Columbia Gorge Highway
Bikers cruise along the Historic Columbia River Highway east of Hood River. Jensen said the pretty red foliage in this photo is poison oak. "Many people would be surprised to know it is one of Oregon's most colorful shrubs," he said. Big leaf maples and white oaks are included in this palette. Photo by Larry Andreasen
Stand Up Paddling
Surfing legend Gerry Lopez paddles near Bend by a stand of Black Cottonwoods. Look for the eye-catching reds of 15 different huckleberry species in this region, too. Photo by Kirk DeVoll
North Umpqua River
Grasses and sedges flame with color near a fisherman braving the cold waters of the North Umpqua River. Vine Maple and Big Leaf Maples stand out, too. Photo by Ken Morrish /
Portland Japanese Garden
Fall brings drama to the Portland Japanese Garden. Much of the color is not native to Oregon— like these Japanese Maples. "Some of our most colorful places to see fall color are our town sites," Jensen said. Photo by Dennis Frates
Silver Falls
Big Leaf Maples and smaller Vine Maples frame the cascading Silver Falls in the Cascade Mountains. Photo by Bob Pool / Viewfinders NW
Sokol Blosser Winery
Harvest is in the air at the Sokol Blosser winery with grape vine leaves aflame. The evergreen Douglas Fir provides a green backdrop. Photo by Dennis Frates
Wallowa Valley
Autumn brings snow to the peaks and the burnishing yellow to the trees of the Wallowa Valley. Look for Western Larch and Quaking Aspen at higher elevations. Photo by David Jensen

Oregon gives us plenty of ways to appreciate autumn’s glory — on foot, by car, by bike, or on the water. With 11 National Forests, 10 scenic byways, and eight scenic bikeways, the choice is yours.

Dr. Edward Jensen, professor of Forest Biology and Natural Resource Education at Oregon State University, and author of “Trees to know in Oregon,” offers some context. “Oregon forests are dominated by evergreen trees, mostly conifers,” Deciduous trees, which provide the scarlet, ochre and sunshiny hues of autumn are less common and more likely to stand out.

For updates about color around the state, check out the soon to be launched Oregon Fall Foliage blog. September through November, call the Fall Foliage Hotline at 800.547.5445.

about author Eileen Garvin

Eileen Garvin lives and writes in Hood River. When she’s not hunched over her keyboard or digging in the garden, you can find her mountain biking, kiteboarding, hiking, skiing or camping somewhere in Oregon.

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  1. Veronica Salcido says…


    Written on July 28th, 2012 / Flag this Comment
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