Now, You’re Talking – Full Peak Bishop Creek
This week’s photos and report from Jared Smith of Parcher’s Resort in Bishop Creek Canyon has the high country at full peak. Corresponding reports from color spotters indicate that several areas are approaching Past Peak, so this is a definite Go Now! alert.
GO NOW! – 75 – 100% – FULL PEAK – Overall Conditions above 8,500 ft
The bitter cold and wind experienced up Bishop Creek Canyon last weekend had the expected effect on some of the groves that had already fully turned, namely the leaves began to fall or the brilliant color turned dull auburn or even black. Thankfully, there was huge percentage of color that had just started to turn and thus weathered the cold quite well and the cold snap kicked into gear much of the color that had yet to change. The overall result was a fast transformation of much of the lower lying aspen and willows along the road or creek. While some of the higher scrub aspen are bare now, the older growth trees have made up for it and the views are still absolutely spectacular.
GO NOW! – 50 – 75% – Overall Conditions below 8,500 ft
The cold snap over the weekend caused a dramatic change in the mid elevation aspen turning entire groves of dark green or lime green into brilliant yellow with hints of orange. There have even been changes in the color as low as 7500ft in just a week’s time. Expect many of these areas to peak over the course of the next week provided the cold weather and wind stay moderate.
Location Specific Reports
GO NOW! - 75-100% – South Lake Rd above Mt. Glen Camp (8,600 ft) – Some of the smaller scrub aspen have gone bare but the majority of the color remains and has turned brilliant yellow with quite a bit of orange showing. A few very obvious pockets of red are also adding to a spectacular view.
GO NOW! – 50-75% – Mountain Glen Campground (8,400 ft) – There is a ton of yellow here with most of the aspen along the creek and on the hillside adjacent to the road showing beautiful color. Not much in the way of orange or read hues but the yellow is brilliant and the lime green is too. If Mother Nature behaves we should have some peak color here by next week’s report.
30 – 50% – Mist Falls (8,350 ft) – This area continues to progress slower than other areas of Bishop Creek Canyon, though is now hovering about 50% turned. The majority of the yellow is just above or to the right of the waterfall.
GO NOW! – 75 – 100% – Groves above Cardinal Village & Aspendell (8,550 ft) – The groves above Cardinal Village are fully turned and look spectacular with the crest in the backdrop. The lower lying aspen around Cardinal Village are now in full peak display. Aspendell has a fair amount of green still hanging around but if you take into account all of the color between the North Lake turnoff and the village of Aspendell, the average would be somewhere in the 75% range
GO NOW! – 75 – 100% – Sabrina Campground (9,000 ft) – Time to get up here, glorious views along the creek with brilliant yellow reflecting in the slow moving stream. Much of the orange and red along the road which peaked first is gone, but there is still plenty of peak or almost peak color here.
30-50% – Forks, Four Jeffries, Big Trees & Bishop Park Camgrounds (8,000 ft – 8,300 ft) – Quite a bit of color developing in these areas. Still, the color is probably closer to 30% than 50% but some areas, like the groves just above Four Jeffries for instance, is closer to the 50% of peak color.
GO NOW! – 75 – 100% – Table Mountain Camp (8,900 ft) – The cold snap last week put this grove into high gear and it is near or at peak now with gorgeous orange hues with yellow and lime in the background. The meandering stream flowing through the meadow can make for some spectacular views right now.
GO NOW! – 75 – 100% – Surveyors Meadow (8,975 ft) – While much of the color is past peak now, there is still so much color here that I’m still rating it in the 75 – 100% range. The best of the color is along the creek, along the road and looking up towards the Tyee Ridge…simply stunning with a few pockets of bright red still showing.
GO NOW! – 75 – 100% – Willow Campground (9,100 ft) – Probably closer to 75% than 100% but this area is certainly going off right now with color. The campground itself, the aspen lining the road near the beaver dam and old growth groves just above the campground as spectacular.
GO NOW! – 75 – 100% – Parchers Camp – Some of the smaller scrub aspen groves were lost this past week to cold and wind. However, there is still so much color surrounding the resort that peak color is accurate. The hillside looking up towards Coyote Ridge is unbelievable right now with far more orange and red than we’re used to seeing. Spectacular views of the surrounding hillsides are showing all day long and the aspen within the resort property and along Green Creek are also showing spectacular color.
GO NOW! – 75 – 100% – Weir Pond (9,700 ft) – While the scrub aspen above the pond are now past peak, the aspen along the road, pond and the view up towards South Lake are in full peak color. Reds, limes, orange and yellow is all there.
GO NOW! – 75 – 100% – Lake Sabrina (9,150 ft) - The best views of the lake have come and gone but just below the dam has exploded with color. The bridge and the two ponds just below the dam are also incredibly vibrant with a good showing of red to go along with yellow.
GO NOW! – 75 – 100% – North Lake (9,255 ft) – This is another difficult area to grade as different parts of the lake and surrounding area peak at different times. The hillside above North Lake itself is past peak but still showing lots of color, including some nice red hues. The groves along the road however are spectacular and in full peak color. Some of the groves up near the campground have some change coming yet.
30 – 50% – Intake II (8,100 ft) – Groves above the lake are past peak now but the color is just now starting to pop around the shoreline of this small lake. I’ll bet this area will be truly spectacular in the coming week.
Tags: Autumn, autumn leaves, Bishop Creek, Bishop Creek Canyon, California, California Fall Color, Eastern Sierra, Fall Color, Fall Color in California, fall leaves, foliage, High Sierra, Inyo County, photographing fall color, Photography