Have You Been Stricken With Larch Madness?

Douglas Scott for Curbed Seattle

By now, you have seen the pictures across social media and heard your outdoor adventure friends talk about their most-recent larch adventure in the Cascades. If you haven’t, I am impressed. In the Pacific Northwest, larch fever is easier to catch than a whiff of pumpkin spice at a Starbucks. To help get you addicted to the majesty of the larches of the Cascades, I wrote a piece for Curbed Seattle, helping all find the perfect larch hike around the region. As I wrote in the article, larches most commonly grow on the eastern side of the Cascades because they need more sunlight to thrive in young forests recovering from fires. Western Washington is too gray, too wet, and not fire-prone enough for them to flourish. That’s why you have to go east to truly experience the majesty of these golden idols. A yellowish-green in the spring and summer months, the return of the cold weather turns the needles become a brilliant gold color for a few weeks, then transition to an orange color until the needles drop around Halloween. When the first hint of gold is spotted, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts become awash with a non-stop scroll of images, each enticing and inspiring us to get out and find our own golden wonderland.

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Thanks to Katja Hurt for the cover image.