Fall is a time of year when many look forward to peeking the leaves and enjoying the fall feast of pumpkin soup and risotto. It’s a wonderful time to experience cool days among the trees aglow with fall colors, especially at hidden gem destinations. If you are looking for a quiet and peaceful moment in a perfect fall setting, head to sublime Leavenworth on the west coast. Just head east from Seattle and drive through the forest and mountain pass to stop in the Bavarian-style town. What makes this destination so alluring is its distinctive Bavarian architecture, authentic German restaurants and specialty shops.
In the 1960’s, Leavenworth suffered from low attendance because a rail line was removed. In order to attract visitors, the city underwent a major transformation with the citizens’ initiative to redevelop it on a Bavarian theme. This was similarly accomplished in Solvang, California, but with Dutch influence. In addition to the legendary Oktoberfest, the picturesque city offers breathtaking landscapes with mountains, sparkling lakes and bright colors of autumn foliage.
Best time to visit Leavenworth to see fall foliage
To see Leavenworth’s kaleidoscopic landscape, you have to wait for fall, which generally occurs from late September to mid-October. During this season, the city experiences a drop in temperature. In October, the climate is cold-humid with average highs of 54°F and lows of 35°F.
Fall lovers can visit the city at the end of September to bask in the beautiful fall colors, as the leaves turn red, orange and yellow. Surely one can expect to find plenty of activities such as hiking or kayaking to get an up-close look at the foliage. In addition, there are many fall events centered around food.
Where to see the fall foliage in Leavenworth?
Lake Wenatchee State Park
Get ready to escape into the blissful sanctuary of Lake Wenatchee State Park in Leavenworth in the fall. This 489-acre campground park features sparkling, glacier-fed Lake Wenatchee and the meandering Wenatchee River, which divides the park into two distinct areas, specifically North Park and South Park. This is the most recommended place to connect with nature and breathe in the clear air in autumn. Families and even four-legged friends can come here to enjoy a wonderful autumn holiday among the majestic mountains and coniferous forests that turn bright golden yellow at this time of the year.
Campers can admire the Douglas fir or ponderosa pine that sheds its needles in September and October. The leaves turn bright golden hues, contrasting with the surrounding landscape of granite mountains and translucent lakes.
The park is equipped with 155 standard campsites, a disposal station, 16 showers and 42 partial connection sites, making it an ideal fall retreat. The more adventurous can hike, kayak, camp and horseback ride. There are also paddle boards and canoes for rent.
- Address: Leavenworth, WA 98826, United States
- Opening hours: 06:30 – 22:00 (daily)
- Activities: See the stunning fall foliage and enjoy outdoor activities like kayaking and camping.
- Daily rates: $12.00 – $40.00
- Furnishing: campsites; Take a shower; rental of canoes and paddle boards; well-equipped trails; swimming areas; and covered fireplace.
Another place to soak up the fall atmosphere is to visit Tumwater Canyon, a north-south gorge. Its northern end is off Highway 2, which crosses the Wenatchee River, while the southern end of the canyon is tucked away in Leavenworth. Many avid adventurers come here for rock climbing, mountaineering and water rafting. At the same time, others prefer to hike the rugged trails to see the bright fall foliage of the conifers, such as lodgepole pines, turning a beautiful yellow color. There is also the red-stemmed ceanothus which is abundant in the area. The west side of the canyon is adorned with Alpine Lakes Wilderness and the Icicle Ridge, while on the east side is Tumwater Mountain. This spot is perfect for a hike and picnic while listening to the soothing sound of the rushing water and the rustling of the leaves.
- Address: Washington 98826, United States
- Activities: Hiking, white water rafting, leaf watching and camping
How to get there:
- From Stevens Pass: Go east on Highway 2. After 24 miles you will find Tumwater Canyon.
- From Leavenworth: Go west on Highway 2.