California Fall Color
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Mono County Peaking at Upper Elevations – Go Now!

Mono County color spotter Ethan James reports autumn is “in full-swing” well before its official first day (Sun., June 22).  And, with cool weather forecast, the color will intensify and pockets of peak color will exist for the next three weeks.  Because of this, we are issuing three GO NOW! alerts for Mono County.

15 – 30% – Lower Rock Creek Road - James estimates the of the road to be at 25% with some gold, yellow, lime green and orange emerging.  As previously reported, Pie in the Sky Café at the Rock Creek Lake Resort plans to remain  open until October 13,  serving their world-famous pies, freshly baked from scratch every day.

Rock Creek Lake (9/17/13)

Rock Creek Lake (9/18/13) © Ethan James

Rock Creek Canyon (9/17/13) ©

Rock Creek Canyon (9/18/13) © Ethan James

GO NOW! - 50- 75% – Upper Rock Creek Road - The upper reaches of Rock Creek Road, including around Rock Creek Lake are “quite breathtaking with beautiful red, orange and gold aspen.”

0 – 15% – Convict Lake - Charles reporting from the Convict Lake Resort says “It’s still early for significant color in the canyon. There is just a scattering of yellow as you drive up to Convict Lake.”  The Convict Lake Resort is offering Fall Lodging Specials starting at $379+tax (Sunday thru Thursday - 2 Nights for 2 Persons).  Includes $100 Restaurant Credit & Full Day Motor Boat Rental.  Convict Lake’s annual fall fishing derby, “Ambush at the Lake” is happening now through Nov. 15, with $6,000 in resort prizes.  A $2,000 Cash Bonus Weekend occurs Nov. 1-3.

GO NOW! - 75 – 100% – The Sherwins (Mammoth Lakes) - The Sherwins above 8,500′ are peaking.

15 – 30% – Mammoth Lakes - Spots of color are to be seen in the Town of Mammoth Lakes, though peak is still two weeks away.

Parker Lake (9/17/13) Donna Mercer

Parker Lake (9/17/13) © Donna Mercer

Parker Lake (9/17/13) Donna Mercer

Parker Lake (9/17/13) © Donna Mercer

Quaking Aspen, Parker Lake (9/17/13) Donna Mercer

Quaking Aspen, Parker Lake (9/17/13) © Donna Mercer

0 – 15% – Parker Lake - Color spotter Donna Mercer hiked to Parker Lake off the June Lake Loop on 9/17 and says that the colors on the trail and at the lake itself are still mostly bright lime-green with some gold, yellow and random splotches of orange.

15 – 30% – June Lake Loop - This magnificent drive (Hwy. 158) is showing signs of color, especially at higher elevations, but still has a long way to go.  It should be glorious during June Lake’s Autumn Beer Festival on October 5 at Gull Lake Park.

Virginia Lakes Road (9/13/13) Carolyn Webb

Virginia Lakes Road (9/13/13) © Carolyn Webb

Virginia Lakes Road (9/13/13) Carolyn Webb

Virginia Lakes Road (9/13/13) © Carolyn Webb

Virginia Lakes (9/13/13) © Carolyn Webb

Virginia Lakes (9/13/13) © Carolyn Webb

GO NOW! - 50 – 75% – Virginia Lakes - Color spotter Carolyn Webb recommends driving up the Virginia Lakes Road for displays of  vibrant colors

0 – 15% – Conway Summit - Still  mostly lime-green.

The new edition of the Eastern Sierra Fall Color Guide & Map is now in.  Call 800-845-7922 for a FREE copy or request one on-line at  


Location: Mammoth / June Lakes
Temperature: 50 °F
Humidity: 31%
Dew point: 21.2 °F
Wind speed: 8km/hr
Wind direction: 290°
Cloud cover: n/a

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2 Responses to “Mono County Peaking at Upper Elevations – Go Now!” »

  1. Bruno Marr Says:

    Love the photos of the various areas in the West. Been to most of these places in my lifetime. The natural beauty of the West is amazing.

    Small note: the red in the Aspen leaves is created by a sunny, dry, cold (but not freezing) Fall season. That combination traps anthocyanins (reddish pigments) in the leaf as the shorter daylight period limits photosynthesis and the subsequent loss of chlorophyl (green coloration).


  2. John Poimiroo Says:

    Good explanation, Bruno.

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