1. Take a hike. Autumn is the perfect time of year for hiking and camping in the Pacific Northwest. The temperatures are relatively mild and the campgrounds empty out so you can often nab a spot right at the trail head. Check out the Outdoor Project’s recommendations for Best Hikes with Fall Colors in Washington.
2. Go mushrooming. Fall is a great time to forage for chanterelles, Oregon’s state mushroom. You can generally find these golden delights on the forest floor during the last week in September and well into October. This year, we recommend the Coastal Range as a good spot to take a walk in the woods with your eyes down.
3. Go mountain biking. The North Cascades and Methow Valley are full of well-maintained, epic mountain biking trails. In the fall, the surrounding views are made all the more epic because they're speckled with golden larch trees—an unusual type of conifer whose leaves turn yellow in the fall.
4. Go crabbing. As our friends at Local Adventures tell us, September through November is usually the best time to crab in the Northwest. Up and down the coast you can crab off a dock or head out in a rented boat.
5. Head to the desert. Located in Harney County, Oregon, and tucked into the Steens Mountain rain shadow, the Alvord Desert is one of the most isolated and unique land formations in the state. In the summer it can get really hot, but fall is the perfect time to visit the desert and park on the playa for a night under the stars.