California Fall Color
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Posts Tagged ‘Bishop Creek Canyon’

California’s First “Go Now!” Alert

Wed ,17/09/2014

Right on schedule, Bishop Creek is reporting the first color in California to near peak. Color spotter Jared Smith of Parchers Resort sends this report with color nearing peak a week later than reported last year.  We consider that to be right on schedule.

Groves Above Cardinal Village 9/16/14 Jared Smith

Groves Above Cardinal Village 9/16/14 Jared Smith

Bishop Creek Canyon Overall Conditions 
Above 8,500′ – Near Peak – GO NOW!

There’s been an explosion of color over the past week above 8,500′ in elevation, with many of the best views in Bishop Creek Canyon (along U.S. 395, west of Bishop) rapidly progressing from patchy color to near peak. The higher groves on the mountainsides are showing the most yellow and orange with the lower lying aspen along the road a mix of brilliant yellow and lime green. It’s impossible to know how long the color will stick around but Jared Smith reports he’s hopeful that we have a few more weeks of spectacular color to enjoy.

7,000′ to 8,500′ – Patchy (10 – 50%)

The lower reaches of Bishop Creek Canyon are showing a bit of color, patchy at best, but deep or lime green still dominates the landscape. Jared reports, “It will be interesting to see if the lower lying aspen turn as quickly as the trees higher in the canyon. Either way, there is still a lot of color to come over the next few weeks if the weather holds out.”

Wier Pond 9/17/14 Jared Smith

Wier Pond 9/17/14 Jared Smith

GO NOW! – Near Peak ( 50 – 75%) Wier Pond (9,650′) Still some green along the road and stream but the hillside above the pond and many of the aspen along the far side of the pond are turning very fast. I’d wager that peak color will happen here sometime in the next week.

Parchers Camp 9/17/14 Jared Smith

Parchers Camp 9/17/14 Jared Smith

GO NOW! – Near Peak (50 – 75%) Parchers Camp (9,260′)
The color has really come on strong the past week with about half of the aspen and willow around the camp turned or turning.

Willow Campground  9/17/14 Jared Smith

Willow Campground 9/17/14 Jared Smith

Patchy (10 – 50%) – Willow Campground  (9,000′)
Although the campground is now closed, the color is just now starting to pop in this area. The aspen on the hillside are turning fast while the aspen along the beaver pond, road, by the Tyee bridge and in the campground are just now starting.

Sabina Campground  9/17/14 Jared Smith

Sabina Campground 9/17/14 Jared Smith

GO NOW! – Near Peak (50 – 75%) Sabrina Campground (9,000′) The aspen within the campground are just starting to turn but the aspen along Hwy 168 are near peak color with some gorgeous red and orange showing. The groves just around the corner from the North Lake turnoff, which are just on the other side of the campground, don’t typically exhibit any orange or red but the yellow is pure and bright and is showing big time.

Table Mountain Camp  9/17/14 Jared Smith

Table Mountain Camp 9/17/14 Jared Smith

Comparison, Table Mountain Camp a week ago

Comparison, Table Mountain Camp a week ago

GO NOW! – Near Peak (50 – 75%) Table Mountain Camp (8,900′) Still some green mixed in but the aspen are really popping here with the groves turning or already turned all the way down to the stream. The view from South Lake Road is exceptional just below the campground. Within the campground itself there isn’t a ton of color yet but the best views are of the mountain above it which is really looking nice.

Surveyors Meadow 9/17/14 Jared Smith

Surveyors Meadow 9/17/14 Jared Smith

GO NOW! – Near Peak (50 – 75%)

Comparison, Surveyors Meadow a week ago

Comparison, Surveyors Meadow a week ago

Surveyor’s Meadow (8,975′) There is still some green along the road here but the peak color on the mountain to the west of South Lake Road is flat out stunning already and likely to peak within the next week to 10 days.

Lake Sabrina  9/17/14 Jared Smith

Lake Sabrina 9/17/14 Jared Smith

Lake Sabrina 9/17/14 Jared Smith

Lake Sabrina 9/17/14 Jared Smith

GO NOW! – Near Peak (50 – 75%) Lake Sabrina (9,150′) As expected the color at Lake Sabrina went off this week with many of the groves at or near peak. Despite some of the lake showing peak color, I rated the color here as near peak as there is still enough green yet to change to allow for more color over the next week or so. Weather, most importantly wind, is the enemy here so if conditions stay calm the color should remain spectacular for some time yet.

North Lake  9/17/14 Jared Smith

North Lake 9/17/14 Jared Smith

North Lake  9/17/14 Jared Smith

North Lake 9/17/14 Jared Smith

Comparison, North Lake a week ago

Comparison, North Lake a week ago

GO NOW! – Near Peak (50 – 75%) North Lake (9,255′) While aspen-lined dirt road on the east side of the lake is still mostly green, the aspen covering the mountain directly above the lake, the trees around the first parking area and the aspen all along the west shore have started to turn or already turned and the views are amazing.

Patchy (10 – 50%) Steiny Loop &  Mt. Glen Camp (8,600′) Quite a bit of color has started to develop along the old road referred to as the Steiny Loop. Lime green is most prevalent but some beautiful yellow patches are showing.

Mist Falls  9/17/14 Jared Smith

Mist Falls 9/17/14 Jared Smith

Patchy (10 – 50%) Mist Falls and the groves above Bishop Creek Lodge (8,350′) A few touches of yellow just to the right of the waterfall is about all that is going on at this location, by far one of the most popular stops on any fall color tour of the Bishop Creek area.

Aspendell  9/17/14 Jared Smith

Aspendell 9/17/14 Jared Smith

Just Starting – 0 – 10% – Aspendell (8,400′) Lime green is all that we’re seeing in Aspendell despite brilliant color just a half mile above the small community.

Comparison, Groves Above Cardinal Village last week

Comparison, Groves Above Cardinal Village last week

GO NOW! – Near Peak (50 – 75%) Groves Above Cardinal Village (8,550′) One of the best views in the canyon right now is from Hwy 168 looking up canyon where gorgeous color has turned from Cardinal mine all the way down to Cardinal Village Resort.

Four Jeffries  9/17/14 Jared Smith

Four Jeffries 9/17/14 Jared Smith

Just Starting – (0 – 10%) – Four Jeffries A few branches have turned but for the most part the aspen here are just now starting to lighten from a deep dark summer green to a lime green.

Intake II  9/17/14 Jared Smith

Intake II 9/17/14 Jared Smith

Just Starting – (10 – 50%) – Intake II There is some color on the mountain above the lake but most of the aspen around the lake are just now a lime green.

Big Trees Campground  9/17/14 Jared Smith

Big Trees Campground 9/17/14 Jared Smith

Just Starting – (0 – 10%) – Big Trees Campground Very little color is visible at this lower elevation campground. The aspens are huge here and can be quite spectacular during peak color. I’m guessing we’re at least a couple weeks from seeing much here.

Bishop (United States)
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Wind : 4.3 knots
Humidity : 4%
88°F
  • Tuesday Today 54 - 86 °F
  • Wednesday Tomorrow 57 - 93 °F
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Getting Close Above 8,500′

Wed ,10/09/2014

Bishop Creek Canyon Overall Conditions
Patchy (10 – 50%)

“Although color in the higher reaches of the Bishop Creek Canyon has arrived a bit earlier than we’re used to seeing,” Color Spotter Jared Smith of the Parchers Resort reports, the difference between last week and this week was only obvious in a few areas with many areas still holding strong to the green of summer. Once you rise above the 8000ft elevation, lime green with some touches of yellow start to appear and once you get over 8500ft, the color is really starting to show in significant patches of aspen. Beyond 9000ft there is quite a bit of color but not much in the way of peak color.

Wier Pond (9/10/14) Jared Smith

Wier Pond (9/10/14) Jared Smith

Patchy – 10 – 50% – Wier Pond (9,650′) The foliage along the road and stream is mostly green but some select braches and trees are a brilliant yellow. The hillside above and to the west of the pond is showing significantly more yellow than last week but still a ways off from what we typically see at peak.

Sabrina Campground (9/10/14) Jared Smith

Sabrina Campground (9/10/14) Jared Smith

Sabrina Campground (9/10/14) Jared Smith

Sabrina Campground (9/10/14) Jared Smith

Patchy – 10 – 50% – Sabrina Campground (9,000′) A difficult area to grade since the color along Hwy 168 East tends to pop and peak first while the larger old growth aspen along the middle fork of Bishop Creek that meanders through the campground tend to come on later. The trees along the hwy are already well on their way with some gorgeous yellow, orange and red hues to go along with some aspen in full green not yet started. As expected, the campground has a touch of lime but very little yellow.

Tabel Mountain Camp (9/10/14) Jared Smith

Tabel Mountain Camp (9/10/14) Jared Smith

Patchy – 10 – 50% – Table Mountain Camp (8,900′) There are significant patches of yellow showing here already but we’re a ways off from the spectacular color we’re used to seeing in this area in late September.

Suyrveyor's Meadow (9/10/14) Jared Smith

Suyrveyor’s Meadow (9/10/14) Jared Smith

Patchy – 10 – 50% – Surveyor’s Meadow (8,975′)While the colors have progressed slightly over the past 7 days, there is still plenty of green yet to turn with some bright patches of yellow crawling down the mountain.

Lake Sabrina (9/10/14) Jaered Smith

Lake Sabrina (9/10/14) Jaered Smith

Patchy – 10 – 50% – Lake Sabrina (9,150′) Lake Sabrina is one location where the color is poised to really bust loose in the next week. The groves towards the inlet side of the lake are really starting to turn and the smaller groves along the east shore are as well. Mostly yellow is showing with a touch of orange, especially across from the boat landing.

North Lake (9/10/14) Jared Smith

North Lake (9/10/14) Jared Smith

Patchy – 10 – 50% – North Lake (9,255′)Lots of variety at North Lake with some of the smaller scrub aspen near the first parking area already brilliant orange and yellow while the famous dirt road stretch looks like July still. The mountain above the lake, known for lots of orange with some red during the peak, is just now turning yellow in substantial patches. I’d be willing to bet it’s going to be go-time for fall color at North Lake in the next 7 to 10 days if the weather holds out.

Mt Glen Camp (9/10/14) Jared Smith

Mt Glen Camp (9/10/14) Jared Smith

Just Starting – (0 – 10%) – Steiny Loop &  Mt. Glen Camp (8600ft) 
Not much going on yet in this area, just a few small patches of brilliant yellow amongst a sea of green.

Mist Falls and The Groves (9/10/14) Jared Smith

Mist Falls and The Groves (9/10/14) Jared Smith

Just Starting – 0 – 10% – Mist Falls and the groves above Bishop Creek Lodge (8,350′) A few touches of yellow just to the right of the waterfall is about all that is going on at this location, by far one of the most popular stops on any fall color tour of the Bishop Creek area.

Aspendell (9/10/14) Jared Smith

Aspendell (9/10/14) Jared Smith

Just Starting – 0 – 10% – Aspendell (8,400′) Some lime green starting to develop in this charming little mountain community but the vast majority of the area is nearly as green as summertime.

Groves above Cardinal Village (9/10/14)

Groves above Cardinal Village (9/10/14)

Patchy – 10 – 50% – Groves Above Cardinal Village (8,550′) As green as Aspendell is, it’s surprising that just a half mile above the community there is significant color. The trees on the slopes above Cardinal Village and Cardinal Mine to the south and east are really turning yellow fast. This is going to be one of the first go-now locations.

Additional reports from Parchers Camp, Four Jefferies Camp, Intake II, Big Trees Camp, and more in the coming weeks. As of now all of these areas at or below 8,000ft are all Just Starting (0 – 10%) of peak color.

Bishop (United States)
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Wind : 4.3 knots
Humidity : 4%
88°F
  • Tuesday Today 54 - 86 °F
  • Wednesday Tomorrow 57 - 93 °F
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Brilliant Yellow and Touch of Orange

Fri ,05/09/2014
Weir Pond (9/3/14) Jared Smith

Weir Pond (9/3/14) Jared Smith

Color Spotter Jared Smith of the Parcher’s Resort provides the first comprehensive report of autumn, today. Jared notes that historically there hasn’t been much to report on Sept. 5, though this season has been “surprising on many levels, including an early start to the autumn colors.” He continues, “While the majority of aspen and willow are still deep, dark green, many of the trees have started turning with some brilliant yellow and a touch of orange” showing in the Eastern Sierra’s Bishop Creek Canyon. He writes that with a third year of drought, “it’s impossible to predict when the peak color will show, but with higher than average precipitation during summer, we’re hopeful that fall color, despite an early start, will offer spectacular photographic opportunities throughout September and into early or mid October.”

Aspen, Bishop Creek Canyon (9/3/14) Jared Smith

Aspen, Bishop Creek Canyon (9/3/14) Jared Smith

Just Starting – 0 – 10% – Wier Pond (9,650′) “One of the most scenic locations in the Bishop Creek Canyon is Weir Pond. We’re used to seeing some of the first color of the season here but for whatever reason, there isn’t much happening yet, somewhat of a surprise given the color developing down canyon. A few select branches are in full color but the aspen around the pond and on the mountain above the pond to the west are still mostly green.”

Sabrina Campground (9/3/14) Jared Smith

Sabrina Campground (9/3/14) Jared Smith

Patchy – 10 – 50% – Sabrina Campground (9,000′) One of the first places to find peak color is just below the entrance to Sabrina Campground on Hwy 168, especially on the eastern wall of the canyon.  As expected, this area has a lot of aspen turning and some of them even have a bit of orange and red hues.

Table Mountain Camp (9/3/14) Jared Smith

Table Mountain Camp (9/3/14) Jared Smith

Patchy – 10 – 50% – Table Mountain Camp (8,900′) A surprising amount of color is already visible in the groves just above and below Table Mountain Group Campground.  The aspen along the road and the camp itself are still green, but the dark green of summer has definitely lightened to a more bright lime green.

Surveyor's Meadow (9/3/14) Jared Smith

Surveyor’s Meadow (9/3/14) Jared Smith

Patchy – 10 – 50% – Surveyor’s Meadow (8,975′) Another area that is really ahead of the game is Surveyor’s Meadow. The hillsides above and around Surveyor’s Meadow are already exhibiting some beautiful yellow and gold. It will be interesting to see how things progress here in the coming weeks.

Lake Sabrina (9/3/14) Jared Smith

Lake Sabrina (9/3/14) Jared Smith

Just Starting – 0 – 10% – Lake Sabrina (9,150′) Despite the drought, water managers have been able to store a fair amount of water in the reservoir at Sabrina adding to the beauty. The groves directly across the lake from the store & café are turning yellow, as are the groves to the west above the main inlet towards the back of the lake. There is still a lot of color on deck but folks could realistically get some exceptional photos now if they wanted. With the 10 day forecast similar to what we’d see during the summer, the color should continue to develop over the next several weeks.

North Lake (9/3/14) Jared Smith

North Lake (9/3/14) Jared Smith

Just Starting – 0 – 10% – North Lake (9,255′) The North Lake area has a bit of color, especially on the hillside above the pack station, but the road is still green as can be. This area has a tendency to turn quickly so we’ll be watching closely to see how things progress around this beautiful high country lake. Just Starting – 0 – 10% – Steiny Loop above Mt. Glen Camp (8,600′) This is somewhat of a sleeper spot for photographers being that these groves are along a dirt road off of South Lake Road. A few aspens have branches that are turning but the majority of the trees are still green, albeit a bit lighter shade of green than we typically see in the summer. Judging by the lime green leaves, I would expect to see some significant color in the next week to 10 days.

Mist Falls and Groves (9/3/14) Jared Smith

Mist Falls and Groves (9/3/14) Jared Smith

Just Starting – 0 – 10% – Mist Falls and the groves above Bishop Creek Lodge (8,350′) Not much color here but there are a few trees that are ahead of the game and showing some yellow. The trees in this area tend to peak late in September or even early to mid October so it’s no surprise that there isn’t much going on yet. Just Starting – 0 – 10% – Aspendell (8,400′) Another area that tends to peak later is the small community of Aspendell. There is little to no color around the neighborhood as of today.

Groves above Cardinal Village (9/3/14) Jared Smith

Groves above Cardinal Village (9/3/14) Jared Smith

Patchy – 10 – 50% – Groves Above Cardinal Village (8,550′) As green as Aspendell is, it’s surprising that just a half mile above the community there is significant color already. The trees on the east slope above Cardinal Village are already turning yellow. One of the best views in the canyon can be captured from a turnout just above Aspendell.

Bishop (United States)
Real time
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Wind : 4.3 knots
Humidity : 4%
88°F
  • Tuesday Today 54 - 86 °F
  • Wednesday Tomorrow 57 - 93 °F
Weather Layer by www.BlogoVoyage.fr

Bishop Creek Canyon – Past Peak

Wed ,16/10/2013

Color spotter Jared Smith of Parchers Resort reports that a solid week of sub-zero temperatures finished what was left of fall color up Bishop Creek Canyon.  Inyo County’s show now moves down in elevation to the Owens Valley.  Here’s Jared’s last report of autumn, 2013:

Overall Conditions above 8500ft  Past Peak

A solid week of frigid weather did in most of the color that was left. The color arrived a little early this year and while it was beautiful for a while, it’s mostly gone now. Hopefully next fall lasts a bit longer.

Overall Conditions below 8500ft Past Peak

Still some color lower in the canyon, especially near Bishop Creek Lodge and Big Trees Campground, however much of the brilliant yellow is more of an auburn after the cold temps of the last week. It’s safe to say that the best color has come and gone, even in the lower reaches of the canyon.

Parchers Resort closes for the season Sunday 10-20-13 and with most of the fall color gone, this will be our last report of the season. We would like to thank everyone who followed our reports and all of those who provided positive feedback. We look forward to 2014 and another batch of fall color reports. Feel free to email us to join the fall color list any time and we’ll make sure you get the latest greatest reports as soon as we start them next year.

We are indebted to color spotters Jared Smith and Krisdina Karady for supplying such detailed and colorful reports. Because of their reports, California Fall Color is left with memories of beautiful color on an early, but long-lasting show up Bishop Creek.

Parcher's Camp (9/26/13) Krisdina Karady

Parcher’s Camp (9/26/13) Krisdina Karady

Upper Bishop Creek – You Missed It

Fri ,11/10/2013

It is still spectacular up the Bishop Creek Canyon, though all areas above 8,500′ in elevation are now past peak with leaves dropping every day.  Here’s the latest from Jared Smith of the Parchers Resort up the Bishop Creek Canyon, east of Bishop (US 395)

PAST PEAK – Overall Conditions above 8,500′ – Still many pockets of color around but overall conditions have progressed well past peak with many trees have lost their leaves or turned brown/black from the cold front that came through this week. Still, judging by the number of photographers still photographing the color up high, especially with the snow-capped peaks after the snowfall, it’s still worth a look.

GO NOW! – Overall Conditions below 8,500′ – Lots of color below 8500ft still with many popular areas at or nearing peak. The cold snap did burn a some of yellow the aspen resulting in a reddish brown hue in some of the aspen but most of the color persists, again looking quite stunning with the snowfall from the last few days.

Location Specific Reports

Past Peak – South Lake Rd above Mt. Glen Camp (8,600′) – Still a bit of color, especially along the road, but the best is behind us.

GO NOW! – 75 – 100% – Mountain Glen Campground (8,400′) – The groves directly above the campground have already gone barren of color but the aspen along the creek and the huge groves from here down canyon are spectacular right now.

Mist Falls (10/10/13) Krisdina  Karady

Mist Falls (10/10/13) Krisdina Karady

GO NOW! – 75 – 100% – Mist Falls and the groves above Bishop Creek Lodge (8,350′) – It doesn’t get much better than it is right now. Time will tell if the cold and snow has any effect on these aspen but for the time being, we’re looking at peak color here.

Cardinal Mine Groves (10/10/13) Krisdina Karady

Cardinal Mine Groves (10/10/13) Krisdina Karady

GO NOW! – 75 – 100% – Cardinal Village & Aspendell (8,550′) – The groves above Cardinal Village near the mine are past peak but the aspen along the creek and on the canyon floor are stunning right now. The Aspens in and around the community of Aspendell, CA are really starting to go off as well.

Intake II (10/10/13) Krisdina Karady

Intake II (10/10/13) Krisdina Karady

GO NOW! – 75 – 100% – Intake II (8,100′) – One of the better concentrations of color in the canyon right now is around Intake II and above the lake in the upper campground. The color along the inlet creek is spectacular right now. Again, these campgrounds are closed to campers but photographers would be well served to make the walk into the campground to see the color.

Sabrina Campground (10/10/13) Krisdina Karady

Sabrina Campground (10/10/13) Krisdina Karady

Past Peak – Sabrina Campground (9,000′) – Not much left here – what a difference a week makes.

GO NOW! – 75 -100 % – Forks, Four

Bishop Park Campground (10/10/13) Krisdina Karady

Bishop Park Campground (10/10/13) Krisdina Karady

Jeffries, Big Trees & Bishop Park Camgrounds (8,000′ – 8,300′) – These areas aren’t quite as famous as some of the other locations in the canyon but they are absolutely worth a look right now as most of the color along the creek at these campgrounds are in peak color. While the campgrounds are closed to campers, photographers are welcome to wander the stream looking for the right photo opportunity.

Past Peak – Table Mountain Camp (8,900′) – Mostly brown leaves left here as the cold snap really hit this area hard turning brilliant peak color into dead colorless leaves.

Past Peak – Surveyors Meadow (8,975′) – There is a bit of color left here but the color from last week is all but gone, even along the road and stream at the canyon floor.

Past Peak  – Willow Campground (9,100′) – The best color here is above the campground in between the campground and Parchers Resort but even then, there are only a few bunches of really good color.

Willow Camp on road to Parchers Camp (10/10/13) Krisdina Karady

Willow Camp on road to Parchers Camp (10/10/13) Krisdina Karady

Past Peak – Parchers Camp – The orange and red vein of aspen above the resort still survives but the vast majority of the color is either gone or turned brown with the storm.

Past Peak – Weir Pond (9,700′) – Still beautiful in the snow, but not much from a color standpoint as the color is mostly gone up this high.

Past Peak – Lake Sabrina (9,150′) – Just about all of the color is gone here, including the groves below the dam which were so good last week.

Below Sabrina Dam (10/10/13) Krisdina Karady

Below Sabrina Dam (10/10/13) Krisdina Karady

 

North Lake (10/10/13) Krisdina Karady

North Lake (10/10/13) Krisdina Karady

Past Peak – North Lake (9,255′) – There is one nice stretch of color along the road at North Lake that still looks great but the rest of it is gone.

Now, You’re Talking – Full Peak Bishop Creek

Thu ,03/10/2013
Phtographer on the North Lake Road, Bishop Creek Canyon, Inyo County (10/2/13) Krisdina Karady

Phtographer on the North Lake Road, Bishop Creek Canyon, Inyo County (10/2/13) Krisdina Karady

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  

 

Aspen leaves damaged by last weekend's weather (10/2/13) Krisdina Karady

Aspen leaves damaged by last weekend’s weather (10/2/13) Krisdina Karady

 

Aspen leaves, showing effects of weather (10/2/13) Jon Klusmire

Aspen leaves, showing effects of weather (10/2/13) Jon Klusmire

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.

Mist Falls, South Fork Bishop Creek (10/2/13) Jared Smith

Mist Falls, South Fork Bishop Creek (10/2/13) Jared Smith

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.

 

South Fork Bishop Creek (10/2/13) Jon Klusmire

South Fork Bishop Creek (10/2/13) Jon Klusmire

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.

 

Sabrina Lake, Bishop Creek Canyon, Inyo County (10/2/13) Jon Klusmire

Sabrina Lake, Bishop Creek Canyon, Inyo County (10/2/13) Jon Klusmire

 

Bishop Creek, Below Sabrina Lake (10/2/13) Jon Klusmire

Bishop Creek, Below Sabrina Lake (10/2/13) Jon Klusmire

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.

North Lake Road. Bishop Creek Canyon, Inyo County  (10/2/13) Krisdina Karady

North Lake Road. Bishop Creek Canyon, Inyo County (10/2/13) Krisdina Karady

North Lake Road 10-2 (2)

North Lake Road, Bishop Creek Canyon, Inyo County (10/2/13) Krisdina Karady

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.

Los Angeles Times Leads Readers to Fall Color

Fri ,20/09/2013

We often hear it said that there is no change of seasons in California.  One spotter recently said a friend describes California has having two seasons: green and gold.  Well, pardners, that’s pure bunk, fiddle-dee-dee and nonsense.  You just have to know when and where to see the change of seasons.  Apologies if the coarseness of our previous exclamation has shocked any of our more easily offended readers, but when it comes to defending the spectacular change of seasons to be seen here, we get downright “miffed.”

Clearly others around our state go to similar lengths to do the same.  Recently, Wendy Abrams, writing for the Los Angeles Times, drove a doubting Thomas from Vermont (we don’t actually know if her New England friend’s name was Thomas) to the Eastern Sierra to prove Wendy’s assertion that California has great fall color, too.

Wendy hit it right, as this year the color – Good Golly, Miss Molly! – is turning earlier than ever.  Follow this link to see what Wendy and her friend saw: http://www.latimes.com/travel/deals/la-trb-california-fall-colors-20130917,0,6468626.photogallery

Going Big, Early – Up Bishop Creek – Go Now!

Thu ,19/09/2013
Sierra Crest with Cardinal Mine Grove and Middle Fork, Bishop Creek (9/19/13) © Jared Smith

Sierra Crest with Cardinal Mine Grove and Middle Fork, Bishop Creek (9/19/13) © Jared Smith

Fall color is early and big up Bishop Creek Canyon, with an exceptional display of orange and red appearing.  We spoke with color spotter Jared Smith of the Parcher’s Resort, today, who said “I can’t recall a year when the fall color peaked this early.”  His latest report (following) and photos tell it all.  Note the number of fly fishermen and women either floating or standing in various streams (look closely).  What incredibly beautiful places to go fishing!

Quaking Aspen (9/19/13) © ShaleAnn Cluff

Quaking Aspen (9/19/13) © ShaleAnn Cluff

GO NOW! – 75 – 100% – Overall Conditions above 8,500 ft – Things are progressing quickly in the higher reaches of the Bishop Creek Canyon. There is still a lot of green along the road and in most of the parking areas however the canyon walls are really exploding with color. We typically see a lot of yellow, but this year it seems there is more brilliant orange and red than usual. It’s hard to say how long the higher color will stay but if the weather stays good, these areas will still around for a bit. This is the earliest we can remember  the color being this far along this early. Many areas are still well below 75% but the majority of the higher canyon walls are at least 75%.

15 – 30% – Overall Conditions below 8,500 ft – The vast majority of aspen below 8,500 ft are still mostly green, though a lot of lime green is showing with some pockets of yellow, especially on the So. Fork Bishop Creek above Bishop Creek Lodge.

Location-specific Reports

Table Mountain Camp (9/19/13) © Jared Smith

Table Mountain Camp (9/19/13) © Jared Smith

GO NOW! – 50 – 75% – Mt. Glen Camp to Table Mountain Camp (8,600 ft) – This area is turning fast and is much closer to the 75% mark than the 50% mark. While the roadside aspen is still showing mostly green hues, the hillside to the east is really exploding with bright yellow.

Mountain Glen Campground, above Bishop Creek Lodge (9/19/13) © Jared Smith

Mountain Glen Campground, above Bishop Creek Lodge (9/19/13) © Jared Smith

30 -50% – Mountain Glen Campground (8,400 ft) – The grove directly above the campground is starting to turn nicely while the aspen down along the creek are still very green. Still another week or so before this area really starts to pop.

Mist Falls (9/19/13) © Jared Smith

Mist Falls (9/19/13) © Jared Smith

15-30% – Mist Falls and the groves above Bishop Creek Lodge (8,350 ft) – Quite a bit of color change on either side of the waterfall but it’s still mostly green around the falls and below the falls. Still a while before this area is at it’s peak.

30 – 50% – Table Mountain Camp (8,900 ft) – This grove tends to pop early but this year it seems to be a little later than the surrounding areas. The aspen along the creek and around the campground itself are showing lime green with a little yellow showing but not much in the way of color just yet.

Surveyor's Meadow (9/19/13) © Jared Smith

Surveyor’s Meadow (9/19/13) © Jared Smith

GO NOW! - 75-100% – Surveyors Meadow (8,975 ft) – Quite a surprising sight to see as the hillsides just up canyon from Surveyor’s Meadow are nearing full color. The groves along the creek, along the road, and the two large groves to the west and north of the meadow are still showing a lot of green. I’m guessing the next week to 10 days will be the best views at this location. This is much earlier than we’re used to seeing, perhaps the drought is at work here.

Willow Campground (9/19/13) © Jared Smith

Willow Campground (9/19/13) © Jared Smith

Willow Campground (9/19/13) © Krisdina Karady

Willow Campground (9/19/13) © Krisdina Karady

30 – 50% – Willow Campground (9,100 ft) – This area is difficult to grade because the aspen along the road and in the campground are only showing lime green and some moderate yellow while the aspen perched in the granite cliff just above the campground are nearly all yellow and looking beautiful. The hillside above Parchers looks incredible from Willow Camp and contrasts nicely with the green aspen along the road.

Parcher's Camp (9/19/13) © Jared Smith

Parcher’s Camp (9/19/13) © Jared Smith

GO NOW! – 75 – 100% – Parchers Camp – It’s really quite remarkable that while the resort grounds contains mostly green aspen, the surrounding canyon walls have changed drastically in the last week and tons of yellow, orange and even a little red is showing in just about every direction. We haven’t seen any evidence of leaves dropping so we’re hoping the views will remain spectacular for a while here at the resort.

Weir Pond (9/19/13) © Jared Smith

Weir Pond (9/19/13) © Jared Smith

GO NOW! - 75 – 100% – Weir Pond (9,700 ft) – This are is also hard to grade as the groves directly to the west of the pond are fully turning while the foliage surrounding the pond only has pockets of color with a lot of green still showing. Still, I would guess that from a photographer’s standpoint the 7 to 10 days will be the best.

Weir Pond (9/19/13) © Jared Smith

Weir Pond (9/19/13) © Jared Smith

Weir Pond (9/19/13) © Jared Smith

Weir Pond (9/19/13) © Jared Smith

GO NOW! – 75 – 100% – Lake Sabrina (9,150 ft) – The vast majority of the color has already arrived at Lake Sabrina, quite a surprise given how early in the season we area. Some groves at the southwest end of the lake still have more color to offer but the dam, east shore, and the higher groves surrounding the lake are all exploding with yellow, orange and red. How long the color sticks around is anyone’s guess but it’s safe to say that the sooner you make it there, the better. With the lake level down, there is a somewhat limited opportunity for spectacular lake shots this year.

GO NOW! – 50 -75% – Groves above Cardinal Village & Aspendell    (8,550 ft) – Quite a change from last week with brilliant yellow blanketing the canyon to the east of Hwy 168 and flowing all the way down towards Cardinal Mine. Still a lot of green surrounding Cardinal Village but the aspen above there is looking fantastic. We’re not too far off from some peak color here.

Hwy 168, below Sabrina Camp (9/19/13) Jared Smith

Hwy 168, below Sabrina Camp (9/19/13) Jared Smith

GO NOW! – 50 – 75% – Sabrina Campground (9,000 ft) – The aspen along the road near Sabrina Camp are in peak fall color. Thankfully the large old growth aspen in and around the campground and along the stream are still mostly lime green so more color will continue to develop in the area.

North Lake (9/19/13) © Jared Smith

North Lake (9/19/13) © Jared Smith

North Lake (9/19/13) © ShaleAnn Cluff

North Lake (9/19/13) © ShaleAnn Cluff

North Lake Road (9/19/13) © ShaleAnn Cluff

North Lake Road (9/19/13) © ShaleAnn Cluff

GO NOW! – 50 – 75% – North Lake (9,255 ft) – North Lake has a great variety of color showing right now. The road below the lake is nearing peak with lots of yellow and orange. Along the lake however, there is mostly lime green aspen with just a few touches of yellow. The main grove that blankets the mountain above the lake and reaches down to the west shore is showing a lot of color up high with more green towards the lower part of the grove.

15 – 30% – Intake II  (8,100 ft) – The grove above the lake is showing quite a bit of yellow but not much going on with the trees surrounding the lake itself. Look for this area to be at its best in a few weeks

0-15% – Forks, Four Jeffries, Big Trees & Bishop Park Camgrounds (8,000 ft – 8,300 ft) – No yellow to speak of in these areas but the aspen are certainly turning to lime green in most of these areas. These areas tend to peak quite a bit later than the higher reaches of the canyon so look for these areas to start looking their best around the end of the month or early October depending on the weather.

 

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.

KCET Reports from Bishop Creek Canyon

Tue ,17/09/2013
South Lake Road, Bishop Creek Canyon (9/17/13) © Zach Behrens/KCET

South Lake Road, Bishop Creek Canyon (9/17/13) © Zach Behrens/KCET

Zach Behrens of KCET is another of the growing legion of fall color enthusiasts turning up, across California.  CLICK HERE TO see the report Zach posted today on KCET’s site.  His photo of changing trees along South Lake Road depicts the layered change of color to be seen there, right now.