Where Do Morel Mushrooms Grow in Washington?

The mountainous state of Washington is a morel hunter's paradise offering thousands of acres of mushroom habitat in forests surrounding the 3,010 mountain peaks that dot the region. Higher elevations in the 3,000- to 5,000-foot range offer up morels by the thousands of pounds. State and national parks in Washington may require a mushroom hunting permit.

Morel Mushrooms
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Five morel varieties grow in Washington.

Mountains

Mount Rainier 2
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Pine forests on mountainsides are prime morel habitat in Washington.

Douglas fir, hemlock, spruce pine and hardwood forests surrounding mountain peaks of the Cascade mountain range are favorite habitats of the morel mushrooms in Washington state. A journey to the western part of the state reveals the Blue Mountain range and additional opportunities to find morels.

Wetlands

Mt. Baker Swamp Reflection
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Edges of ponds under trees in high altitudes are prime morel mushroom habitats.

Wetlands in Washington state offer ideal growing habitats for morel mushrooms. Look for them in mid to late April around areas that hold water such as the edge of a swamp. Morels will be the first mushrooms to emerge after the snows of winter start to melt.

Forest Floor

Morchella conica
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Morel's may be found between April and August.

Morels pop out of the leaf litter and pine needles of Washington's forest floors after the coldest winter temperatures have subsided in April, and they continue until late August at elevations up to 5,000 feet in mountainous regions.