Each fall in the Pacific Northwest, rivers welcome back the salmon runs and the first rains of the season fill the streams and waterfalls. And while snow begins to fall on the rocky summits of the Cascades, the lower elevations experience an explosion of colors. Full of orange hillsides and color-drenched vine maples, autumn in Oregon is unlike anywhere else in the country.
Located in Western Oregon, Eugene is one of many outdoorsy towns in the Pacific Northwest. Close to the coast, mountains, deserts, and volcanoes, the small town is home to an eclectic mix of outdoor enthusiasts from all walks of life. Like every great town that serves as a base camp for adventure, Eugene has an incredible gear store. Backcountry Gear was started by Michael Monson in 1997 as a University of Oregon Graduate school project, but the store moved from Michael’s garage to a storefront in just two years, quickly emerging as a leader for the region’s explorers.
1. SWEET CREEK FALLS
According to Randy, one of the easiest to get to (and some say prettiest) displays of fall colors can be found an hour west of Eugene, just a few miles south of Mapleton. Known as the Sweet Creek Falls Trail, this 2.2-mile round-trip jaunt has tons of waterfalls and cascades. The spring months fill this trail with wildflowers, while the fall months have a dazzling display of maple leaves becoming a golden amber color. If you love seeing fall colors draped over green carpets of moss next to fast flowing waterfalls, Sweet Creek will give you that and more.