With September wrapped up, the autumn season is officially here again. The leaves seem to be darkening and ready to drop as the weather changes. What better way to celebrate one of the prettiest times of the year than to get outside to view Yakima Valley’s spectacular foliage? Let’s take a look at four spots in Yakima that offer the best views of the changing leaves for fall.

Yakima fall leaves
Different kinds of trees start turning colors earlier than others. Some trees start turning red as early as August, and some don’t start turning colors until late November! Photo credit: Jolie Frazier @jolie_fraz

Yakima Arboretum

Yakima Arboretum is one of the more talked about subjects for its large diversity of activities that take place all year round. With an abundant variety of trees that thrive at the arboretum, a rainbow of fall colors decorates the park this time of year.

From stunning yellows to vivid oranges and the brilliant hues of the evergreens, the arboretum offers fantastic viewing opportunities and makes an excellent photography setting. This is an easy walk for all ages, with 46 acres of land to explore for hours of autumn fun. The Yakima Arboretum offers golf carts for those who need assistance while exploring.

Yakima fall leaves
Red is the most common color for leaves to change during the fall, followed by yellow and brown. Some leaves even change to purple! Photo credit: Jolie Frazier @jolie_fraz

Playland Riverside Park

Just outside of Selah is Playland Riverside Park, next to River Ridge Golf Course. This park is nestled alongside the Yakima River and has plenty of trees that change to rich colors of oranges, reds, and yellows. As the cottonwoods that line the river transform to their yearly yellow, you can walk up to the viewpoint of the rushing water and gaze at the foliage that lines against the water’s edge.

If you’re interested, you can walk across the parking lot to the River Ridge Golf Course and play a game of golf amongst all the trees that are changing for the season. Not to mention, River Ridge Golf Course is home to an excellent restaurant with delicious food and provides outdoor seating. Spend some time sitting outside on their patio amongst all the vibrant red and orange trees.

Yakima fall leaves
Not only do the leaves change colors, but autumn blooms come out this time of year, and the last flowers that come out before winter are here. Photo credit: Jolie Frazier @jolie_fraz

Yakima Sportsman State Park

Once inside Yakima Sportsman State Park, you learn just why Yakima was named Tree City in 2017. This lush park full of green will begin to turn its amazing browns, yellows, and oranges, which makes stunning views for any fall foliage enthusiast.

With paved paths for easy access and even sections for camping, this state park is sure to become a quick favorite for locals and out-of-towners alike. This is a spot that requires a Discover Pass to access, so be sure to display yours when visiting.

Yakima fall leaves
Gradually, the trees begin to change their hues. This tree has begun changing to yellow, and soon, will be completely yellow before becoming bare. Photo credit: Seb Hutchinson

Selah Butte Trailhead

With a bit of a hike, the 2.7-mile out-and-back trail inside the Wenas Wildlife area is a fall lover’s dream. If you’re interested in an excellent view of the changing leaves, this place will surely be a surprise.

Selah Butte Trailhead takes you along the ridge of Selah to a viewpoint where you can look down and into the valley, where the crimson and yellows of the fall leaves stand out, painting the valley with autumn colors.

Those who take this trail say it is a more challenging hike, but once you reach the top, it has an astounding view of the Yakima Valley. What better time to take this journey than when the seasons have changed, and the valley’s beauty is enhanced with spectacular colors?

Though these spots are some of the prettiest around, many places in Yakima make excellent autumn viewpoints. Stopping by a local park or taking a walk in your neighborhood, you are bound to come across some beautiful views of the leaves this year!

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