Where to See Mt Hood Fall Colors

Where to See Mt Hood Fall Colors
Posted by Mt Hood Vacation Rentals | Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Mt Hood is renowned for year-round skiing and snowboarding, and countless miles of hiking and biking trails. Most people visit during the winter and summer months to enjoy these activities. What these folks are missing out on only happens in the fall, and it is such a spectacular occurrence we want to share it with our Mt Hood Vacation Rental guests…the brilliant fall foliage!
As the seasons transition from summer to autumn, the days get shorter and leaves change from green to the many colors of fall—gold, amber, red, orange and even pink. Once winter is in full swing, there is not enough light or water for photosynthesis, and the leaves dry up and fall to the ground. The trees will rest, and live off the food they stored during the summer.
So where and when can you see this spectacular phenomenon while it’s in full swing? We’ve got all the details right here in our guide to Mt Hood Fall Colors!
Photo courtesy of Gary Randall Photography

When to See Mt Hood Fall Colors

Throughout Oregon, mid- to late-October tend to be the best time to view fall foilage. However, prime fall color viewing varies each year depending on the weather and what nutrients the trees had all year. The Mt Hood area can entertain bright bursts of fall foilage as late as mid-November. If you’re planning a fall color trip, late October is a great choice!

Where to See Mt Hood Fall Colors

Mt Hood Fall Color Hikes

One of the best ways to see fall colors, especially if you’re looking to snap some pics, is by hiking. Bring a jacket and pack your camera and some snacks, here are three places to hike and see the brilliant fall foilage. Lace up your hiking boots and get ready for a stunning gorgeous retreat into nature!

#1 – Mt Hood National Forest

Besides evergreens, the Mt Hood National Forest is full of vine maples, oak, huckleberry and Oregon grapes shrubs with colors that strike a remarkable contrast to the dark greens of Douglas fir and hemlock in the fall. Vine maples, in particular, show off the brightest and most diverse color spectrum, from deep dark red to the most vivid yellow.

#2 – Hunchback Mountain

For a magnificent, sweeping view of the Welches Valley and the abundant autumn colors of the Mt Hood National Forest, hike up Hunchback Mountain, accessible from the Zigzag Ranger Station. While it is a somewhat strenuous hike up (an hour each way), you will be well-rewarded with sweeping views of the colorful valley and the Salmon River below once you reach the top.

#3 – Old Salmon River Trail

For a more relaxed experience, meander along the Old Salmon River Trail and watch as the fall leaves float peacefully into and down the Salmon River while the salmon are spawning. The 5-mile out-and-back style trail is family friendly and marked as easy in difficulty level. This would be the perfect trip for a leisurely stroll to enjoy the fall foliage.

Mt Hood Fall Color Cruises

To experience Mt Hood’s fall foliage from the comforts of your car, cruise along the Mt Hood Scenic Byway and the Columbia River Gorge Scenic Byway, which join to create a breathtaking loop around Mt Hood. Fall colors are particularly glorious through Hood River Valley, on Highway 35 between Government Camp and Hood River as you drive from forest to field.

Take breaks along the Hood River County Fruit Loop at the many orchards and wineries that dot the beautiful landscape, and watch apple, pear and grape harvest in full swing before tasting the fruits of the farms’ labors. Apples, pears, cider and other fall harvest fruits and vegetables are available for sale at many locations.

Photo courtesy of Gary Randall Photography

Plan Your Fall Getaway to Colorful Mt Hood

If the idea of cozy fireplaces, apple cider, brilliant fall colors and relaxation have you smiling, it’s time to pack your bags and head to Mt Hood. Check out our guide to fall trip planning and four fun things to do in the fall at Mt Hood. We offer a great selection of cabins that are perfect for your next adventure. Book a romantic retreat cabin with your loved one, or choose a pet friendly cabin so your furry friend can join you.

Mt Hood Vacation Planning Outdoor Activities

Categories: Mt Hood Vacation Planning

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