California Fall Color
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Archive for the ‘Deals and Offers’ Category

“Magnificent Mono

Thu ,17/10/2013
June Lake (10/12/13) Alicia Vennos

June Lake (10/12/13) Alicia Vennos

Mono County has come into magnificence with reports from color spotter Alicia Vennos of areas of this Eastern Sierra County that we haven’t seen previously.  This is most definitely the weekend to head to the East Side.  Now that the federal shutdown has ended, Yosemite National Park has reopened (Tioga Pass remained open throughout the shutdown).  So, this is likely the last, best weekend to head across the Sierra through Yosemite (Hwy 120 – The Tioga Road).

McGee Creek Canyon (10/16/13) Ethan James

McGee Creek Canyon (10/16/13) Ethan James

McGee Creek Canyon (10/16/13) Ethan James

McGee Creek Canyon (10/16/13) Ethan James

GO NOW! 75 – 100% – McGee Creek Canyon – Alicia reports that “There is a real mix of color right now at McGee — some trees are past peak, some are perfect, and others are still tiptoeing towards lime green and yellow.  The campground area is the richest in color, right now, but the hiking trail has some gorgeous gold and orange, too.

Convict Lake (10/16/13) Convict Lake Resort

Convict Lake (10/16/13) Convict Lake Resort

Silver Lake (10/12/13) Alicia Vennos

Silver Lake (10/12/13) Alicia Vennos

GO NOW! – 75 – 100% – Convict Lake – The entire canyon is at peak. There are lots of spectacular colors to be seen on the ride to the lake, including intense yellow, brilliant orange and, recently, traces of burnt Sienna. This is about the last weekend to see full color at Convict Lake, as large sections along the upper creek above the lake are dropping their leaves.  If you’re going, take advantage of these deals and offers:

  • Convict Lake Resort is offering Fall Lodging Specials through Oct. 31st starting at $379+tax (Sunday thru Thursday – 2 Nights for 2 Persons).  Includes $100 Restaurant Credit & Full Day Motor Boat Rental.
  • Late Fall Lodging Specials from Nov 3rd to Nov. 15th starting at $199+tax (Sundaythru Thursday – 2 Nights for 2 Persons).  Includes Full Day Motor Boat Rental.
  • Convict Lake Resort’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.
Double Eagle Resort & Spa, June Lake Loop (10/13/13) Ralph Lockhart

Double Eagle Resort & Spa, June Lake Loop (10/13/13) Ralph Lockhart

June Lake (10/14/13) Rachel Jackson

June Lake (10/14/13) Rachel Jackson

GO NOW! – 75 – 100% – June Lake – 100% – Alicia reports that “It is pretty much perfection right now around everyone’s favorite “loop”, a.k.a. Hwy. 158″ We’ll add, that if you can get away, this is the prime weekend to see the June Lake Loop in all its glory.  We’ll probably be reporting past week, next week.  Ralph Lockhart at the Double Eagle Resort and Spa reports the entire north end of the June Lake Loop is “Exploding, right now.”

Therese LaChance Ely paints fall color at Parker Lake (10/12/13) Alicia Vennos

Therese LaChance Ely paints fall color at Parker Lake (10/12/13) Alicia Vennos

Parker Lake (10/12/13) Alicia Vennos

Parker Lake (10/12/13) Alicia Vennos

GO NOW! – 75 – 100% – Parker Lake – 100% – This small, but majestic lake, attracts many young families, a few anglers, photographers and – this past weekend – even award-winning artist, Therese LaChance Ely, well-known for her “Sierra-scapes.”

GO NOW! – 75 – 100% – Lundy Lake – We’re amazed that Lundy has been so spectacular for so long.  This could be the last weekend to see it at peak.  Alicia describes it as “at peak and glorious, especially along Lundy Lake Road.” The popular hiking trail at the end of the dirt road, past Lundy Lake Resort, is past peak with just a few bright trees left.

Little Walker Lake (10/14/13) Alicia Vennos

Little Walker Lake (10/14/13) Alicia Vennos

GO NOW! – 75 – 100% – Little Walker Lake – Little Walker is a beautiful, lesser-known lake in dramatic Bloody Canyon, just north of the June Lake Loop.  Directions:  At the north end of Hwy. 158, take Parker Lake Road and then the first right, following the signs.  The trail starts high with a lovely view down to the lake.


Shasta Cascade Colors Up – Plumas Peaking

Thu ,17/10/2013

Grace Smith reports from the Shasta Cascade that color change is rapidly approaching peak.  Go Now! alerts have been issued for Plumas and Siskiyou Counties.

GO NOW! – 50 – 75% – Siskiyou County –  McCloud, always famous for its beautiful fall colors is reporting significant color changes this past week in town and surrounding town.  That presents a lovely foreground to views of Mt. Shasta.  Tip of the Week: visit McCloud Falls, in McCloud.

Oaks, Hideaway Hotel, Greenville (10/14/13) Jeff Titcomb

Oaks, Hideaway Hotel, Greenville (10/14/13) Jeff Titcomb

Oaks, Greenville (10/14/13) Jeff Titcomb

Oaks, Greenville (10/14/13) Jeff Titcomb

GO NOW! – 75 – 100% – Plumas County – Karen Moritz reports full peak throughout Plumas County.  She says, “We’re at 100 percent on most everything. The oaks on the hillsides are perfect. Aspens and dogwood are in full color too. Willows and Indian Rhubarb showing everywhere along rivers and streams. Some  trees have lost quite a bit of their leaves due to wind and snow, though there still are great colorful pockets of yellow, gold, red, and orange. Aspen are turning beautiful shades of gold and yellow in the Lake Davis area.  Oaks near Portola and Greenville are turning a yellow, gold, and a slight hint of red.  The oaks near Graeagle and Quincy are changing slower than the rest of the area.

30 – 50% – Tehama County – Color is beginning to appear in the Northern Sacramento Valley.  Though, quite a bit of green is still seen in riparian woodlands along the Sacramento River.  Look for spots of yellow, orange, red, and gold at the Sacramento River Discovery Center and Woodson Bridge Recreation Area.


Pin Oak on Pine, Redding (10/17/13) Grace Smith

Pin Oak on Pine, Redding (10/17/13) Grace Smith

30 – 50% – Shasta County – Bigleaf maples in Anderson have flushed with lots of yellow, orange, and quite a bit of red. The cottonwoods are showing yellow and gold. Head to Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, Anderson River Park, the Sacramento River Trail in Redding, and the McConnell Arboretum at Turtle Bay for the best fall color viewing.

Bidwell Park, Chico (10/16/13) Stephany Fernandez

Bidwell Park, Chico (10/16/13) Stephany Fernandez

30 – 50% – Butte County – Green, yellow, and red are all adorning the trees of Chico this week.  Bidwell Park, Highway 32 Corridor, the Esplanade, CSU Chico, and Mangrove Avenue have the best displays.  Saturday Oct. 19 is the 25th Open Art Studio in Chico.  For more information, call (530) 895-8726 or visit

Reflecting on Convict Lake – Go Now!

Tue ,08/10/2013
Convict Lake, Mono County (10/7/13) Susan Morning

Convict Lake, Mono County (10/7/13) Susan Morning

On reflection, Convict Lake – south of Mammoth Lakes- is picture-perfect, presently.  Color spotter Christie Osborne reports that color has now descended to 7,000′ in elevation approaching full peak at Mammoth Lakes.  Weather has been ideal with temps in the 60s and no wind. Nights remain cool in 20s and 30s, providing for optimal conditions to intensify fall color.

Convict Lake (10/7/13) Susan Morning

Convict Lake (10/7/13) Susan Morning

Convict Lake (10/7/13) Susan Morning

Convict Lake (10/7/13) Susan Morning

Convict Lake (10/7/13) Susan Morning

Convict Lake (10/7/13) Susan Morning

GO NOW! – 50 – 75% – Convict Lake – Picture-perfect reflections are to be seen in Convict Lake on still days, the color has blanketed the far end of the lake and along its banks with bright yellow.  There’s still some lime, so unless the color gets stripped, it should last a while.

GO NOW! 50-75% – Mammoth Lakes – Below 7,500′ – There’s lots of color to be seen along Sherwin Creek Road and Mammoth Creek, which hasn’t quite hit peak, but will soon.

GO NOW! 75-100% – Mammoth Lakes – Above 8,000′ – Full peak to past peak is occurring at the highest elevations in  The Sherwins above the town of Mammoth Lakes. 

Despite the Government Shutdown, there are plenty of fall color viewing options in and around Mammoth Lakes. For more information about color viewing and visiting Yosemite during the Government Shutdown, CLICK HERE. For deals on lodging, dining, and activities, CLICK HERE


Such a Deal!

Thu ,19/09/2013
Parcher's Resort (10/11/12) Krisdina Karady

Parcher’s Resort (10/11/12) Krisdina Karady

A great place to base fall color viewing trips in Bishop Creek Canyon is Parcher’s Resort.  Not only is their staff the most knowledgeable about where the best fall color viewing can be found, but the resort offers all sorts of deals in autumn.  Here’s this fall’s list:

  • Fall RV Special – Stay 5 nights at regular price get 2 more nights FREE in any RV site from September 20th through October 19th
  • Mountain Cabin Weekly Special – Beginning Sept. 1st Stay 5 nights in Cabin 21, 22 or 23 and get 2 more nights FREE and one breakfast voucher for up to 4 persons!
  • Photographers Retreat – Rent 6 or more Cabins for at least 3 nights and get 10% off your stay and complimentary use of our store meeting facility from 11am til 6pm daily and 25% off a private dinner in our dining room (12 persons minimum). Offer valid September 15th through October 15th
  • Hiker’s Heaven – Stay 3 nights in any Hiker Cabin between Sept. 1st and October 19th, and get your 4th night FREE.

Call 760-873-4177 to take advantage of these special deals.

At left is a photo taken of Parcher’s last October, following an early dusting of snow.

Mono County’s Colorful Fall Festivals

Fri ,13/09/2013
Rock Creek Pack Station 1

Rock Creek Pack Station (9/12/13) © Alicia Vennos


Mono County color spotter Alicia Vennos reports that colors are “starting to brighten the landscape with gold, russet, orange and red, particularly in the Rock Creek Canyon, 20 minutes south of Mammoth Lakes.


Rock Creek Road (9/12/13) Alicia Vennos

Rock Creek Road (9/12/13) © Alicia Vennos

Rock Creek Road (9/12/13) Alicia Vennos

Rock Creek Road (9/12/13) © Alicia Vennos

15 – 30% – Rock Creek – Color spotter Donna Mercer, says about 20% of the trees along Rock Creek Road have turned to varying hues of gold, yellow, orange, with some red. If you’re heading there and have a sweet tooth, Pie in the Sky Café remains open daily through October 13.  They’re world-famous for fresh, fruit, home-baked pies.  The Café is located at Rock Creek Lake Resort near the top of Rock Creek Road (exit US 395 at Tom’s Place) – drop by and get your slice any time from 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

0 – 15% – June Lake Loop – Aspen are turning lime green and yellow.

June Lake Beer Festival

June Lake Beer Festival

On Sat., Oct., 5, the community of  June Lake plans its first June Lake Autumn Beer Festival.  Festivities include a craft beer garden, live music by the Kalifornia Krauts, Eastern Sierra Master Chili Cook-off, pie-baking and photography Contests, food, crafts, games, raffles and more autumn fun.  It all happens at the June Lake Community Center at Gull Lake Park from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is sponsored by the June Lake Loop Chamber of Commerce. For more info, visit or call 213-364-3989. Cost:  $25 for 6 beer tastes, one meal, and various discounts from the vendors.

15 – 30% – Lee Vining, Lundy, Virginia Lakes and Twin Lakes Canyons – It’s still early for color up the canyons that stem from US 395 in northern Mono County.  Though, aspen are showing signs of  approaching brilliance.

0 – 15% – Walker/Coleville/Topaz – If barbecue is your fancy, the annual Deer Hunter’s Deep Pit Family BBQ in Walker/Coleville also  occurs on Sat., Oct. 5.  Just by attending, you’ll be welcomed as a member of these friendly communities.  It begins at 5 p.m. at the Walker Community Bldg., just off U.S. 395.  Be prepared to taste fabulous BBQ, prepared by the Lion’s Club using a secret recipe, plus dessert and all the trimmings.  Dinner is $12 for adults, $5 for children 12 and younger.  There’s a raffle, too, benefiting the Lions Club which does a lot of good work in these isolated communities.  CLICK HERE for more info.

Free map/guides to Eastern Sierra Fall Color are available by calling 800-845-7922 or online at

Colorful Events

Thu ,04/10/2012

Several prime fall color destinations and accommodations are offering special events and deals.  Here’s a rundown of some of the best of them.

Fall Color Car Show (Oct. 5 – 7) — Vintage hot rods, restored classic cars and cruisers will be displayed at the Tri-County Fairgrounds in Bishop. There’ll be cruising the main drag Sat., Oct. 6, at 3 p.m. and Poker Runs and a Cruise through Bishop Creek (South Lake, Sabrina, Bishop Creek) to view the fall colors.

Choo-Choo Swap Meet (Oct. 5 – 7) — It’s billed as “100 yard sales in one place.” Just about the entire population of Bishop will be buying or selling something starting at 8:30 a.m. at the Tri-County Fairgrounds. Arts and Crafts shows and exhibits are also included.

For more information on the above events, contact the Bishop Chamber of Commerce,

Lone Pine Film Festival (Oct. 5 – 7) – A celebration of “Westerns” the Lone Pine Film Festival bills itself as “the only film festival on location.”  It’s also the “reel west,” as the local Alabama Hills are where many of the most famous westerns were shot.

Deer Hunter’s Family Barbecue (Oct. 6) – A feast has been marinaded in a secret barbecue sauce for days, then slow roasted in a pit and served on Sat., Oct. 6 at 5 p.m. in Walker.  $8 adult, $4 child.  Buy raffle tickets and win a hunting rifle with scope, camping gear and more at this benefit event by the Lions Club (good people, Lions… they do a lot of good work).  CLICK HERE.

Meadowcliff RV Resort (Oct. 6-7) – Park your RV for two nights and the total cost is $50, plus tax.  This neat RV Resort was named one of the best in the west not long ago.  Advance reservations required.

Meadowcliff Lodge (Oct. 6 – 7) – Stay at the Meadowcliff Lodge and save $15 off your room/night (normally $69 – $99/night).

Ambush at the Lake – More than $6,000 in prizes are awarded during the annual fall Convict Lake Trout Derby, continuing through Nov. 15, plus a bonus of $2,000 on Oct. 26-28.  Catch a massive Alpers Trout in a setting so beautiful, you’ll have a hard time concentrating on fishing. CLICK HERE

Bodie Photographer’s Day (Oct. 20) – The last Friends of Bodie Photographer’s Day will occur on the third Saturday of October.  For a $75 fee, photographers can get in early and return for sunset photographs of the state historic park, allowing sunrise and sunset photography of the ghost town of Bodie.


Autumn Lodging Specials

Fri ,28/10/2011


The Yosemite Resorts in El Portal are offering two special autumn packages.  CLICK HERE for more information or reservations.

At Cedar Lodge, stay two nights and your third night is free on any stay through Nov. 20.  Optional rooms include rooms with an in-room spa tub for two, or one with a four-poster King Bed, or perhaps a room that will fit the entire family.   Regardless of the type room, Cedar Lodge offers affordability and is minutes from Yosemite Valley.

Mountain View King Spa Room, Yosemite View Lodge

On Nov. 12, the Yosemite View Lodge holds its Fall Wine and Dine event, a four-course banquet with wine pairings for $85 per person.  Includes reception, appetizers and the banquet.  The View is known as being the best value for lodging in the Yosemite area, with deluxe rooms at reasonable cost.

50 – 75% – Yosemite Valley/Merced River Canyon – Dogwood are at 50% of color in Yosemite Valley, with black oak still coloring up.  Bigleaf maple and cottonwood have turned.  Autumn color has been running two weeks late, so – barring a turn in weather – fall color should still be seen in Yosemite Valley into the first couple of weeks of November.


Big Basin Tent Cabin, Big Basin Redwoods State Park

Beginning December 1, through January 31, Big Basin Tent Cabins at Big Basin Redwoods State Park is offering accommodations for “an all time low price of $49.95 per night!”  There’s no coupon to redeem or anything else you need to do.  Just CLICK HERE to book a tent cabin and you’ll receive the reduced rate.

The lower rate does not apply to cabins with the Deluxe Camping Package or Deluxe Cabins. The lower rate applies to new reservations only.  Lower rate prices is available 7 days a week, through December and Janaury. The lower rate does not apply to Holiday weekends. Offer expires January 31, 2012.

30 – 50% – Santa Cruz Mountains – Deciduous trees in the Santa Cruz Mountains are glowing nicely.  Look for color in riparian areas and meadows.

Early Snow Doesn’t Disappoint

Thu ,06/10/2011

Yellow Edged Aspen at Convict Lake (10/6/2011) © 2011 Jennifer Heintzelman

For those concerned how the current winter storm is affecting the fall color, set aside your concerns.

These photos from color spotter Jennifer Heintzelman of the Convict Lake Report show that the aspen at Convict Lake are still green with an edging of yellow.  That means, few of them were knocked from the trees and with warmer autumn weather returning, they should turn color in coming weeks.

Convict Lake 10/6/2011 © 2011 Jennifer Heintzelman

15-30% Convict Lake  (7,850 ft.) — It’s pretty dark out now, Jennifer Heintzelman reports, though that hasn’t darkened the outlook for beautiful fall color at Convict Lake.  For those planning to head up, the lodge has, however, changed its  lodging specials and plans to close the restaurant due to exposure received on the front page of the L.A. Times Travel Section.

Colorful Aspen in Rock Creek Canyon (10/6/2011) © 2011Alicia Vennos

From Oct. 23-Nov. 15, Sunday – Thursday, Starting at $229+tax , two-night stay for two in a standard cabin, including use of a full day boat with motor.

Rock Creek Lake as storm clears (10/6/2011) © 2011 Alicia Vennos

The Convict Lake marina will remain open until November 15th and the Restaurant at Convict Lake until November 13th.

Here’s a rundown on Convict Lake fishing contests… what a great idea… combining Fishing and Fall Color!:

30-50% – Rock Creek Canyon – Gorgeous red and orange aspen, seen in photos taken by color spotter Alicia Vennos lit up a snow-covered Rock Creek Canyon today.  Expect the colors to be glorious this weekend with snow on peaks and the snow melted to reveal the color.

0-15% – Antelope Valley, Eastern Sierra (5,141 ft.) — Color spotter Tim Fesko from the Meadowcliff Resort reports the cold storm that has crossed Northern California “does not seem to have caused too much problems below the snow line.”  Tim was unable to get color percentage readings above 8,000 ft. as highways 108, 89 and 4 are not accessible due to snow.

0-15% – Yosemite Valley (4,000 ft.) — Color spotter Kevin Shelton of the Yosemite View Lodge in El Portal reports that the fall color is appearing about a week to two weeks behind normal with very little color yet showing in Yosemite Valley or the Merced River Canyon.

Win Free Hiking Boots & Other Autumn Deals

Thu ,29/09/2011

Jeanette Kozlowski of writes that they’ve partnered with Timberland to give away a free pair of hiking boots. For a chance to win, just CLICK HERE and share your favorite fall hike.

Here are some autumn deals from the Lake Front Cabins in June Lake (877) 648-7527:

“Fall Colors Special” – Stay at least 3 nights and get $10/off/cabin/night.  Valid on new reservations October 7-31, 2011.  All cabins.   Based on availability and regular rates.  Great for fall colors and end of the fishing season.

Here are some autumn deals from the Convict Lake Resort, 760-934-3800:

  • Sept. 5 – Oct. 22 – Starting at $359+ tax – 2-night Stay for two, Standard Cabin, Full Day Boat & Motor, $100 Restaurant Credit
  • Oct. 23-Oct. 31 – Starting at $289+tax – 2-night Stay for two, Standard Cabin, Full Day Boat & Motor, $100 Restaurant Credit
  • Oct. 23-Nov. 15 – Starting at $169+tax – 2-night Stay for two, Standard Cabin, Half Day Boat & Motor

Fall Foliage Photo Contest

Wed ,06/10/2010

Marcal, a recycled paper company, is running a fall foliage photo contest.  Post your photos of fall color by Nov. 30 at and be eligible to win a $100 gift card from Best Buy or a Cannon Digital SLR Camera.

More about Marcal can be found at