California Fall Color
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Posts Tagged ‘Bishop’

Hike of the Week: Lower Rock Creek Road

Mon ,27/10/2014
Lower Rock Creek  (10/26/14) Alicia Vennos

Lower Rock Creek (10/26/14) Alicia Vennos

This will likely be the last week for any significant color in the Eastern Sierra, so if you hope to see any color in the Eastern Sierra, go immediately.  Otherwise, you’ll likely be reading that YOU MISSED IT.

Mono County color spotter Alicia Vennos recommends this week’s Hike of the Week along Lower Rock Creek Road which is right off US 395 just south of Tom’s Place.

Lower Rock Creek  (10/26/14) Alicia Vennos

Lower Rock Creek (10/26/14) Alicia Vennos

Lower Rock Creek  (10/26/14) Alicia Vennos

Lower Rock Creek (10/26/14) Alicia Vennos

Lower Rock Creek  (10/26/14) Alicia Vennos

Lower Rock Creek (10/26/14) Alicia Vennos

Lower Rock Creek  (10/26/14) Alicia Vennos

Lower Rock Creek (10/26/14) Alicia Vennos

Lower Rock Creek  (10/26/14) Alicia Vennos

Lower Rock Creek (10/26/14) Alicia Vennos

Lower Rock Creek Rd (Peak – 75 – 100%) - HIKE OF THE WEEK: Drive about 2.5 miles down Lower Rock Creek Rd. to the first major pull-out (west side of the road),  park and then cross the road to hike back up the trail.  Aspens along the beautiful rushing creek are at peak now. Look for the beaver dam which has stilled the water surface to afford mirror-like reflections of the trees.  The trail is multi-use, so mountain bikers, hikers and anglers.  Alicia warns, “Please watch out for one another!” GO NOW!

Mammoth Lakes (Peak to Past Peak – Sections of Mammoth Creek Rd. (off Old Mammoth Road in Mammoth Lakes) still offer brilliant red and orange on the trees.

June Lake Loop/Hwy. 158  (Past Peak) - Even though the June Lake Loop moves to being past peak, a few stands remain vibrant, particularly around Gull Lake, at the base of June Mountain and just north of Silver Lake. YOU MISSED IT!

Lee Vining Canyon (Peak to Past Peak) – The lower section of Tioga Pass Rd. and Lee Vining Canyon are peaking beautifully, with some trees definitely past peak. GO NOW!

Conway Summit, Green Creek Road and Twin Lakes (Past Peak) - Again, though spots of color appear in the groves surrounding Bridgeport, comparative photos now show the haunting contrast between most of the trees that are completely bare and those few with bright patches of color still on them.  Overall, it’s past peak and one good gust from being stripped.  YOU MISSED IT!

West Walker River and Walker/Coleville (Peak – 75 – 100%) - Grand cottonwood flanking the northern stretch of US 395 and along the West Walker River are bright yellow at peak. GO NOW!

US 395, Bishop (10/24/14) Kathy Thieu

US 395, Bishop (10/24/14) Kathy Thieu

Bishop (Peak 75 – 100%) - US 395 from Lone Pine to Bishop is at peak with cottonwood and sage brush golden.

Rabbitbrush, Grasses and Willows Color Up

Wed ,01/10/2014
Dunderberg Lake (9/27/14) Kimberly Kofala

Dunderberg Lake (9/27/14) Kimberly Kofala

AN - June Lake Deer 9-27

Deer, Eastern Sierra (9/27/14) Alena Nichols

Just because an area is reporting patchy color doesn’t mean it’s not yet beautiful, as these photos attest. We’ve often recommended looking to the ground for some of the best fall color. Color spotter Kimberly Kofala found this beautiful shot of grasses along the edge of Dunderberg Lake in Mono County, Joe Pollini, from Bishop provides his town’s first report, stating that the rabbitbrush are “fully blooming with brilliant yellow,” Alena Nichols and Nick Barnhart found beauty in the woods and along the hillsides, and John Brissenden of Sorenson’s Resort shot golden-orange willows rising above a short-lived snowfall.

Look to the ground, not to the sky to see rabbitbrush (10/1/14) Joe Pollini

Look to the ground, not to the sky to see rabbitbrush near Bishop (10/1/14) Joe Pollini

Rabbitbrush are brilliant yellow in autumn, distant trees are just tinged with yellow (10/1/14) Joe Pollini

Rabbitbrush near Bishop are brilliant yellow in autumn, distant trees are just tinged with yellow (10/1/14) Joe Pollini

Patchy (10 – 50%) – Bishop – Rabbitbrush are brilliant yellow. Cottonwood are beginning to flush with yellow and lime.  Isolated trees are turning faster.

Patchy (10 – 50%) – June Lake - Color spotters Alena Nichols and Nicholas Barnhart reinforce the theme of looking to the ground, with Alena’s photo of an Eastern Sierra deer camouflaged amidst the fall foliage and Nick’s shot of Silver Lake, with color seen painting the Sierra hillsides.  Scenes like this are right next to the road throughout the Eastern Sierra.

A dusting of snow on Saturday just made meadow grasses stand out more near Sorenson's in the Hope Valley (9/27/14) John Brissenden

A dusting of snow on Saturday just made willows and meadow grasses stand out more near Sorenson’s in the Hope Valley (9/27/14) John Brissenden

Patchy (10 – 50%) – Hope Valley - John Brissenden reports that the willows at the Sorenson’s Resort are coloring orange-golden, though aspen are a mix of green, lime and yellow.

June Lake (9/28/14) Nicholas Barnhart

Silver Lake, June Lake Loop  (9/28/14) Nicholas Barnhart

Owens Valley Colorful, Despite Weather – Go Now!

Thu ,01/11/2012

Bishop, Eastern Sierra (11/1/12) Joe Pollini

Bishop, Eastern Sierra (11/1/12) Rachel Anderson

Crowley Lake Sheep Meadow (11/1/12) Mel Seator

75 – 100% – Owens Valley - Eastern Sierra color spotters Jon Klusmire, Rachel Anderson and Joe Pollini sent these photos, showing color change in the Owens Valley.  The color there continues to be bold and is approaching peak from Independence to Bishop along US 395.

Crowley Lake Sheep Meadow (11/1/12) Mel Seator

Rachel suggested touring the Barlow Lane, Dixon Lane, Brockman Lane and Bishop Canal (behind Kmart) in Bishop.  Joe and Mel Seator found lovely images at the Crowley Lake sheep pasture.  Overcast conditions  provided for textural qualities to the sky and intensified the color, as is seen from their photographs.  That’s a reminder that some of the best photographs are taken in less than ideal weather conditions.

Big Pine (11/1/12) Jon Klusmire

Jon’s photo from Big Pine shows the area that is home to the Palisade and Norman Clyde Glaciers.  He notes that there’s, “plenty of access on county roads, west toward the Sierra, or east toward the Owens River to get images like these.


Video Verification – Head to the Eastern Sierra

Sun ,23/09/2012

Here’s video verification as to why California’s Eastern Sierra is one of the most beautiful places in America to see fall color. An oldie, but goodie.

Back to Brilliance in the Eastern Sierra – First Peak!

Wed ,28/09/2011

What a difference a week makes… Fall Color Spotter Jared Smith of the Parcher’s Resort reports that “It’s officially fall color time in the Bishop Creek Canyon with brilliant color in many areas of the canyon. There are still several areas in the canyon which have yet to peak but there is a lot of color to be found anywhere over the 8500ft elevation mark.”

Wier Pond (9/28/2011) © 2011 Jared Smith

50-75% – Weir Pond (9,592 ft) – While not peaking yet, the g

Cardinal Mine Grove (9/28/2011) © 2011 Jared Smith

ve above the pond is showing brilliant yellow which contrasts beautifully with the remaining lime green aspen. The aspen at the shore of the pond are starting to turn but aren’t quite peaking yet. Still, the view from the dam side of the pond is stunning.


Parcher's Camp (9/28/2011) © 2011 Jared Smith

50-75% – Parchers Camp (9,260 ft) – The hills to the south, west and east are beginning showing a lot of color, especially to the west where lots of yellow, orange and a little red are visible. Still a bit longer before we see peak color but it’s getting really good

North Lake Road (9/28/2011) © 2011 Jared Smith

30-50% – North Lake (9,255 ft) - This is a difficult area to put a rating on right now because some areas are still completely green while others are actually at peak color. The grove on the west shore and the famous dirt road are both still pretty green but the approach to the lake by the first parking lot is absolutely on fire with bright yellow, orange and some red. Great photo ops available here right now and that will continue if the weather holds out.

Lake Sabrina (9/28/2011) © 2011 Jared Smith

30-50% – Lake Sabrina (9,150 ft) - Lake Sabrina is changing fast but is still a ways away from full blown fall color. The east shore has a lot of gorgeous foliage at present. Look for things to really pop in the next week.

Sabina Camp Groves (9/28/2011) © 2011 Jared Smith

75-100% – Sabrina Camp Groves (9,000 ft) - The grove adjacent to Sabrina Campground is incredibly beautiful right now and I would characterize it as peak color. Bright yellows, oranges and reds can be captured right along the roadside.

Surveyor's Meadow (9/28/2011) © 2011 Jared Smith

75-100% – Surveyor’s Meadow – Gorgeous contrast between the bright yellows, oranges and lime greens at this spot right now. It isn’t quite peaking yet but the view is stunning.

Surveyor's Meadow (9/28/2011) © 2011 Jared Smith

0-15% – Aspendell (8,500 ft) - No color developing here, yet.

50-75% – Cardinal Mine Grove (8,700 ft) – Lots of yellows and oranges to go along with some bright lime green. This vista is hard to beat with the peaks behind Sabrina in the background.

Table Mountain (9/28/2011) © 2011 Jared Smith

75-100% – Table Mountain Campground (8,900 ft) - This area went from nothing to near peak in seemingly no time. Tons of bright yellow and orange are visible from the road and the contrast with the redish rock and deep green pine is spectacular.

30-50% – Mountain Glen Campground - Bright yellow is steadily creeping down the mountain and along the creek. Some great photo ops to be had but the lower reaches of this area is still pretty green.


Alicia Vennos of Mono County reports that the high canyons (Virginia Lakes, Lundy and Rock Creek) are showing signs of color with about a fifth of the forest now transitioning from lime-green to yellow and orange aspen.  All across northern California, as here, the display is about a week behind normal schedule.

15-30% – Color spotter Carolyn Webb of the Virginia Lakes Resort reports the aspen around the Virginia Lakes are changing from lime green to yellow.

0-15% – Conway Summit – Still no sign of significant change.

0-15% – Convict Lake – Jen Heintzelman reports some coloring in the willows and ground cover around the lake a few aspen and cottonwood are now beginning to show, she’s predicting more action next week.


Rock Creek Canyon (9/29/2011) - © 2011 Amy King

15 – 30% – Rock Creek – Color spotter Alicia Vennos reports the aspen are coloring quickly with yellow and some orange starting even as low as Tom’s Place, though peak is still a week to two away.

Eastern Sierra — It was fun while it lasted.

Fri ,30/10/2009
Lake Sabrina (9/16/09)

Lake Sabrina (9/22/09)

Leslie Dawson, Alicia Vennos and Greg Newbry confirm that the high winds that lashed the Eastern Sierra this past week stripped most of the color from the aspen, though cottonwoods which had not yet turned are lime-green to golden and will last for a week or two more.  The aspen in Lower Rock Creek and the lower Lee Vining Canyon were spared from the strongest winds and still have yellow to orange color.  While there are occasional pockets of color in the Eastern Sierra, it is mostly past peak and this will be the last report for the Eastern Sierra.

This was one of the finest years to see fall color in the Eastern Sierra, with breathtaking displays of yellow, orange and red aspen showing in early September high up Bishop Creek (seen at left) and finishing at Halloween with pockets of aspen in sheltered canyons and cottonwoods still glowing.

75-100% – Bishop, Lower Rock Creek Canyon, Lower Lee Vining Canyon and the Antelope Valley. Still good color among the aspen in protected canyons and cottonwoods near Bishop and the Antelope Valley.

Past Peak – Everything Else. It was fun while it lasted.

Now, don’t be confused… we’re only talking about the Eastern Sierra (Mono and Inyo Counties).  Lots of color is still to be enjoyed in the Western (Yosemite Valley) and Northern Sierra (Plumas County).