Arguably, the best things about living in the Pacific Northwest are the weed and the seasonal scenery.
In Portland, every season features an iconic natural spectacle. Take, for example, the way the Willamette River’s mirror stillness on a clear summer day reflects downtown. Or consider the blooming of daffodils and cherry blossoms that, along with an almost daily HD rainbow, herald the arrival of spring. Even frigid winters offer breathtaking landscapes, from a snow-capped Mount Hood to Columbia River Gorge waterfalls icing over.
But even with all that said, no season is more swoonworthy than autumn. Fall colors sweep through our arboreous town like wildfire. Dry summer air is quenched by torrential downpours that make every surface glisten. And the perfume of harvest season lingers for weeks.
Now is the perfect time for foliage sightseeing with a seasonally appropriate strain of weed—it’s really the last time of year when leaves are still clinging to their branches. To help you take in all of the exquisite fall colors, we’ve paired local vistas with cultivars bred to produce serenity and inspire curiosity in users. Here’s what we’re smoking, along with the viewpoints we’ll be crowding, as we cruise toward the winter equinox.
Larch Mountain and First Class Funk
On a clear day, from Sherrard Point at the top of Larch Mountain, you can spot five volcanoes in the Cascade Range: Mounts Hood, Adams, Jefferson, Rainier and St. Helens. But in the foreground of each of those peaks are endless acres of evergreens interspersed with the surreal glow of deciduous trees shedding their leaves. The hike is beginner level but features some vertigo-activating stairs that might trip the inattentive walker, so pay attention, stoner.
First Class Funk is a euphoric strain with a potent, uplifting onset potentially powerful enough to shotgun its users up those shelf steps. Those efforts will later be rewarded with a high that fizzles into a relaxed, elastic state of bliss. Expect a spicy, lemony exhale and gassy, funky perfume.
BUY: Cannabis Curb, 4069 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 971-255-1542, cannabiscurb.com.
Rocky Butte and Georgia Pie
With its dramatic stone staircase, obscure location, and views of the Columbia River, Rocky Butte is eye candy for anyone who’s a fan of both masonry and sweeping landscapes. Look to the east to see the fall colors light up the Gorge, then take a seat on the steps for some light witchcraft or wizardry.
This viewpoint deserves an uplifting cultivar with a sweet aroma, like Georgia Pie, which delivers a cerebral high that’s perfect for contemplative gazing and a fizzy body buzz that’s great for circumnavigating a small butte. Users also say these effects eventually evaporate into the munchies and, occasionally, couchlock. So bring a picnic basket and blankets just in case. Expect a nutty, sweet perfume and herbal exhale with hints of tart cherry.
BUY: Nectar, 3350 NE Sandy Blvd., 971-703-4777, nectar.store/sandy-blvd.
Pittock Mansion and Black Jack
This opulent destination is embedded deep in the wooded West Hills, so even the ride up to Pittock Mansion will dazzle with fall colors. The grounds offer an expansive panorama of the city, framed by a meticulously landscaped garden. Unless mishmash décor is your bag, skip the entry fee and instead roam the property and the crisscrossing Wildwood Trail to soak up all the intense hues and dizzying views.
A fabulous cultivar for stoned stroll-gawking is Black Jack. The genetics deliver just enough pep for an effervescent body high, while the head effects are romantically euphoric. This is the strain to smoke to help you fall in love with the city all over again. Expect an earthy, woody, botanical perfume and a commensurately grassy exhale.
BUY: Bridge City Collective, 215 SE Grand Ave., 503-477-9532, bridgecitycollective.com/se-portland-dispensary.
Leach Botanical Garden and Secret Formula
In outer Southeast Portland, you’ll find a semi-secret manor next to a babbling brook located in a cluster of heritage trees and landscaped gardens. This is Leach Botanical Garden, and if you live here long enough, it’s possible you’ll attend a wedding here. For our purposes, though, it’s an easily navigable, low-stakes natural area exploding with fall colors.
There is an overt “magic garden” vibe throughout the grounds. Match that energy with Secret Formula, a cultivar with a soothing, harmonious balance of both cerebral and physical effects. Expect a sour diesel perfume and sour citrus exhale.
BUY: Green Muse, 5515 NE 16th Ave., 971-420-4917, gogreenmuse.com.