Scenic Spots for Autumn Color Around Washington State

Lake Sacajawea in Longview

From seashore to the high elevations of the Northern Cascades, the variety of Washington State’s terrain is just as varied as the fall color it brings.  Washington’s mild climate has always supported a wide variety of trees, and with that variety comes a host of different colors and extended length of the autumn season. Different trees are turning brilliant hues of gold, orange, and red from mid September to mid November.  The extended autumn season is one of the great joys of living in the Pacific Northwest.  There are many amazing places to visit all around the state and yet another reason why those lucky enough to live here are so in love with the outdoors.   

Sacajawea Park in Longview, WA

Lake Sacajawea in Longview, WA (photo credit: Sue Collins)

In this SW Washington town sits one of the prettiest parks around, lined with homes and on the edge of downtown. With 3.5 miles of walking paths and two large lake sections to explore, it is a haven of tranquility.  Walk the path, sit and enjoy the birds, and watch the leaves fall in this well-kept lovely park. City of Longview


Fort Vancouver National Historic Site

Veteran's Day parade along Officer's Row at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site

Veteran’s Day parade along Officer’s Row at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site (photo: D. Woolcott)


Veterans Day is a wonderful way to experience Fort Vancouver National Historic Site. Located right off I-5 in downtown Vancouver, the site has been a military site since 1849  until retired and designated an historic site.  The original fort has been here since 1824 when it was a fur trading post. Famous men posted to the fort include Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and Gen. George C. Marshall.  National Park Service


Lake Wenatchee

Lake Wenatchee in autumn

Lake Wenatchee in late October (Photo credit on Flickr by James_Seattle)

Lake Wenatchee is located in the heart of the Cascades east of Seattle and near the beautiful Bavarian styled town of Leavenworth. Venture out a bit further from Leavenworth into the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest to the state park and see the beauty of this still lake surrounded by the evergreen forest.  WA State Parks Dept


Cedar Creek Grist Mill, Woodland

Cedar Creek Grist Mill in Woodland WA

Cedar Creek Grist Mill in Woodland, WA

The historic grist mill located on the Lewis river is set among rolling forested hills in the country east of Woodland and couldn’t be more picturesque.  A volunteer group keeps the 1876 grist mill working, inviting visitors to watch grain ground into flour, corn ground into cornmeal, and host events throughout the year including the ever-popular apple cider-pressing day complete with live bluegrass music setting the happy old-time mood. Step back in time and see history in action. Cedar Creek Grist Mill


Yakima Valley Wineries

Bonair Vineyards in Zillah WA Yakima Valley

Vineyards at Bonair Winery in Zillah

The wonderful thing about grape vines…they just keep on giving!  Their fall show is (almost) as spectacular as the wines they produce. The Yakima Valley is home to many rolling hills filled with wineries just waiting for a wine-tasting drive.  A bonus includes the many orchards turning color in the Yakima Valley as well – orchards of apples, peaches, plums, pears, and more that also fill the hills with their autumn bounty.     Bonair Winery


Central Washington University campus, Ellensburg

Central Washington University campus in autumn

Ellensburg, Washington

College campuses are traditional places to find fall color and Central Washington University in Ellensburg is not one to buck tradition. The stunning tree-lined streets are a fall-lover’s paradise!


The Kubota Garden, Seattle

Kubota Gardens in Seattle

Kubota Japanese Gardens in Seattle (photo: Roger Barnett)

The Kubota Garden is a free Japanese style garden set on 20 acres in South Seattle.  Featuring outstanding colors of Japanese maples, it also has a waterfall, ponds, rocky outcrops, walking paths, and plenty of photo ops all within the urban city.   South Seattle Tourism

Picture Lake

Mt. Shuksan and Picture Lake

Mt. Shuksan and Picture Lake (photo credit: Jeff Hollett)

Picture Lake is just barely in Washington located about 11 miles south of the Canadian border. One of the most photographed areas in Washington, Picture Lake is also easily accessible.  Just a ½ mile walk from the parking lot and you find yourself in a stunning setting whether Spring, Summer, or Fall. Mount Shuksan does not have the name recognition that perhaps Mt. Rainier, Mt. St Helens, or Mt. Hood may have, but a visit here will surely be memorable.  US Forest Service trailhead information


Irene Rinehart Park, Ellensburg

Irene Rinehart Park, Ellensburg

Irene Rinehart Park, Ellensburg

This large 115 acre park hugs the edge of the Yakima River in south-central Washington just off of downtown Ellensburg. Surrounded by deciduous trees, the park shows off at its finest in October for a memorable place for a walk or picnic. City of Ellensburg Parks Dept


You might also enjoy reading Scenic Spots in Oregon for Autumn Color