Fall Color Update: Oct. 7, 2016

Check out the newest color reports from our regional Leaf Reporters across the state as areas start to begin in some areas and peak in others. Amazing displays of color are arriving just in time for the rain to start sprinkling in! 

(note: information based on responses from our leaf reporters by 9/30/2016)

Central Oregon:


Shevlin Park in color change from Darlene Ashley

  • Fall Foliage is at peak in Bend right now! Reports have the area warming up this weekend after a cooler week. It’s a perfect time to see fall colors against the white snow starting to cap the Three Sisters!
  • Shevlin Park is showing nice colors right now
  • This weekend also marks the 13th annual BendFilm Festival, which started yesterday and runs through Sunday. Don’t miss wonderful work from independent filmmakers alongside those gorgeous colors popping around town!

Willamette Valley:

  • Trees in Eugene’s downtown areas are popping well as change starts to move into the surrounding communities.
  • Cottage Grove has trees just starting to pop – a great time to visit the Covered Bridges Scenic Bikeway!
  • South Willamette Valley Vineyards are showing nice yellow > orange colors right now. Sarver Winery is especially colorful!
  • Families are invited to climb aboard the Sweetbrier Train and RV Park’s Pumpkin Patch Train Ride where you can wind your way through 19 acres of woods with old growth fir and peaceful meadows dotted with foliage and creeks.
  • Heading west from Eugene on Highway 126  note the estuary marshlands of Perkins Peninsula Park, Fern Ridge and the vibrant woods near Noti.
  • Heading east on Highway 126 make sure to visit Goodpasture Covered Bridge, recently voted number eight on a list of the “Top 10 Covered Bridges in the U.S.
  • IMG_1489.JPG

Southern Oregon:

  • Color change is just before peak levels in parts Southern Oregon – specifically near the Rogue-Umpqua bypass. Roseburg is showing more trees in yellow and red. Estimating this weekend into next week as possibly peaking in color change.
  • Ashland sounds like it’s 1-2 weeks away from peak. Some trees are showing nice color change but estimates are that most trees haven’t popped yet.

Oregon Coast:

  • The Siuslaw Forest is reporting that they’re near Peak in some areas – specifically those with Vine Maples and Alders in them.
  • The Upper Nustecca National Scenic Byway is possibly the best bet at seeing color change on the Oregon Coast so far!
  • A nice hike for this time of year in the area is the Niagra Falls Trail, which winds down a 1 mile hike along Big Leaf Maples to a 130 foot waterfall.


The  First Hike of October

Follow along with Tourism Coordinator, Katie McGuigan, as she spends the first day of October immersed in the fall foliage of the McKenzie River.            

Low hanging clouds have settled into the foothills of the McKenzie River and the landscape is beginning to adjust to the quietness of mid-fall. Some might consider this the perfect day to stay bundled inside, comfortable with a good book or movie, however for many Oregonians this day will mark the opportunity for the first drizzly hike of the season.


Falling into the second category myself, I laced up my hiking boots and threw a rain jacket into my backpack before departing from Eugene to Tidbit Mountain in Blue River. After turning off of Highway 126 onto Road 15 we drove the ascent to the trail head through a tunnel of Big Leaf Maple showing off a vibrant yellow hue.


By the time we reached the trail head we were fogged in with low-hanging clouds, a byproduct of driving towards the Cascade Mountain Range and a well-suited way to kick off October. A soft drizzle falling on us we departed on the approximate 2 -mile trek to the summit of Tidbit Mountain (3.75 miles out and back).


Douglas fir trees towered above us, subdued to shadows in fog. In stark contrast to the muted canopy above us were the incandescent yellows and reds of the Vine Maple trees, almost glowing through the drizzly atmosphere. This is the fall we yearn for in Oregon. Marching on we eventually crossed a rocky hillside before making our final scrambling ascent onto the peak of Tidbit Mountain. Completely fogged in on this October afternoon, we opted to return to that rocky hillside to eat our lunch before finishing our autumn pilgrimage.


Toasty after a few minutes in the car, we headed back to Eugene to join the bookworms and homebodies with a warm cup of tea. Who says we shouldn’t enjoy all fall has to offer?



2 thoughts on “Fall Color Update: Oct. 7, 2016

  1. Hi John –
    Just heard from a few folks along the Gorge that colors are just starting to pop there. Sounding like it’ll be a good time to spot color in the coming weeks

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