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Here's when you can expect peak fall foliage in western Washington

Leaves have already begun changing colors in parts of western Washington but here's when you can expect it to peak near you.

SEATTLE — Fall is right around the corner which means the picturesque Seattle and western Washington fall foliage is on its way.

Leaves have already begun changing colors in parts of western Washington but the change will speed up over the next few weeks. King County is predicted to see a partial peak as early as Sept. 18 with surrounding counties to see patchy color changes.

That is all predicted to change come Oct. 2 when King County is expected to peak, according to smokymountains.com. Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, and Pierce Counties are predicted to peak on Oct. 9 with the rest of the state to follow.

The interactive map below tracks the progression of the fall foliage peak as the season progresses across the state of Washington and nationwide.

The fall foliage is all thanks to photosynthesis and chlorophyll. A leaf's transition from green to red depends on the quantity of chlorophyll, which is driven by weather conditions.

As chlorophyll reduces in a leaf, other compounds emerge such as carotenoids (oranges) and anthocyanins (reds), and flavanols (yellows).

Now that you've got a heads-up, there's plenty of time to make a plan to see the beautiful colors. 

Here are six hikes in western Washington that showcase the fall foliage:

  1. Twin Falls - Snoqualmie Region
  2. Shriner Peak - Mount Rainier National Park
  3. Sheep Lake - Mount Rainier Area
  4. Colchuck Lake - Central Cascades
  5. Heather - Maple Pass Loop - North Cascades
  6. Green Lake Trail - Seattle

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