To all those photographers, color spotters and leaf peepers who were concerned about how this past weekend’s strong winds, rain and snow affected the High Sierra, rest easy and GO NOW!
Mono County color spotter Jeff Simpson reports that the storm and major wind event that occurred over the weekend has past, leaving the mountain peaks shining with snow, and providing for spectacular fall photo opportunities.
Ideal conditions for fall color are now to be found on the east side, with warm days and cold nights. These conditions are predicted to persist until next week.
All areas above 8,500′ in the Eastern Sierra are now mostly past peak, though there’s way, way lots of color left to be enjoyed along the June Lake Loop, Walker Canyon, Twin Lakes and Lundy Lake. So, “GO NOW,” Jeff exclaims.
Photo tip: Fallen leaves that wash up beside creeks and on rocks accent the scene. So, even though many leaves have fallen, good photographs remain to be taken. Shoot big waterfalls with a fast shutter speed, small waterfalls with a slow shutter speed and with camera mounted on a tripod.
These areas were affected by the storm, but still have groves of fantastic color: Conway Summit, Convict Lake, Summers Meadow, McGee Creek and Rock Creek.
As of posting this report, Tioga Pass, Sonora Pass and Monitor Pass were closed. However, road conditions change. CLICK HERE for the latest in California road road conditions and pass openings/closures. Simpson reports:
WALKER / COLEVILLE / TOPAZ
- Monitor Pass – Past Peak YOU MISSED IT!
- Lobdell Lake – Past Peak YOU MISSED IT!
- Walker Canyon – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW! – The banks of the West Walker River are lined with gold! Plan your viewing for mid-day as the shadows will be out early in the morning and late afternoon.
- Towns of Walker & Coleville – Near Peak (50-75%) GO NOW! Lots of great color in Antelope Valley. The cottonwood around Topaz Lane should be spectacular this weekend.
- Sonora Pass – Past Peak YOU MISSED IT!
BRIDGEPORT / VIRGINIA LAKES
- Twin Lakes – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW! – Still plenty of excellent color around both lakes and through Robinson Creek. Make sure to take the dirt round around Lower Twin Lakes for the best fall color experience.
- Virginia Lakes – Past Peak YOU MISSED IT!
- Conway Summit – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW! – A lot of leaves were blown off during the storm but around 35% of the leaves still remain. It’s a fantastic photo opp with the snowy mountains in the background.
Green Creek – Past Peak
- Summers Meadow – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW! – Still a few groves handing on with brilliant color with some sections being past peak.
- Tioga Pass & Lee Vining Canyon – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW! – Lee Vining Canyon has amazing color in all the campground down to US 395. Anything above Lee Vining Canyon is past peak with Tioga Pass currently closed.
- Lundy Lake & Canyon – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW! – Brilliant oranges and reds along the campground and in the creek down to US 395. Anything Lundy Lake and into Lundy Canyon is past peak.
- Sagehen Meadows – Past Peak YOU MISSED IT!
JUNE LAKE LOOP
- June Lake Loop/Hwy 158 – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW! – Groves of brilliant yellow, gold and red in some locations while others are past peak. Fantastic color around Gull Lake and in between Grant and Silver Lake.
- Parker Lake -Past Peak YOU MISSED IT!
- Little Walker Lake -Past Peak YOU MISSED IT!
- Devil’s Postpile National Monument – Past Peak YOU MISSED IT!
- Mammoth Lakes Basin – Past Peak YOU MISSED IT!
- Mammoth Creek Rd. – Past Peak YOU MISSED IT!
- Snowcreek Golf Course – Past Peak YOU MISSED IT!
CONVICT LAKE / LAUREL CANYON / ROCK CREEK / McGEE CREEK
- Laurel Canyon – Past Peak YOU MISSED IT!
- Convict Lake – Past Peak YOU MISSED IT!
- Rock Creek – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW! – Pockets of bright color can still be found.
- McGee Creek – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW! – Pockets of bright color can still be found.
CROWLEY / TOM’S PLACE
- Crowley – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!
- Tom’s Place – – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW! – Bold yellow aspen surround the community, though much has fallen.