As students return to their classrooms this fall, the Pacific Salmon return to our region’s rivers and streams—embarking on an arduous journey to spawn and complete their lifestyle. And you can catch a glimpse of these majestic water warriors and their extraordinary voyage home at locations all around the Seattle area. Click through the gallery for a roundup of the best places to take your small fries to view the spectacular salmon, plus special events that celebrate their fall homecoming.

Tumwater Falls Park, Tumwater

Walk the half-mile Deschutes River Loop Trail and experience gorgeous views of cascading waterfalls as salmon swim up three fish ladders during late September through mid October. Salmon stewards from the Stream Team will be there evenings and weekends to get your little ones excited about the salmon, or visit Monday, Wednesday or Friday mornings to see their egg harvesting operations beginning the third Monday in September.

Bonus: Amazing feats of nature and delicious, warm beverages? Yes, please! Mark your calendars for Salmon and Cider Sunday which will be held the first Sunday in October from noon-4 p.m.

Tumwater Falls Park
110 Deschutes Pkwy. S.W.
Tumwater, Wa 98501
Online: streamteam.info/getinvolved/learn/salmonviewing

photo: Stream Team of Thurston County Facebook page

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Salmon Watching Tips:
1. Spawning marks the end of the line for the Pacific salmon and there’s a chance you and your brood might come across fish carcasses while visiting the rivers. Be sure to keep curious kiddos from disturbing their bodies, as they serve a valuable purpose for our environment.

2. Everyone knows that kids attract mud, water and dirt, so plan ahead and bring extra clothes. Make sure the minis also wear boots or shoes that can be easily cleaned.

3. Get up close and personal! Bring binoculars if you have them.

Have you taken your crew salmon spotting before? Where is your favorite place? Tell us in the comments below!

— Abbey McGee & Rachael Brandon