From Mount Laguna near San Diego to Olympic National Park in Washington, Musement shares five of the best places on the West Coast to gawk at fall foliage.
There’s nothing exactly “new” about autumn. Yet watching the foliage take on the typical seasonal hues and transform the landscape never gets old. Perhaps the fleetingness is what makes it most special?
Regardless, it’s the time of year to fill up your gas tank and take a drive to admire the scenery. We’ve taken a look at fall foliage in the America as a whole, around the world, and in the U.K., and we thought we’d zone in on another beautiful region. Here’s a look at five spots on the West Coast whose fall foliage will take your breath away.
1. Pacific Coast Highway
Route 1, arguably one of the world’s most fabled routes, is a 1650-mile highway that boasts plenty of panoramas along the way. Stretching from Seattle to San Diego, the Pacific Coast Highway ranks high among road trippers. Its stops include Big Sur, the rugged mountainous section of California’s Central Coast that’s one of the world’s most fabled landscapes. While the route boasts some of the most astounding scenery you’ll ever see year-round, the warm autumn hues only enhance the charm.
2. Lake Tahoe, California, and Nevada
Straddling California and Nevada, Lake Tahoe is a vast freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada Mountains that’s popular both in summer for its shores and in winter for its skiing. When autumn arrives, the shades of yellow, orange, and bronze dominate the landscape, making for one of the most breathtaking backdrops to admire fall foliage on the West Coast. Plus, the weather remains warm and the crowds have gone, which only adds to the allure of visiting in autumn.
3. Columbia River Gorge, Oregon, and Washington
The Columbia River is the largest in the Pacific Northwest, starting in the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia and passing through Washington and Oregon to empty into the Pacific. Its Gorge is a 4000-foot deep, 80-mile long canyon perched on the border of the two states, which is surrounded characterized by gorgeous scenery and a mesmerizing cascade, which is even more dazzling during autumn.
4. Olympic National Park, Washington
Located on Washinton’s Olympic Peninsula, Olympic National Park spans four ecosystems: coast, lowland forest, temperate rainforest, and mountains. While the park does have a fair amount of evergreens, it also boasts sprawling foliage that changes color with the season making fall one of the best times to visit the park—especially for a hike!
5. Mount Laguna, California
Mount Laguna, or Laguna Mountain, stands an hour north of San Diego. The mountain stands around 6,000 feet high and a hike to its summit not only promises plenty of breathtaking foliage along the way but also boasts a majestic 360 view of some of the most majestic autumn-hued landscapes you’ll ever see.