Leaf Peeping: 10 Best Places For Fall Foliage On The West Coast

Leaf Peeping: 10 Best Places For Fall Foliage On The West Coast

From chillier temperatures to pumpkin patch tours to endless autumn festivals and celebrations, Fall comes with so many wonderful things. But the most impressive part of this season is the fall foliage that appears in beautiful yellows, reds, oranges, and golds. No matter where one is staying or visiting in the United States West Coast region, travelers will find a peak foliage spot in almost every state. It is, however, important to check the various tourism websites as the specific peak times for fall foliage do change, depending on weather patterns. Looking for perfect leaf peeping opportunities? Here are the 10 best places for fall foliage on the West Coast.

San Diego’s Balboa Park

Covering 1,200 acres, Balboa Park is one of the most impressive places for leaf peeping in fall. Balboa’s gorgeous gardens and trees brim with fall flowers, and travelers can experience the changing colors of its various plant species. The park boasts beautiful hiking trails and pathways through which vacationers can have the best views of the fall foliage. While visiting Balboa Park, one should definitely swing by the San Diego Museum of Arts and catch some fall0related events, such as the annual Harvest Festival.

Mount Laguna, California

Mount Laguna is surrounded by deciduous oaks and other stunning trees which offer breathtaking fall foliage views. The mountain’s thick forests and plants turn into gorgeous oranges and golds, worth seeing. The place has incredible hiking trails, such as the Sunset Trail, giving spectacular fall foliage views. After spending a long day leaf peeping, one can grab some eats at the stunning Pine House Café, located among the treetops.

Lake Tahoe, California

Any time is great to visit the world-famous Lake Tahoe. Offering incredible skiing and snowboarding opportunities in winter and amazing water sports in summer, the Jewel of the Sierra entices many travelers for its elegance. But fall in Lake Tahoe is simply magical and is definitely the most adorable season to explore the beauty surrounding this place. The trees are glowing in breathtaking bright colors, giving leaf peepers excellent opportunities outdoors. Lake Tahoe boasts several hikes, trails, and sports to enjoy in the fall.

Julian, California

When visiting Southern California, a fall day trip would be perfect in Julian. Boasting seven varieties of apples in different orchards, this enchanting small mountain town is an excellent fall getaway. Leaf peeping opportunities? Scenic drives along Highway 78 stroll around Main Street, and Banner Grades offers the most breathtaking fall foliage views. There are numerous local trails that travelers can hike for impressive fall leaf peeping. Another option is cruising south to Lake Cuyamaca to enjoy more panoramic views of fall foliage.

Columbia River Gorge, Oregon

Columbia River Gorge is one of the best places to see fall foliage on the West Coast. The gorge’s deciduous oaks, maples, and other trees transform into a breathtaking bright color. While this place is brimming with incredible foliage views in almost every corner, some of its spots are too spectacular to miss. The Historic Columbia River Highway, Cape Horn Trail, and Hamilton Mountain are top places to check out for more impressive leaf-peeping.

Olympic National Park, Washington

The Olympic National Park’s rainforests are the perfect places to enjoy leaf-peeping in fall. During other months of the year, the rainforests are covered in lush greens. But once autumn kicks in, the environment is nothing but mind-blowing, as the coats are glowing in yellow, orange, and red leaves. Stepping over some giant, fallen, crunchy leaves is magical. Some of the best places to explore for breathtaking foliage views include; the Quinault River and Hoh Rainforest.

Redwood National & State Parks, Washington

This place hosts some of the oldest and tallest trees on the Planet and is definitely worth visiting when planning a trip to the West Coast. The atmosphere is different in Redwood in the fall, and travelers will have a wonderful time exploring the refreshing wonders surrounding the beauty of this place. Watching the leaves turn into different brilliant colors is breathtaking, making Redwood National & State Parks one of the best places to see fall foliage on the West Coast.

Napa Valley, California

From impressive fall festivals to the smell of crushed grapes coming from the vineyards to spectacular foliage, Napa Valley is magical in autumn. Nestled in the northern Bay Area, Napa Valley’s trees, including maples, black oaks, and ginkgo, glow in reds, oranges, and yellows, turning the roads around the area into an incredible colorful artwork. The peak foliage season in Napa Valley is in early November, with the vineyards keeping their appearance till the end of the month.

Maroon Bells, Aspen, Colorado

Fall is one of the most beautiful times to visit Aspen, as vacationers can experience the trees changing into stunning colors and favorable weather for outdoor activities. Vacationers can explore this region either by strolling around on foot, biking, or engaging in scenic drives to view fall foliage. Maroon Bells is where travelers will experience the most spectacular fall foliage in Aspen. Hiking the Colorado trail, which is less crowded, is one of the best ways of seeing the best of Maroon Bells’ autumn colors.

San Juan Mountains, Colorado

Located in Southwest Colorado, the San Juan Mountains turn into a colorful paradise in autumn. The fall foliage glows with the golden leaves of its trees, including oaks, aspens, and cottonwood. The leans start transforming from around the second week of September and peak in the third week. However, travelers can still encounter some patches of golden aspens in mid-October. Travelers can do leaf peeping on scenic drives on San Juan Skyway or Silver Thread Scenic & Historic Byway.

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