Fall Futures – An Introduction to Fall 2016

Fall is coming! Check out the forecast below as we roll into this colorful season from our resident fall specialist Gabrielle Lent, and plan your fall adventures in the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region here.

Oregon’s seasons are so true. Now that we’ve reached mid-August, summer is in full swing and just about everything under the sun is feeling the heat. Warmth hangs in the air from late morning to late night as we covet swimming holes and savor sunsets, share outdoor picnics with friends and experience all the activities that make this time of year so very dreamy.


Cottage Grove’s Currin Covered Bridge in late summer

Though we’re living in the summer moment here at Eugene, Cascades and Coast, we will begin to turn our focus toward fall futures. Where will this year’s colors be most resplendent? When will they first appear? If you’re leaf hunters like we are, you may have noticed that some trees are already in transition. We spoke with KEZI 9 Chief Meteorologist Marisa Woloszyn and asked her to weigh in with an overview forecast for the season.

This year, warmer summer temperatures are expected to cause leaves to start changing a bit earlier than they normally do with colors peaking around their normal time. Leaves begin to change across the United State in August, with peaks between late September and early November. Leaves in the Northeast, Rocky Mountains and the Upper Midwest will peak first, followed by the Pacific Northwest and then the Southeast. 

Color will peak in mid October in the higher elevations of Oregon, where it gets cooler more quickly. This includes the Cascades, Siskiyou Mountains and Coastal Mountains. By late October  foliage peaks across the rest of the state, including the Willamette Valley, Umpqua Basin, Rogue Valley and Cascade foothills.”

Waterfall Stavi.jpg

One of the 7 Waterfall Wonders from Instagrammer Stavi89

Follow along with this blog as we review the progress of our foliage metamorphose, here in Lane County and across the state. Tell us your favorite places, send pictures of what you see and learn more about Oregon with each week that passes.

We’ll tell you where to go, what you can do once you get there and explore the land in new ways then we have in past years. Get ready for bounty, get ready for adventure and get going on plans for your fall season vacations!


18 thoughts on “Fall Futures – An Introduction to Fall 2016

  1. Hi Ken –
    Sure thing! Late September is when we should be seeing some nice color start to pop. We’re expecting peak to be more near to mid-October this year. Let us know and we can offer up some possible routes to color along your trip!

  2. Hi Darlene –
    We’re just about to start our callouts on color changes through Oregon. These go to folks who sign up to be leaf reporters (https://oregonfallfoliage.wordpress.com/be-an-oregon-leaf-reporter/) across the state that offer up updates on notable Fall hot-spots that we share sometimes on our blog here and other times on our social media channels. We do have contacts that will share us shots through Central Oregon too, but would be happy to include more if you have any photos or updates to share as well!

  3. Based on the forecast, if you had to guess the best time to spend 30 days in Portland for autumn colors (in Portland) for 2016. Can you please just give me your best guess? I was in Portland for autumn colors in 2008.. and it was I guess approximately October 18 – November 15. Please just let me know your thoughts about 2016.. because I have the opportunity right now to choose any 30 days this year to visit Portland.. and I want to get some input, so I can try to choose the best dates possible. Thank you!

  4. This is a great blog, I’m happy I found it! I’m moving from out of the area to Hood River, and intend to arrive on October 14th. Does this look like about peak season for the area? I’d love to be there in time for fall colors in my first year. Thanks!

  5. Hi Tyler –
    Great to hear – welcome to Oregon! That should be a perfect timeframe to see fall really come into a full peak. We’re estimating mid-October for it to peak this year, so watch our blog for more tips on where to see color along the Gorge and in Hood River!

  6. Hi there –
    Actually the timeframe of October 18 – November 15 is a great window to aim for, especially since we’re estimating that peak could hit in the mid-October timeframe. Color tends to last well into November so you should be set in that range for nice color!

  7. Excellent; I’m glad I kept you guys in my reader. Good to have you back. Any thoughts on peak times for the Gorge? I can get some time off but need to do a little planning around it. Thanks so much!

  8. Hey thanks for this information – its so good to know the dates! Cameras will be charged and ready to go.
    J B

  9. Hi JB – awesome! Let us know if you get any shots you’d like to share

  10. Hi Rick –
    Glad to be back! We’re estimating around mid-October across the state, as you might know our fall colors tend to last through at least mid-November. So I’d aim for that mid-late October for a stay in that area.


  11. Happy to find this site. Planning a visit to Crater Lake (via Hwy 97&58) and was wondering when peak viewing would be?

  12. Hi Jackie –
    Great idea! We’re expecting peak to be around mid-October for the Valley this year – so it’d be safe to estimate Crater Lake’s season to peak around then as well. If you’re into waterfalls be sure to check out Salt Creek Falls near there on Highway 58. It’s Oregon’s second tallest!

  13. My wife and I are planning to visit Hood River (flying into Portland) October 11-14, midweek. Any suggestions on what to do/see, and what to avoid? Thanks!

  14. Hi Keith – Great timeframe! We’re estimating that should be just before peak of the season for us this year. Definitely make sure to take in views of the Gorge as you drive along 84. There’s some great wine, beer and cider in around Hood River to check out, and some really tasty culinary options in the area. Great hikes and nice spots to take in the color change around the city there too! You’ll find more adventures and ideas here for that area: https://www.mthoodterritory.com/

  15. This is awesome info. We booked a family photo session for Oct 31st with a group of photographers who are traveling around the country. Any suggestions of incredible places around Portland? These photographers are amazing and I want to make sure I choose a very beautiful place (and hopefully the rain will cooperate).

  16. Hi Fernanda- While we are estimating the peak to be around mid-October there should still be some great color by October 31. From farmland to waterfalls Portland is going to have a lot of great opportunities for both landscape and portrait photography. There are several parks and farms around the city but The Columbia River Gorge to Hood River is a favorite fall option in the The Greater Portland region. The scenic landscape of the Gorge is great for leaf spotting during the fall and Hood River’s “Fruit Loop” provides great opportunities to taste the fall harvest and take part in seasonal festivities.

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