Although we’re called the Evergreen State, Washington is not just green. Fiery red. Vibrant yellow. Deep, rich gold. The fall color in the Pacific Northwest states of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington can be as spectacular as anywhere in the country. The display varies from year to year, the color and duration dependent on weather conditions. Dry Indian summers, which we’ve certainly had this year, lead to breathtaking hillside panoramas.
Northwest trees and shrubs that provide color include vine maples, larch, and aspen. The leaves change color as the days become shorter and cooler. The vine maple, which often lines Pacific Northwest hiking trails, turns to hues of yellow, orange, and red. The larch and aspen leaves contribute shades of yellow and gold to the fall palette. Because these trees are often intermingled with evergreens, the fall foliage display in the Pacific Northwest is rich and varied.
Savoring the beauty of fall foliage can be the theme of a day trip or a weekend getaway.
Where to See Fall Foliage in Washington State
The Columbia River Gorge and the Cascade Mountains both provide great views of Pacific Northwest fall foliage.
Columbia River Gorge
You can view the Gorge’s lively fall color from the Washington side of the Columbia River by driving along Highway 14. Stop for a picnic, hiking, or biking at Beacon Rock State Park. Cross the river to continue your fall color adventure along the Historic Columbia River Highway.
Mount Baker–Snoqualmie National Forest
This vast North Cascades forest is always a great place to enjoy a scenic drive, along with some outdoor recreation. Two major scenic byways run through Mt. Baker–Snoqualmie. Both are excellent choices for your fall foliage drive, with many places to get out and stretch your legs along the way:
Other places to enjoy fall color in Washington State include:
When to Enjoy Fall Foliage in Washington State
Fall color in the state of Washington typically begins in mid-September and peaks in mid-October. Color conditions can change on a daily basis. Before leaving, use these resources to find out the current color status:
- Washington Fall Foliage Hotline: 800-354-4595
- Pacific Northwest Forest Service Updates
- U.S. Forest Service Fall Color Information
Need Help Managing All Those Leaves Once They Drop?
Let us deal with the foliage once it’s dropped, while you take the time to view the foliage while it’s still on the trees! Give us a call.