The trees of green are slowly starting to transition to red, gold, and orange as autumn makes its way into the Yakima region. Soon the trails will be decorated all over with these vibrant colors as the leaves begin to fall and crunch underfoot. It’s a serene scene that never ceases to be picture-perfect, creating the ideal atmosphere for long, casual strolls while taking in the fall colors and here in Yakima, there are plenty of places to enjoy the bursting colors of fall leaves.
Irene Rinehart Riverfront Park
1081 Umptanum Road
The Irene Rinehart Riverfront Park along the Yakima River is an excellent place to see the fall colors this autumn. The paved pathway takes families through a sea of colors with several places to stop and enjoy the view, including a boat launch, grassy picnic area, and an off-leash dog park for your four-legged friend that tags along. Shrubs and bushes contribute to the vibrant array of colors that create a breathtaking backdrop along the winding river.
Cowiche Canyon Conservancy
302 N. 3rd Street Ste 201
Cowiche Canyon Conservancy is always a great place for a hike here in Yakima, but walks along the trails in the fall are definitely something special. During the autumn months, the trees here burst with reds, yellows, and greens of sumac, birch, and lichen providing a lovely array of fall colors as you enjoy your leisurely stroll. As an added bonus, the conservancy also runs annual fall colors walks that take place on the third Saturday in October each year. The walks start at 10 a.m. at Snow Mountain ranch where volunteer trail guides await to take you on family-friendly walks and hikes of varying lengths during which they’ll discuss the varying effects the season has on the Yakima region.
Snow Mountain Ranch
2648 Cowiche Mill Road #2262
Part of the conservancy, and just a short drive from downtown Yakima, is Snow Mountain Ranch which is equally stunning during the harvest season. Here, you can discover the natural beauty of the shrub-steppe habitat as the grass and sagebrush transform into golden hills surrounding the lush Yakima Valley. Thirteen designated trails await within 1,800 acres of what used to be a cattle ranch. There are many short, easy walks that are family-friendly within the area, perfect for those looking to enjoy the crisp, autumn air. For those who take on the challenge of the longer 6.5-mile hike with a significant elevation gain that leads to the top of Cowiche Mountain, spectacular views of Mt. Adams and Mt. Rainer await showcasing the beauty of the season as it decorates the hillsides in the warm colors of fall.
111 S 18th Street
The paved 20-mile pathway that traverses through Yakima and into Naches known as the Yakima Greenway is an autumn oasis this time of year. Here, you’ll see brilliant yellows of cottonwoods, red sumacs, and vine maples showing off colors of red, yellow, and orange. Oak, fruit trees, Hawthorn, beech, and many more trees and shrubs join into the mix to create a cozy atmosphere as you stroll along with awe-inspiring views of the Yakima and Naches Rivers ahead.
Tieton River Nature Trail
The small, lightly trafficked, out-and-back trail that is Tieton River Nature Trail is the perfect place for those looking to really get away and immerse themselves in autumn colors. Some of the most spectacular fall colors you’ll ever see can be found along this walk as you pass cottonwoods, sumacs, vine maples, and a variety of other riverside vegetation that decorate the area with a vibrant display of reds and ambers. Three bridges are also present for this journey, providing quiet, scenic stopping spots where you can take in the beauty of the season.
Autumn hues decorating Yakima are sure to be a welcomed sight as the seasons change eliciting feelings of togetherness, all things cozy, and the holiday cheer to come.