Colorful Fall Scenic Drives in Oregon
Oregon rivals and even surpasses the famous foliage of America’s New England Region when it comes to seafood and fall foliage. When Oregon forests burst into their fall colors with the backdrops of valleys, mountains and rivers it is an awe inspiring site.
In this post we share with our readers four of the most spectacular drives for viewing the riot of fall colors seen on popular Oregon Scenic Fall Drives.
Historic Columbia River Highway Scenic Byway
Know to Oregonians as the “King of Roads” the Colombia River Scenic Byway (Map) is one of the oldest roads in the state. It is among the most favored roads for viewing some truly spectacular fall foliage.
This road was the first scenic byway ever built in the United States and was an excellent choice for the honor. The road begins in Troutdale and takes you 70 miles along the mighty Colombia River. Throughout the drive you will view some of the most exhilarating views and scenery anywhere in the United States.
The trip is spectacular whenever you go, there are heart stopping views of the Colombia River that include eleven waterfalls. But, when the River is encased the jubilant colors of the trees in fall that show reds, oranges and bronzes that are spectacular you will be seeing the Colombia River Scenic Byway at its best.
During your drive you will come to an overlook called Vista House. This is a one-of-a-kind stone building that is home to a museum. It is in Cornet, Oregon at Crown Point State Park. The Colombia River Highway Scenic Byway was completed in 1913, Vista House opened in 1918.
It was to serve two purposes as proposed by the planner Samuel Lancaster. First it was to be: “an observatory from which the view both up and down the Columbia could be viewed in silent communion with the infinite.” Also Lancaster proposed that it also be a place to: “serve as a comfort station for the tourist and the travelers of America’s greatest highway.”
The Vista House now houses a museum and a coffee house and Mr. Lancaster can rest peacefully knowing that to this day Vista Day is fulfilling his vision for its being. It is also a monument to the pioneers who settled Oregon and is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.
Eugene Oregon; Willamette Valley “The Oregon Wine Country”
There are some choices to make for one of the Oregon Scenic Fall Drives around Eugene. Breathtaking or quiet beauty. Here are our nominees:
Highway 126 East of Eugene, Oregon (Breathtaking)
This rambling road goes through mountainous territory and parallels the lovely McKenzie River whose source is Clear Lake. It is a short scenic drive that begins in Eugene and ends at Clear Lake (Map).
But it gives truth to the old adage that “good things come in small packages.” When the trees change color there is a cornucopia of overflowing colors. The leafy trees turn riotous shades of gold, yellow, orange and red. This colorful pallet is framed by the gorgeous greens of the pine, cedar and fir trees that share the forest. Often visitors bring along a picnic lunch at stop at many of the areas set aside for a stop or even take a walk or hike to get nearer to the colorful fall scenery.
Highway 99W and Highway 99E with Quiet Beauty & Oregon Covered Bridges
This highway follows the direction of the more modern and speedy Interstate Highway 5 but at a pace that is far slower so that you can enjoy all the fall scenery. (Map) This wonderful scenic road takes you through plush valleys and small towns; picturesque farms and wonderful old covered bridges all framed for you in the wonderful colors of fall. The route can be taken from Eugene to Portland or from Portland to Eugene. For the return trip take I5 if you want to return more quickly.
The High Desert: Central Oregon
At first thought visiting a desert, even a high one may seem odd if the goal is fall foliage. But, travel along the Deschutes River and you are exposed to a spectacular variety of leafy reds, oranges and golds that paint the leaves of the seasonal trees that are mixed with the vibrant greens of the gorgeous evergreens in the region. Take Cascade Lake Highway toward Mt. Bachelor and there are nothing but gorgeous views. (Map). It is almost a secret that this area has two of the best of Oregon Scenic Fall Drives
It doesn’t matter where you are during the fall season along the Oregon coast, there will be plenty of fall foliage for you to enjoy. Highway 101 (Map) is the road that serves the Oregon coast and driving along it take you through historic fishing villages, small towns, cities and Pacific Ocean beaches.
The coastal area during fall is ablaze with color as the oak and maple trees that populate the coast dress themselves for fall. This trip can serve as a Getaway To The Oregon Coast as the whole drive is more than 300 miles and takes a view days to complete leisurely. The coast is special during fall and there abundant B&Bs on the Oregon Coast, hotels or motels where you can stay in comfort.
Oregon is fall is Oregon is all her colorful glory. Cultural Oregon has given a variety routes accessible, and one is near you. Renew your love of Oregon during fall and go on one of these Oregon Scenic Fall Drives.