Fall foliage is finally starting to bloom in the Willamette Valley right now! Areas around Eugene and the Southern Willamette Valley are colorful, filled with lots of red maples, yellow larches and dark purple plum trees. This September we experienced a heavy rain in Western Oregon — more than 4 inches fell last month, though the average is .2 inches! We are estimating this has delayed some of the leaf-turning so far, though we are still expecting a mid-October peak season (roughly 1.5 – 2 weeks out).
Vine maples and aspens are showing their colors at higher altitudes. Again, mild temperatures through the state continue to make us guess that peak season will be closer to mid-October, possibly slightly later than originally thought.
This time of the year is ideal for outdoor adventures! Check out a fun guide on fall hikes here, and find a few scenic drive suggestions to plan your routes below:
– Columbia River Gorge: Hwy 84 from Portland east to Hood River—waterfalls, orchards, scenic small towns and river views.
– Willamette Valley: South of Portland along Hwy 99 (west of I-5), through Newburg and down to Eugene or Cottage Grove–lovely winding route through farmland, rolling hills, wineries and college towns.
– Southern Oregon: Medford to Jacksonville and Ashland – historic sights, world-class theater and mountain views.