North Cascades Highway is open for 2024 Season -- Click Here for Travel Alerts
Horses fall colors foliage
Our Fall Top 10!
Free Travel Guide
Sign Up for
Our Newsletter
See All Our Blogs

Top 10 Places For Fall Colors on the Cascade Loop

The thing that folks love most about the Cascade Loop is its diversity of views throughout the byway, and fall colors are no exception. The colors are wild and vibrant and showcase a range of colors and textures as you explore the route. Travel counter-clockwise for the best views and know that as always, Mother Nature sets the schedule for when and how the colors change. Typically however, travelers can expect peak colors from the last week of September through mid-October. Special note: due to COVID-19 most Autumn public events will not be happening this year in their traditional fashion. Look for information about virtual events from individual communities along the byway. 

Stevens Pass in Fall

Heading east over SR-2, follow alongside the wild Skykomish River as the Stevens Pass Greenway becomes the Stevens Pass “Gold Way”. Leaves blanket the edges of the roadway as they twirl down from the massive stands of amber and salmon-colored leafy trees. 

fall colors

Turn left onto SR 207 and drive toward and along the lake’s edge. The smallish roadway quickly becomes shrouded by brilliant stands of gold, coral and red.

Tumwater Canyon in Fall

Continuing past Cole’s Corner on Highway 2 as you approach the Bavarian Village of Leavenworth look for numerous pullout options to view brilliant red vine maples unique to the area along the Wenatchee River. Photos from this area are truly special if you can catch the reflection of the colors in the rushing waterway.


Before you head into Leavenworth proper, hang a right onto Icicle Road. Drive on past the residential area, past the Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort and wind your way through roadways lined with vine maple, aspen and all manner of deciduous trees that line the Icicle River. 

Leavenworth Oktoberfest

Leavenworth may be best known for its Bavarian theme, but the Fall colors here are equally spectacular and draw guests from throughout the globe. 

Wenatchee Fall Colors

Stop in Wenatchee’s Confluence State Park, display your Discover Pass, park and walk across the Wenatchee River Bridge to this wildlife-packed nature preserve. Enormous trees sport bright orange leaves and are home to all manner of bird and wildlife.

Lake Chelan Vineyard

The Lake Chelan Valley is known world-wide for its award-winning wine making. Those rolling hills blanketed in vineyards not surprisingly make a stunning appearance as their leaves dry and make the change from brilliant emerald to chartreuse to gold.

Fall Colors Methow Valley

From SR-20, turn left onto Twin Lakes Rd and onto Patterson Lake Rd. Patterson Lake is located right off the roadway as you wind your way up Sun Mountain. The lake is enveloped in stands of shimmering golden quaking aspen, broad leafy groves in hues of rust and orange. Vermilion-hued bushes dot the neighboring sagebrush hillsides.

Fall Colors North Cascades National Park

Not all Fall Colors are from leaves! Look for the highly sought-after Western Larch here. Just know that if you’re heading out during the Fall, weather in alpine areas where Larch will be found is pretty fickle—be sure to go prepared for changing weather. Snowfall in October is not uncommon here.

North Cascades National Park Hiking

This hike ties together pretty much every kind of Fall color one could hope for on the Loop: brightly colored shrubs, huckleberry bushes, Westerner Larch, maple, heather and swaying grasses. It’s a jaunt, but well-worth the effort!