Flashes of Color Up Bishop Creek Canyon
Jared Smith of the Parcher’s Resort at South Lake in the Bishop Creek Canyon (east of Bishop, CA) is the first to provide a full fall color report. Overall, the aspens in the Eastern Sierra are just beginning to change from deep green to lime to yellow, though change can happen quickly. In most areas, peaking is more than a week away. Sept. 22 and the following week should be beautiful above 9,000 ft. in elevation, weather permitting. Here’s Jared’s report:
0-15% Overall Conditions – The majority of the Bishop Creek Canyon color is still a few weeks from the fall color glory, but there is in fact quite a bit of yellow starting to show, especially above the 8500ft elevation. The willows are turning golden along the creek and even those aspen with no yellow yet, they are certainly turning a lime green hue. North Lake, South Lake, Lake Sabrina and views on the middle fork and south fork Bishop Creek still need some time before the color starts to dominate the surrounding view. Not a lot of pictures in this week’s report but this will change quickly once the color really gets going.
15-30% – Table Mountain Camp (8,900ft) – One of the best views in the canyon right now is just down canyon from Table Mountain Campground on the east side of the road. There is a lot of yellow developing and the lime green is brilliant. Contrasted against the iron-rich mountainside, the colors really pop here.
15-30% – Surveyors Meadow (8,975ft) – One of my favorite locations to view the fall display is Surveyor’s Meadow just below Willow Campground on the So. Fork Bishop Creek. As of today the yellows are really starting to show, what a remarkable change from last week as this location only had a handful of trees exhibiting any color. This area progresses quickly and is one of the first canyon walls to peak – look for a great show in the coming weeks.
0-15% – North Lake (9,255ft) – Not unlike most of the canyon, there isn’t a lot going on here just yet but the aspen are lightening and the willows are starting to turn gold. There is one stand of trees near the first parking lot at the lake that is markedly farther along than the rest of the area’s foliage.
Above photographs, Copyright 2012, Jared Smith, www.SmithSierraPhotography.com.
0 – 15% – Brainerd Lake, Inyo County – Color spotter Dennis Vance provided these shots taken of the South Fork Big Pine Creek Trail approaching Brainerd Lake at elevation 10,300′, taken on Sept. 10. At the time, mostly ground ferns were showing change.
Temperature: 80.6 °F
Dew point: 10.4 °F
Wind speed: 12km/hr
Wind direction: 100°
Cloud cover: n/a