PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Oregonians have access to plenty of year-round natural beauty, but nothing quite beats the way our leaves change in the fall.
According to the list, Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge and McKenzie Pass-Santiam Scenic Byway are standout spots for changing leaves.
The Gorge is a local favorite that attracts visitors year-round, but the website says the area is “exceptionally breathtaking when cottonwoods, Oregon ash, firs, and big-leaf maples begin to display their colors.”
To see the Gorge at its autumnal peak, Trips to Discover says to pay the area a visit between the second week of September through mid-October.
Looking for something new? The McKenzie Pass is a lesser-known place to see gorgeous fall colors. According to the list, “you’ll have a chance to view yellowing big leaf maples against a green backdrop of Douglas firs, golden aspen near ponderosa pine, and red vine maples set side-by-side in dark lava fields.”
KOIN 6 Meteorologist Josh Cozart says the area’s peak fall foliage won’t begin until middle-to-late October. However, the longevity of fall colors is typically determined by the temperature, rain, and wind – which could knock leaves off the trees earlier than expected.
If you’re on the hunt for hues of yellow, orange, red and brown in the state of Washington, Trips to Discover has a place for you, too: Leavenworth, a Bavarian-style town near the state’s Cascade Mountains.
“Several autumn foliage routes start here, including Highway 2, which stretches to the Greater Seattle area, with vivid yellow trees reflected in Lake Wenatchee, just north of town,” the list reads. “Heading south on Highway 97, you’ll find the forests of Blewett Pass covered with brilliant red huckleberry bushes, aspens, and cottonwoods.”
However, the website says the best time to see the colors in this area is the first two weeks of October.