Oregon’s Finest Fall Foliage 2014

Fall has fallen and autumn has autumned. The leaves are embracing their eminent demise by turning all manner of gorgeous colors. Oregon has plenty of great places where you can see fall foliage, but here are our choices for the best of the best (in no particular order).

Willamette Valley

We can’t say enough good things about the Aufderheide Scenic Drive along the McKenzie River. You’ll find maples and other broadleaf tree species in full Technicolor this time of year. For whatever reason, the colors in the Willamette Valley get even brighter and better the closer you get to Westfir.

Mt. Hood & Columbia Gorge

Mount Hood has already seen its first snowfall of the season (!), but don’t let the chilly conditions keep you away. The whole area around Mount Hood and Columbia Gorge is emblazoned in beautiful, bright yellows and deep golds. It’s as good a place as you’ll find anywhere for a mid-autumn afternoon hike.

What rhymes with "orange foliage"?

What rhymes with “orange foliage”?

Fort Stevens State Park

While any location along the coast will serve your color watching needs well this season, you can’t go wrong with a trek to and through Fort Stevens State Park. In addition to glorious foliage, Fort Stevens offers beautiful wildflowers, the opportunity to view ample wildlife, and numerous hiking trails carved through coniferous forests.

Portland Area

Wonderful reds, yellows, oranges, and golds abound in the Greater Portland area this time of year. But run, don’t walk: the season has gone from “Indian summer” to “deep into fall” in just a short time, so the leaves are changing—and dropping—quickly. There’s probably other stuff to do in Portland while you’re there looking at the beautiful foliage.

Eastern Oregon

Obviously, the eastern half of our great state is the superior half, but that’s never more apparent than when the leaves change each fall. Geiser-Pollman Park in Baker City contains over 100 different tree species, giving visitors a one-of-a-kind foliage experience. Burnt River Canyon offers outstanding foliage on a number of scenic drives.

Photo credit: Don Hankins / Foter / CC BY