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Autumn's yellows are as good as gold locally

Since You Asked

Fall is upon us, and I find myself pining for the brilliant colors I used to enjoy on the East Coast. Those shades don't seem to materialize here. Where can we go to see the best displays of color ' not just yellow and brown?

' Dina R., Medford

We have plenty of outstanding natural beauty in Southern Oregon, Dina, but a dispassionate observer would say that our strongest suit is not fall color ' especially those bright reds and oranges you yearn for.

That's not to say you can't see some beautiful fall color around the Rogue Valley. You can find color everywhere ' it's just in little dabs instead of gaudy hillsides.

If you have to see red and orange, you could try the trail along the Rogue River between Prospect and Union Creek. The vine maples along the river turn glorious shades over the next few weeks, and the colors play off the water like something from an Impressionist painting.

Try the stretch of trail around the Woodruff Bridge picnic area on Forest Road 68, about six miles north of Prospect.

You don't have to leave town to see color. Medford's East 10th Street parkway has a glorious swath of colorful ornamental pear trees, and the ivy covering the First United Methodist Church building at 607 W. Main St. turns bright red.

Poison oak, which thrives along low-elevation forest roads, often goes brilliant red during this season. Just don't walk through the leaves, or bring them home.

We'd suggest you learn to love the yellows, our most abundant fall color. There's a patch of cottonwoods along Interstate 5 near Gold Hill going gold this week. and the tall poplars just north of Ashland on the freeway will turn soon, too.

If you drive Highway 140 over the Cascade crest into the Klamath basin, you can see hundreds of aspens along the way, in dozens of hues between green and gold.

Send questions to Since You Asked, Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to