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Fall is finally here which means it is time for scarves, wool hats, cooler nights, cooler days, apple picking, and best of all, fall colors on your hikes. We asked Day Hiking Eastern Washington authors Rich Landers and Craig Romano to share three of their favorite fall hikes in Eastern Washington. Each of these trails will be perfect for viewing the changing fall colors, from golden larches to bright red high alpine meadows. Fall hiking has its own set of challenges with shorter days, cooler temperatures and fall storms, so be sure you've got your ten essentials on you before you leave for any of the hikes mentioned below.

If you like one of the hikes mentioned below, but aren't ready to order the book Day Hiking Eastern Washington, you can buy some of the individual fall hikes mentioned below for just $0.99. You could be on your way to your next favorite fall hike for less than a buck!



Best Fall Hikes in Eastern Washington From Day Hiking Eastern Washington

Abercrombie Mountain

*****/ 3 difficulty. Colville National Forest. Summit hike, 2nd highest mountain in Eastern Washington, sweeping views. 7.3 miles.

The trail to the summit of Eastern Washington’s second-highest peak leads to sweeping views of fall colors, especially the larch that are in the prime of their “goldness” in the Pend Oreille River Valley by the third week of October. Note: Road improvements are planned on the Abercrombie access roads this fall. Contact the Colville National forest Three Rivers district for updates on restrictions.

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Hall Mountain

***** / 4 difficulty. Colville National Forest. Lake views, former site of fire lookout. 14 miles.

The rigorous hike to the former site of a forest fire lookout overlooking Sullivan Lake and the Salmo-Priest Wilderness passes a variety of fall color scenery with a brilliant red bonus. Near the trailhead, visit the bridge over Harvey Creek next to Sullivan Lake to see thousands of spawning kokanee for their run that peaks in early November.

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Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge

***/ 1 difficulty. Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge. Wildlife observation blind, lake shore trail, bird watching. 3 miles.
An easy stroll along the refuge’s Pine Lakes rewards hikers with colorful fall scenery worth the trip in itself. But bring binoculars to appreciate the even more vivid wild art of migrating waterfowl. The hike leads past waters frequented by trumpeter swans that produced two hatches of cygnets this year that will be fledging this fall.


Best Fall Hikes in Eastern Washington

Diamond Peak and Sheephead Corral

**** / 3 difficulty. Umatilla National Forest. Mountain ridge-top hiking, wildlife, views. 5.8 miles.
Hike across the rooftop of the Blue Mountains through golden stands of larches savoring crisp cool breezes and enjoying horizon spanning views. Elk are prolific in these mountains--cougar, bear, and coyotes too.
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Columbia Mountain

**** / 3 difficulty. Colville National Forest. High-country meadows, wildflowers, mountain views, fire lookout cabin. 8 miles.
From this Kettle River Range summit guarding Sherman Pass, stare out across a rolling landscape streaked in gold thanks to stands of larches, cottonwoods and aspens. Check out a 1914-built Forest Lookout cabin and count the deer prancing across sprawling flaxen meadows.
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Big Tree Botanical Area

** / 1 difficulty. Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. 900+ year old larches, quiet, animal sighting, easy trail. 2.8 miles.
Wander beneath a canopy of deep green and bright yellow held in place by giant old-growth pillars of western larch and Ponderosa pine. Chances are always good of spotting a moose too in this old-growth cathedral near Lost Lake in the Okanogan Highlands.

Day Hiking Eastern Washington

Looking for even more hikes in Eastern Washington? Checkout Day Hiking Eastern Washington by Rich Landers and Craig Romano.

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