Plan Your Fall Foliage Trip!

Happy summer from the Oregon Fall Foliage team! Believe it or not, now is the time to start planning fall foliage trips. There are so many ways and places to see beautiful colors across Oregon!

Cyclists on the Covered Bridges Scenic Bikeway in Cottage Grove

Cyclists on the Covered Bridges Scenic Bikeway in Cottage Grove

We don’t always know WHEN the leaves will be at their brightest. Mother Nature keeps that insider info to herself. However, we’ve been following leaf patterns for 10 years now, so we have a good idea of where they start and when they go.

Drake Park and Mirror Pond (courtesy: Manasi Seth)

Drake Park and Mirror Pond (courtesy: Manasi Seth)

But that’s not the only reason we’re here. We also have awesome ideas of the best ways to experience the entire fall season. We’ll tell you the best fall drives, the best fall hikes, where to find the best fall flavors at Oregon restaurants and new trip ideas that you’ve likely never heard of. Plus, we’ll post amazing deals on lodging, adventures and dining.

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Share your pictures with us by tagging them #ORFallFoliage. We’ll pick the best to use (with credit, of course) for our Fall Photos of the Day. Send us your favorite leaf pics from past years to get excited for Oregon Fall Foliage 2013.

Following Foliage in the Cascades

Old growth, deep-green Douglas fir populate much of the Cascades, so as I made my way to  Opal Creek Wilderness this weekend, I did a lot of peering into the understory. The Clackamas  follows the northern portion of the West Cascade Scenic Byway and the drive along the river’s shore is restorative…splashy sounds, hyper oxygenated riffles, white rapids that give me goosebumps, even from a distance.  The most striking foliage is still gathering force, although cherry-red vine maples and gold-colored oak have begun to peek out here and there. 

My resource at  Mt. Hood Vacation Rentals tells me that  nights up around Rhododendron have just started getting cool – down around the 40’s.  That and sunny days are the recipe for the most spectacular leaves.   She estimates that in the next week or so, colors will really start to change as you head towards Mt. Hood.

Opal Creek is a gem of a destination.  But, I had a lot of great choices.  I might have gone around the mountain for a day on the Infinity Loop and  returned home on the Historic Columbia River Highway.  I might have chosen to continue south with a drive into Oakridge that would have included a mandatory stop at the Brewers Union Local 180.  Taking the  byways in autumn means there are no wrong turns…just a lot of beautiful road in every direction.

Jae Heidenreich, guest contributor
Oregon’s Mt. Hood Territory