PORT GAMBLE, Wash. — One of the more beautiful natural sights in Western Washington comes during the autumn when the deciduous trees present their majestic colors of red and gold, framed by the deep green shades of the evergreens.
Port Gamble: A Worthy Fall Foliage Destination
There are many worthy fall foliage destinations in Washington State. Touring these locations is a favorite autumn pastime for residents and tourists. While many prefer to take a day or two to drive the popular North Cascade Loop, Stevens Pass/Snoqualmie Loop or Hwy 12/Mount Rainier Loop, I have found that short day trips in Western Washington also can be very rewarding. Port Gamble is one of my favorite autumn destinations for enjoying the brilliant red and gold bursts of fall foliage. The colors stand out all the more with the backdrop of the surrounding evergreens.
Port Gamble: Fall Colors and More
Port Gamble is a 120-acre National Historic Landmark that offers picturesque, turn-of-the-century buildings, interesting tourist-related shops and businesses, museums, community events and breathtaking views any time of the year. But in the fall, the natural beauty of this hamlet is accentuated by the fall foliage colors.
As a point of interest, Port Gamble is the only remaining company-owned mill town on Puget Sound. It’s been authentically restored and operated by Pope Resources. Founded in 1853, it was the longest continuously operating mill town in North America.
Right smack in the middle of the best time for fall foliage colors, Port Gamble celebrates Forest Festival/Old Mill Days. The event is held the last weekend of September and offers fun family activities, including a carnival, lumberjack and chainsaw carving competitions, car show, live entertainment, beer garden and fireworks at dusk on Saturday. For more information about this year’s event, go here.
Getting to Port Gamble
For residents in the Greater Seattle Area, or tourists visiting the region, Port Gamble is an easy ferry ride across Puget Sound to Kitsap Peninsula. The closest route is the Edmonds/Kingston ferry, but the Seattle/Bainbridge or Seattle/Bremerton ferry routes are also easily accessible. Port Gamble is 7 miles west of Kingston, following Hwy 104. There is also the popular southern route that can be driven over the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. If you are traveling from the Olympic Peninsula on Hwy 104, Port Gamble is only a mile past the east side of the Hood Canal Bridge, heading northeast. Whatever road you take, it is well worth the trip. Go here to view the Washington State Ferry schedules.
Best Time to Enjoy Port Gamble’s Fall Colors
The colors can start showing anytime from the beginning of September, and may not end until October. Each year is a little different. To check on the current fall foliage schedule, call: 360-297-7251 or Email firstname.lastname@example.org. View more information about Port Gamble here.
Want a preview of the colors you will find in Port Gamble? Here’s a slide show of Port Gamble’s fall foliage from previous years.
Visit Port Gamble for an enjoyable stroll around the small historic hamlet, taking in the beautiful colors of its fall foliage. It will be a day well spent!
Port Gamble: Website
Old Mill Days: Website
Washing State Department of Transportation, Ferry Schedule: Website