.

Three Sisters Wilderness by everythingjence via Instagram

Three Sisters Wilderness by everythingjence via Instagram

Mt. Hood/ The Gorge
Peak season is a few weeks away in the Mt. Hood and Columbia River Gorge area. Colors have slowly started to change with bits of red and gold peeking out from beneath the green. Get outside and enjoy a nice, family friendly 2.6 mile loop to Horsetail Falls. This hike has views of three different waterfalls and a little bit of Oneonta Gorge.

Central Oregon
The leaves are just beginning to change in Central Oregon. The foothills in the Cascade Mountains are a little ahead of the rest of the region with the aspens and maples turning to deep shades of yellow. The high desert to the east of Bend is also beginning to show off some of its vibrant colors. The cool nights and hot days have made for an incredible September. Savor the season and Bend’s booming craft beer scene at the First Annual HOPtoberfest at Worthy Brewing. Other fun events include the Last Saturday Art Walk at Old Ironworks Art District and the Sisters Hop Festival. Those events and more can be found on Visit Bend’s events calendar.

Elkhorn Mountains by Base Camp Baker

Elkhorn Mountains by Base Camp Baker

Eastern Oregon
Fall colors are dragging their feet this year in Eastern Oregon, so you have to look hard to find them. Leave the searching to the pros by hopping aboard the Two Rivers Fall Foliage Photography Train on Saturday. This weekend, the charming town of Joseph is celebrating its annual Oregon’s Alpenfest. Enjoy a piece of Oregon’s little Switzerland with polka music, yodeling, alphorns, bratwurst, beer, and wine.

Southern Oregon
The leaves in Southern Oregon have just started changing into those wonderful yellows and oranges we all love! The temperatures in this area have just begun to drop, so the colors should be changing more drastically within the next couple of weeks. Take a nice, leisurely walk along the South Umpqua River at Stewart Park to experience the best fall colors in Roseburg.


10 thoughts on “Oregon Fall Foliage Update 9/26/2014

  1. Hi,
    We are planning to visit Portland by 24th October thinking that it will be the peak of fall. We haven’t seen any fall colors till now. We are new to the US and are currently based out of SFO Bay Area. When I see your pictures it looks like Oct 24th is too late 😦 What is your advice ?

  2. Pingback: Oregon Fall Foliage Update 9/26/2014 — Orenco Photography Club

  3. Hello,

    Me and my wife are planning to visit Portland and surrounding areas between Oct 11 – 14. This is a special fall colors trip from California. We wanted to know how the status would be and what are the best areas to focus on around that time of the month. Please guide us and any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  4. Hi Swarup,

    What a great trip you have planned! The colors should be just about to peak around the Portland area while you are here. Definitely check out Hoyt Arboretum (http://www.hoytarboretum.org/) and its twelve miles of hiking trails. Look for scarlet Sourwoods on the Hawthorn Trail and pumpkin orange Franklinas on the Elderberry Trail. The Portland Japanese Garden (http://japanesegarden.com/)is a must-see in the fall. The Strolling Pond Garden will be stunning come mid-October. An autumn trip to Portland isn’t complete without a visit to Multnomah Falls. Follow the Silver Falls Tour Route (http://traveloregon.com/trip-ideas/scenic-byways/the-silver-falls-tour-route/) to the Oregon Garden Resort (http://www.oregongarden.org/), an 80-acre botanical garden 40 miles south of the city in Silverton.

    Let us know if you would like more information or travel tips.

    Happy travels!

    Molly & the Oregon Fall Foliage team

  5. Hi Raj,

    October 24 is definitely not too late for fall color. It all depends on when it starts to get cold and the forecast calls for more unseasonably warm temperatures, so you should be fine.

    Your best bet for fall colors will be in the Willamette Valley, from Portland to Eugene, and around the Columbia River Gorge. In the Portland area, visit Hoyt Arboretum (http://bit.ly/1CBhwNl) and its 12 miles of hiking trails. Follow the Mt. Hood Scenic Byway (http://bit.ly/1BwKRpQ) around Oregon’s highest peak. Near Eugene, cycle or drive the Cottage Grove Covered Bridge Tour Route (http://bit.ly/1yx44eO).

    Let us know if you would like any more recommendations.

    Happy travels!

    Molly & the Oregon Fall Foliage team

  6. A late fall tip: the best colors at the end of the season seem to be in the city and it’s many green spots. Streets are lined with maples and under the right conditions (which we’ve had the last three years and hope for another…) they blazed a beautiful red. Even as the leaves go russet, there is a warmth to their color that sends the message of autumn home. If you are in Portland at any time when the leaves have started to change or are dropping in droves from the trees, a lovely way to see them is taking the cable car up to OHSU.

  7. Hi Molly and Team,
    I see only rainy weather for this weekend. Can you please suggest me some good museums, art galleries (basically indoor places) to visit? We will have to cut down our vacation and return if its going to rain the entire 4 days (24, 25, 26 and 27)

    – Raj

  8. Hi Raj,

    We certainly have a wet forecast ahead. You could still drive the Mt. Hood Scenic Byway to see fall colors. The Mt. Hood Cultural Center & Museum (www.mthoodmuseum.org) is right on the route. Timberline Lodge (www.timberlinelodge.com/dining/) is a wonderful place to grab lunch or dinner. Our coworker says they have the best hot chocolate in the state, not to mention a view that’s hard to beat (even in wintery weather).

    For indoor options, the Portland Art Museum, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), Oregon Historical Society, Powell’s Books (not a museum, but a must-visit for book lovers). All of these and several more are on Travel Portland’s list of Top Sights in Portland (www.travelportland.com/article/top-sights-in-portland/).

    If you are staying in Portland, you will also be close to award-winning wineries with stunning views. The fall fog and rain create an ethereal atmosphere on the vineyards. The closest wineries to Portland can be found here: http://www.travelportland.com/collection/oregon-wine/. The Willamette Valley AVA stretches from Portland to Eugene. For even more Willamette Valley wineries, visit http://www.oregonwinecountry.org.

    Let us know if you’d like more recommendations.

    Molly & the Oregon Fall Foliage team

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