Searching for fall color in Washington State’s mountains means hunting for the larch!
Larches are conifers, native to much of the cooler temperate northern hemisphere, on lowlands in the north and high on mountains further south. Although a conifer, the larch is a deciduous tree and loses its leaves in the autumn. The needles turn yellow and fall in the late autumn, leaving the trees leafless through the winter.
The contrast of blue sky, yellow and orange larch, green spruce and sometimes white snow is a sight to behold!
In the north cascades you’ll usually find bands of larch between 6,000 to 7,000 feet of elevation. This shot of Liberty Bell Mountain was taken from the Washington Pass Overlook, on Highway 20, the North Cascades Highway.
Another awesome locale to encounter dense stands of larch is the Pasayten Wilderness. These images are from the Cathedral Lakes Basin.
One of the most famous larch destinations is the Enchantments, located just outside of Leavenworth.
The larch season is still upon us! If you hurry you can discover your own colorful larch-filled paradise!
Andy Porter began his love of the outdoors when, at the age of 16, he completed a month-long Outward Program in the Sawtooth Wilderness of Idaho. Since then he has hitchhiked many miles, criss-crossing the US; trekked in the Andes; lived in the steppes of Siberia and now makes his home in the northwestern corner of Washington state, where he feels completely at home. As a photographer and writer Andy tries to capture some small part of the beauty and wonder he sees. You can see more of Andy’s images here, and on his blog page, which includes many of his stories of travel and adventure.
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