The autumn days are here again in Washington, and our fall color palette is officially on display. The leaves in Ocean Shores flaunt their kaleidoscope of colors ranging from canary yellow to fiery oranges and reds. The peak fall foliage times vary from location to location based on the climate and elevation. Selecting the best fall hikes in Washington and the best scenic drives in Washington has never been easier when using our leaf-peeping guide. There are countless parks, trails, and scenes to excite each of our Grey Gull guests. There’s no better place to snuggle up with your loved ones and watch Mother Nature work her magic than the stunning coasts of Ocean Shores, Washington. 

Oyhut Wildlife Recreation Area| 15 min

Located just 15 minutes away from The Grey Gull, Oyhut Wildlife Recreation Area is one of the best fall hikes in Washington. For guests looking for a relaxing stroll along the beach. You absolutely must pack binoculars; this relatively uncommercialized beach is best known for its birding trails. Oyhut Wildlife Recreation Area is one of five locations in Washington where migratory birds build their nests. Some types of migratory birds you may see include great blue herons, brown pelicans, and pheasants. During winter months, snowy owls frequent the area. Oyhut Wildlife Recreation Area is also famous for its magnificent views of Mount Rainier. If you find enjoyment in bird watching, take a longer hike east toward Protection Island and Damon Point. Here, you’ll find many more nesting birds, bald eagles, and even harbor seals. 

Olympic National Forest | 45 min

Leaf-peeping in the Olympic National Forest is hard to beat because it’s located within the best fall hikes in Washington. We strongly encourage booking a fall foliage tour with a local tour guide, so you cover the must-see sites. The best fall foliage in Olympic National Forest can be seen at Morse Creek Hill, Lake Crescent, Elwha River, and the Hoh River.

  • Morse Creek Hill: This is an excellent option for guests looking to walk or bike along a well-paved path. To get here, drive toward Olympic Discovery Trail off of Highway 101.
  • Lake Crescent: Visitors prefer to explore Lake Crescent during the fall season, but it’s open for visitors all year round. Lake Crescent is best known for its picturesque beauty and easy access to Marymere Falls. The lake and waterfall are so blue that they look like a swimming pool when flowing past the vibrant leaves. 
  • Elwha River: The historic Elwha River Bridge is best known for its impressive walkway and bike path, which stretch across the river. This area is also known for Hurricane Ridge; overlook where visitors can see the ocean meet the trees and the trees melt into the sky. 
  • Hoh River: Located west of Forks and off of Highway 101, Hoh River is found inside of the Hoh Rain Forest. As you can imagine, the Hoh River is lined with magnetic orange and yellow-leaved trees. The Hoh River is also a great spot for watching wildlife such as bald eagles and elk.

Chinook Scenic Byway | 2 h 29 min

For some of the most beautiful fall foliage in Ocean Shores, hike along the White River. This path begins over the Chinook Pass at Enumclaw and makes its way down to the fertile valley of Naches. During your hike, you’ll catch breathtaking views of Mount Rainier, dense forests full of fall colors, towering peaks, rocky ridges, and vast river canyons. You’ll also hike past the Columbia Plateau, lush alpine meadows, and roaring waterfalls. Set aside three hours, each way, for this unique fall hike.  

The Grey Gull

After your day exploring the best fall hikes in Washington, head back to The Grey Gull for a quiet, relaxing evening. Rest assured that whether you’re on a couples getaway, a family vacation, or a solo adventure, The Grey Gull has the perfect room and accommodations for you! Our rooms range from a cozy studio unit with a deck to a luxurious penthouse that sleeps ten people! Talk to our friendly staff to select the best option for your dream vacation. We’re confident that The Grey Gull will be your favorite resort yet! To learn more information about our dreamy rooms, visit our website or give us a call at 218-387-1112.