Overview: The western side of the Cascades mountain range offers the best foliage display in the Pacific Northwest. One of the most beautiful of areas is the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, just east of Portland, Oregon. In November 1986, Congress recognized the unique beauty of the Gorge by making it the nation's first National Scenic Area.
A grand autumn view in the gorge is shared by the states of Washington and Oregon and are a part of the Hood National Forest and the Gifford Pinchot National forest. Hardwood tree species that cast the colorful show are big-leaf maple, cottonwood and Oregon ash. They are in contrast to the dark green conifers and the Gorge's basalt cliffs and make the brilliant yellow leaves of maple trees stand out with the red, yellow and orange hues of smaller shrubs like vine maple.
Viewing Dates: The best time to visit the Gorge for foliage color change is the last two weeks of October through the first two weeks of November.
Trees of Show: Big-leaf maple, cottonwood and Oregon ash
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