California Fall Color
Dude, autumn happens here, too.

Archive for the ‘What They’re Saying’ Category

NY Times: “California Has No Seasons” Debunked

Mon ,17/10/2016
All The News That's Fit To Print

All the News That’s Fit to Print

Fit to Print…

The New York Times correspondent Mike McPhate – a third-generation Californian who lives in Davis – repeated the oft-stated refrain, “California has no seasons,” in California Today, last Friday, then debunked it.

CLICK HERE to read Mike’s column.


We’re Back Up and Rolling!

Thu ,06/10/2016
Hot car + hot color at Bishop Creek Canyon on (10/2/16) = a hot photo by Elliot McGucken

Hot car + hot color at Bishop Creek Canyon on (10/2/16) = a hot photo by Daniel Stas

So sorry for the delay in posting.  The readers of are so fanatical about seeing the best fall color that high traffic crashed our site for nearly 24 hours.

Whew! As soon as I can, I’ll be posting photos again.  In the mean time, here’s a sugarplum of a shot taken this past week in Bishop Creek Canyon by Daniel Stas.

Keep those cards, letters, and fall color photos coming in to We love hearing from you and sharing what you’ve seen.

What They’re Saying

Tue ,04/10/2016

Media across California are reinforcing what we’ve been preaching… that California’s fall color is spectacular and shouldn’t be missed.

Click on these links to see what the San Francisco Chronicle reported this past week.

SF Gate (San Francisco Chronicle) – Doug Zimmerman – October 1

SF Gate (San Francisco Chronicle) – Tom Stienstra, Sept. 27


When Should I Go?

Fri ,30/09/2016
Laurel Canyon, Mono County (9/28/16) Josh Wray

Laurel Canyon, Mono County (9/28/16) Josh Wray

“When should I go?” is the most common question we receive.

“Go Now!” is our response. Don’t put off visiting an area if it is Near Peak or, certainly, at Peak. As, when a location is peaking it only has two weeks – at most – of peak color to be seen at that elevation.

Each photo posted on this site, identifies when and where it was taken. We try to post photos not older than a week. What you see in a photo will be different by the time you get there.

Above, Josh Wray captured yellow and lime aspen leaves on his hike up Laurel Canyon, near Mammoth, this week.  Today, many of those green leaves have turned to lime, the lime leaves to yellow, and some of the yellow leaves have fallen.

If you want to see a specific area at peak, go to “Categories” on the left side of this site and click on the region you plan to visit.  Then, scroll back in time to see where it was peaking and when in the past.

If you can only travel on a given date, click on “Archives” on the left side of this site and scroll back in time to see what was peaking.  Then, go there.

If you want to see reports for specific locations (e.g., Laurel Canyon), enter the location in the Search bar above the map.

But mostly, GO NOW!

Bishop Creek on Video

Thu ,29/09/2016

Bishop, Calif. shows us how artists, climbers and riders are seeing fall color this week in their backyard, Bishop Creek Canyon.

DogTrekking in the Vineyards

Wed ,28/09/2016 is the of traveling with dogs in California.

So, it was a satisfying bone to chew, reading this week’s number about autumn treks to wine country with man’s best friend.

The issue describes what to expect on visits to Mendocino County, the Suisun Valley and Vacaville, the Napa Valley and Sonoma County, setting readers up for great trips to California’s best wines and fall color in the vineyards.

CLICK HERE to read Dogtrekker’s report on spending autumn days in the vineyards with Fido.

Camping in the Eastern Sierra

Fri ,23/09/2016
Convict Lake Campground (Date Unknown) I Love The Eastern Sierra

Convict Lake Campground (Date Unknown) I Love The Eastern Sierra

Blogger Kimberly Wilkes of I Love The Eastern Sierra recommends 15 campgrounds near or surrounded by fall color.

We’ve reported about color to be seen at these campgrounds and know the recommendations to be sound.

CLICK HERE to read Kimberly’s recommendations.

Autumn Arrives

Thu ,22/09/2016


The autumnal equinox marks the official change of seasons today, though fall color has been reported since August.

That does not mean an earlier autumn. The change of seasons is fairly consistent in California.

Last year, peak was first reported on Sept. 24, this year on Sept. 21. OK, we reported peak three days earlier, but that may have been more a result of who reported what, than that peak was actually earlier. It could have peaked earlier last year, we just didn’t get a report documenting it.

What is consistent is that peak usually occurs within a week of what occurred historically. That means, though you may see one area being reported as peaking, other nearby areas will peak soon thereafter.

We’ve received anxious questions about a given trail or area (news of the color at Lundy Lake has been hotly anticipated of late). If we’re not reporting an area that you want to visit, that’s because no one has sent a report about it, but it does not mean the area has or has not peaked.

We depend on reports submitted by volunteer color spotters and local tourism offices; they don’t always get to every location.

One way to estimate peak in a non-reported area is to follow reports from areas in the same region at similar elevations. The area you want to visit will likely be peaking about the same time as a reported area in the same region and at the same elevation.

#FirstDayofFall is trending on Twitter with over 152,000 tweets as of the posting of this blog. So, there’s high interest in the season and more reports are sure to follow.

If you’d like to be part of the trend, send photos and descriptions to

Fall Color Podcast Reveals New Spots

Fri ,16/09/2016
Eileen Javora and Mark Finan (9/15/16) Live Facebook Podcast Screen Capture

Eileen Javora and Mark Finan (9/15/16) Live Facebook Podcast Screen Capture

Meteorologists Eileen Javora and Mark Finan of KCRA-TV3 (NBC) invited me to join them on a live Facebook podcast last evening.

We discussed fall color and where to find it, revealing a couple of (new to me) places to explore (late October) in the Sacramento area: Empire Mine and pistachio orchards. Road trip!

CLICK HERE to hear and see the discussion.

Weather To Go or Not

Mon ,12/09/2016
Mark Finan and Eileen Javora, KCRA-TV3

Mark Finan and Eileen Javora, KCRA-TV3

Two of my favorite meteorologists to watch are Mark Finan and Eileen Javora of KCRA-TV3 (NBC) in Sacramento. They aren’t just spot-on accurate meteorologists, they’re fans of fall color, too.

I suppose that comes with the job. As, how would you otherwise immerse yourself in analyzing the weather and predicting it, without also becoming fascinated by the turn of seasons?

Mark moved from meteorologist to color spotter this past weekend, driving a long loop in search of inspiration (and there is much of it along this drive), east from Sacramento over Carson and Monitor passes, then south along the Eastern Sierra Scenic Byway over Conway Summit and past Mono Lake, June Lake and Mammoth Lakes, to Convict Lake and back… all to see what’s developing.

Like others who have visited the area, he notes that most of the well-known fall color locations along the route remain mostly green or lime (Caples Lake, CA-88; Monitor Pass, CA-89; June Lake and Convict Lake), though promising yellow is emerging at the highest elevations: (above Mono Lake and on individual trees at June Lake).

For those judging whether to head to the east side or not, it is still a bit early, though emerging color can be seen and it will continue to improve through the last two weeks of September, particularly at the highest elevations.

How’s that for a forecast?