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Travel & Outdoors

Best WA Places to See Fall Foliage

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ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images

ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images

Flaming reds, golden yellows, vibrant oranges… all colors of fall that are beautiful to see on a drive, or a hike. Here are some places to go in Washington for spectacular fall color.

According to the Washington Trails Association, what makes our state so colorful in fall are the alpine larches on the eastern slope, the huckleberry shrubs in all their orangey brightness, brilliant yellows of the aspens, and pretty reds from a variety of different berries.

The WTA has several places it suggests for gorgeous drives, and hikes:

Granite Mountain Trail on Snoqualmie Pass West. This steep, 8 mile hike near North Bend, WA has spectacular views, a nearly 4,000 foot elevation gain and plenty of gorgeous fall color for photos.

Naches Peak Loop near Chinook Pass off SR 410. Views of Mount Rainier, the White River and a blaze of fall color from the fields and meadows.

Blue Lake Trail on the North Cascades Highway. This short, 4.5 mile hike near Washington Pass on North Cascades Highway 20, climbs more than 6,000 feet, and can have ice or snow in October, so dress appropriately.

Royal Basin Trail in the Olympic National Park, a popular and well traveled trail with a rewarding view of amazing flora and fauna.

Drive around the Mt. Baker or Snoqualmie area for gorgeous fall color. Or, drive Highway 14 to the Columbia River Gorge and see the change in leaves from the Washington side of the Columbia River.

There’s actually a hotline number for Washington State Fall Foliage Information, so you can phone before you go: 1.800.354.4595

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