California Fall Color
Dude, autumn happens here, too.

Posts Tagged ‘Eastern Sierra’

Video: Eastern Sierra, Oct. 2015

Tue ,27/10/2015

William Croce sends this “classical” look at quaking aspen changing color in Bishop Creek Canyon (Eastern Sierra) in early October. Of note, frames include images of black-leaf-spot-damaged aspen leaves and leaves that show all colors seen among California aspen: red, orange, yellow and lime. Enjoy!

Owens Valley Soft and Lovely

Mon ,26/10/2015
Rawson Ponds, Owens Valley (10/25/15) Gary Young

Rawson Ponds, Owens Valley (10/25/15) Gary Young

Warm Springs Rd, Owens Valley (10/25/15) Gary Young

Warm Springs Rd, Owens Valley (10/25/15) Gary Young

Rawson Ponds, Owens Valley (10/25/15) Gary Young

Rawson Ponds, Owens Valley (10/25/15) Gary Young

Rawson Ponds, Owens Valley (10/25/15) Gary Young

Rawson Ponds, Owens Valley (10/25/15) Gary Young

Bishop color spotter Gary Young drove down to the Owens River before work, yesterday morning and returned with these beautiful shots of soft, lovely fall color.

The pond shots are from Rawson Ponds near the Owens River (Between East Line Rd and Warm Springs Rd, southeast of Bishop) and the road with the Eastern Sierra seen in the background is Warm Springs Rd.

Gary writes that “you can sure see the effects of the drought in the Owens Valley with only a small percentage of trees showing great color.  It certainly has become the Cadillac Desert, described in literature.

Near Peak (50-75%) GO NOW! – Owens Valley

June Is Busting Out All Over

Sun ,25/10/2015
Willow Reflections, South of Silver Lake (10/24/15) David Olden

Willow Reflections, South of Silver Lake (10/24/15) David Olden

Lundy Canyon (10/24/15) Alena Nicholas

Lundy Canyon (10/24/15) Alena Nicholas

Convict Lake Sunset (10/25/15) Alena Nicholas

Convict Lake Sunset (10/25/15) Alena Nicholas

June Lake Loop (10/24/15) Alena Nicholas

June Lake Loop (10/24/15) Alena Nicholas

June Lake Loop (10/24/15) Alena Nicholas

June Lake Loop (10/24/15) Alena Nicholas

We’re beginning to receive reports and photos from color spotters who visited June Lake in the Eastern Sierra and who say it’s as good as it gets.

David Olden sent this image of willows reflected just south of Silver Lake.  The area is still just turning, though conditions vary greatly throughout the Loop, “from green to bare,” he writes.

Alena Nicholas called to say June Lake was busting out all over.  An extended report with Alena’s images will be posted on Tuesday. Here’s a sampling:

Bishop Creek Continues To Deliver

Sat ,24/10/2015
Intake II, Bishop Creek Canyon (10/23/15) Gary Young Photography

Intake II, Bishop Creek Canyon (10/23/15) Gary Young Photography

Hwy 168,  Bishop Creek Canyon (10/23/15) Gary Young Photography

Hwy 168, Bishop Creek Canyon (10/23/15) Gary Young Photography

Color spotter Gary Young of Bishop headed up the Bishop Creek Canyon yesterday and sent back these images of Intake II and Hwy 168 between Intake II and Aspendell.

Though the canyon is largely past peak, pockets of color provide beautiful imagery, as Gary found.

Intake II is one of those locations that most people visiting Bishop Creek often ignore, because it is late to turn, but it is the overlooked places that deliver some of the best images.

Deep Reds Deep into the John Muir Wilderness

Thu ,15/10/2015
Rock Creek Rd, John Muir Wilderness (10/14/15) Clayton Peoples

Rock Creek Rd, John Muir Wilderness (10/14/15) Clayton Peoples

Yesterday, color spotter Clayton Peoples hiked into the Little Lakes Valley (Inyo County) which is within the John Muir Wilderness and Inyo National Forest.

Rock Creek Rd, John Muir Wilderness (10/14/15) Clayton Peoples

Rock Creek Rd, John Muir Wilderness (10/14/15) Clayton Peoples

He confirms what others have been reporting that Rock Creek Rd, portions of which are both in Mono County and Inyo County) is definitely peaking.

Many aspen groves along the road are showing gorgeous color with nice variation of yellow, orange “even deep reds in pockets.”

Little Lakes Valley itself is also “peak” status. Although there are fewer aspens along the trails and lakes, there is plenty of brush sporting bright yellow and/or rusty orange, which really helps accent the stunning beauty of the area.
Rock Creek Rd, John Muir Wilderness (10/14/15) Clayton Peoples

Rock Creek Rd, John Muir Wilderness (10/14/15) Clayton Peoples

Peak GO NOW! – Little Lakes Valley, John Muir Wilderness

It’s Happening Big Time in Mono County

Wed ,14/10/2015
June Lake Loop (10/14/15) Alicia Vennos

June Lake Loop (10/14/15) Alicia Vennos

When Alicia Vennos starts screaming “WoooooHooooo!,” as she did in today’s report, you know you’re gonna be up late posting it.

Sure ‘nough, Mono County is at peak or approaching it.  There are so many GO NOW! alerts in this report, that, well, the best advice I have is to just pack your bags for the weekend. And, the good news it’ll last for a week or two longer, given the weather doesn’t get blustery.

That’s a concern, as some precip is forecast for the weekend. Ugh!  So, GO NOW!, GO NOW!, GO NOW!

Laurel Creek (10/13/15) Alicia Vennos

Laurel Creek (10/13/15) Alicia Vennos

OK, I know, not everyone can go now, and if you do visit on the weekend, though it will be truly fall weather, there’ll also be openings of wonderful soft light to accent the color.  Here’s what’s happening…

 

June Lake Loop (10/14/15) Alicia Vennos

June Lake Loop (10/14/15) Alicia Vennos

Gull Lake (10/14/15) Alicia Vennos

Gull Lake (10/14/15) Alicia Vennos

Silver Lake (10/14/15) Alicia Vennos

Silver Lake (10/14/15) Alicia Vennos

Tioga Pass (10/8/15) Jeff Simpson

Tioga Pass (10/8/15) Jeff Simpson

Lundy Falls (10/14/15) Alicia Vennos

Lundy Falls (10/14/15) Alicia Vennos

Lundy Beaver Pond (10/14/15) Alicia Vennos

Lundy Beaver Pond (10/14/15) Alicia Vennos

Mono Lake (10/14/15) Alicia Vennos

Mono Lake (10/14/15) Alicia Vennos

Conway Summit (10/14/15) Alicia Vennos

Conway Summit (10/14/15) Alicia Vennos

Dunderberg Meadow (10/12/14) Robin K. Roberts

Dunderberg Meadow (10/12/14) Robin K. Roberts

Summers Meadow (10/12/15) Robin K. Roberts

Summers Meadow (10/12/15) Robin K. Roberts

Peak GO NOW! (75-100%) – Rock Creek – Most of Rock Creek Road is gorgeous and golden.  The newly paved road makes for a smooth and lovely ride both for motorists and cyclists.  Lower Rock Creek Road and trail which should be peaking within a week to 10 days, so expect this peak to continue for perhaps two weeks.

Peak GO NOW! (75-100%) – McGee Creek – The color all along the creek are at their prime which may last for the next two weeks judging from the amount of green remaining in many of the groves.

Convict Lake (10/14/15) Charles Porter

Convict Lake (10/14/15) Charles Porter

Peak GO NOW! (75-100%) – Convict Canyon/Convict Lake – The lower section of the canyon up through the campground/resort is at peak. The fall color in this area is spectacular, showing bright yellow, gold, orange and some red. The foliage along the lake has also started to peak and has greatly increased in intensity. The shoreline is traced with a line of yellow.  At the back of the lake, a bright ribbon of gold is snaking its way up the canyon. From bottom to the top of the canyon there are still some pockets of green next to sections that have already peaked. So, we’re good for a long peak here, conditions permitting. The Convict Lake Resort is offering an End-Of-Season Fall Lodging Special starting at $259+tax (Oct. 25 – Nov. 15; Sun. thru Thurs., two nights for two persons). Includes $100 restaurant credit & full-day motor boat rental. The Convict Lake fall fishing derby, “Ambush at the Lake” continues through Nov. 15, with up to $6,000 in prizes.

Peak GO NOW! (75-100%) – Laurel Canyon – A breathtaking ribbon of orange, red, and gold is stretching from top to bottom along Laurel Creek, creating an impressive contrast against the soft grey and green sage-covered hillside. Take Sherwin Creek Road of US 395 just south of Mammoth Lakes to see this colorful phenomenon up close.

Mammoth Lakes (10/12/15) Josh Wray

Mammoth Lakes (10/12/15) Josh Wray

Twin Lakes (10/12/15) Josh Wray

Twin Lakes, Mammoth Lakes (10/12/15) Josh Wray

Near Peak GO NOW! (50-75%) -Mammoth Lake is near or at peak with Mammoth Creek and the Twin Lakes absolutely glorious (see below).

Near Peak GO NOW! (50-75%) – June Lake Loop/Hwy. 158 – Yes, folks, “the Loop” is almost there! Shades of lime-green throughout the gold and orange remind us that the June Lake Loop is not quite at peak yet, but it is already worth the drive! Parker Lake trail should be at peak now; Walker Lake is probably getting close although we have not had any recent reports to confirm that assumption.

Past Peak YOU MISSED IT! – Sage Hen Meadow Road.

Patchy (10-50%) – Lee Vining Canyon – Tioga Pass Road and Poole Plant Road are still a week or more away from peaking.

Peak GO NOW! (75-100%) – Lundy Canyon. The lower part of Lundy Lake Road is at full peak, as are the aspens around the beaver ponds and the first set of waterfalls.  Oddly enough, there are still full groves at the Lundy Lake level that are still completely green so the color should last through the next two weeks.

BRIDGEPORT / CONWAY SUMMIT

Peak GO NOW! (75-100%) – Conway Summit.  Conway Summit is perfect right now! Bridgeport’s Ducks Unlimited Dinner is this Saturday, Oct. 17. Join Bridgeport locals at Memorial Hall for dinner and to find out their secret fall color and duck hunting spots.

Past Peak YOU MISSED IT! – Virginia Lakes

Peak GO NOW! (75-100%) – Green Creek/Summers Meadow.  Just south of Bridgeport, take the Green Creek Road and follow signs for Upper Summers Meadow, or stay on the main road to Green Creek trail or Dunderberg Meadow. Some groves are past peak but most are glowing orange and gold, and still others remain green.

WALKER / COLEVILLE / TOPAZ

Near Peak GO NOW! (50-75%) – Monitor Pass/Sonora Pass/Leavitt Meadows. Past peak at upper elevations but golden at lower levels.

Patchy (10-50%) – Walker Canyon/West Walker River/Towns of Walker & Coleville

Mammoth Creek, Mammoth Lakes (10/15/15) Lara Kaylor

Mammoth Creek, Mammoth Lakes (10/15/15) Lara Kaylor

Hike of the Week: Big Pine Creek

Tue ,13/10/2015
N. Fork Big Pine Creek (10/10/15) Jackson Frishman

N. Fork Big Pine Creek (10/10/15) Jackson Frishman

Avid hiker, photographer and color spotter A. Jackson Frishman must have been breathless both from his hike, but also from the beautiful peaking aspen he found along the North Fork of Big Pine Creek this past weekend.  His report causes us to declare this the Hike of the Week.

N. Fork Big Pine Creek (10/10/15) Jackson Frishman

N. Fork Big Pine Creek (10/10/15) Jackson Frishman

The North Fork hike is not for the feint hearted.  Modern Hiker describes it as a difficult trek that gains 3,000′ in 9.2 miles.  Whew!

However, there’s a fall color bonus the higher you go.

Frishman writes, “There’s good color to be found for folks willing to walk a ways up the trail. Below Second Falls (9,000′) the color is Patchy, but it’s peaking from Cienega Mirth (above 9,000′) and up, with very few bare trees.”

Peak GO NOW! (75-100%) – Big Pine Creek 

Conway/Twin Lakes Update

Sat ,10/10/2015
Conway Summit (10/9/15 Clayton Peoples

Conway Summit (10/9/15 Clayton Peoples

Color spotter Clayton Peoples took a quick road trip into northern Mono County and came away with this report and photos of Conway Summit and the Twin Lakes area.

Twin Laked (10/9/15) Clayton Peoples

Twin Laked (10/9/15) Clayton Peoples

Patchy (10-50%) – Conway Summit – Though still “patchy,” this pass along U.S. 395 “is definitely nearing the 50% mark. Another week will likely bring it to “near peak” or “peak” conditions.”

Patchy (10-50%) Twin Lakes – Tucked beneath a Sierra escarpment at the southwest corner of the Bridgeport Valley, these lakes are much like Conway Summit, “but near 50%, with peak likely pretty soon.”

Near Peak GO NOW! (50-75%) – Convict Canyon – Color spotter Alicia Vennos adds, “The colors from the lower section of the canyon up through the campground have increased in intensity. The foliage along the lake has definitely begun to develop more color but there are still areas that haven’t turned. The change seems to be taking a little more time this year and it is difficult to predict the pace. The foliage throughout the canyon seems to be changing at different rates. One section may be bright yellow and adjacent to it are pockets of green. Even with the unpredictably, the peak should be just around the corner. The colors we have now are still amazing and a walk along the new path on the South Shore is recommended.”

Bishop Canyon – Snow Chills Fall Color High Up

Thu ,08/10/2015
North Lake (10/6/15) Erick Castellon

North Lake (10/6/15) Erick Castellon

An early, though brief winter storm that dropped snow high up in the Eastern Sierra this past Sunday damaged and reduced what color was remaining above 9000′ in Bishop Creek Canyon.  There’s still a lot of beautiful color to be seen, but it has descended.

Overall Conditions Above 8400ft Elevation – Peaking – Go Now! – The upper reaches of Bishop Creek Canyon have now gone past peak, though they flamed out in brilliant splashes of red.  Lots of yellow and some lime is found between 8,400 and 8,600′.

Overall Conditions Between 7500ft & 8400ft Elevation – Patchy (10% – 50%) – A lot more color has developed at these elevations, though many of the groves had already been stripped of leaves.  Still, large areas of lush foliage will continue to show nicely in the coming two weeks.

North Lake (10/3/15) Jeff Hemming

North Lake (10/3/15) Jeff Hemming

Past Peak – YOU MISSED IT! – Sabrina Campground to Sabrina Dam (9000ft).

Past Peak – YOU MISSED IT! – Willow Campground (9000ft) .

Past Peak – YOU MISSED IT! – North Lake (9255ft) .

Past Peak – YOU MISSED IT! – Weir Pond (9650ft).

Past Peak– YOU MISSED IT! – Parchers Resort (9260ft)

Past Peak– YOU MISSED IT! – Table Mountain Camp (8900ft) .

Past Peak– YOU MISSED IT! – Surveyors Meadow (8975ft) .

Lake Sabrina (10/6/15) Aditi Das

Lake Sabrina (10/6/15) Aditi Das

Past Peak– YOU MISSED IT! – Lake Sabrina (9150ft).

Peak GO NOW! (75-100%) – Stiny Loop above Mt. Glen Camp (8600ft) – It is as good as it will get this year at Stiny.  It’s peak, but we’re being generous in that rating.  This area lost a lot of leaves earlier in autumn.

Near Peak GO NOW! (50-75%) – Mist Falls and the groves above Bishop Creek Lodge (8350ft) – Yellow and some green are surrounding the waterfall and in the groves between there at Mt. Glen Campground. As predicted, this is probably the best color to be seen up Bishop Creek Canyon and it has another week to show.

Near Peak GO NOW! (50-75%) – Aspendell (8400ft) – Much better color has developed here in the past week.  Some spotters classified it as peaking.

Peak GO NOW! Groves at Cardinal Village – While aspen from Cardinal Pinnacle down have blown, aspen down the creek from the  North Lake turnoff winding down the canyon past the mine towards Cardinal Village are full of yellow.

Patchy (10 – 50%) – Four Jeffries (8000ft) – The aspen here continue to lighten.

Patchy (10 – 50%) – Intake II (8000ft) – The canyon wall is mostly stripped now but there are some very nice patches near the dam, and a couple of the large aspen along the shoreline are yellow.

Just Starting – (0 – 10%) – Big Trees Campground (7800ft) – Yellow is beginning to appear.

 

Color of the Week: Red

Thu ,08/10/2015
Pacific Aspen, North Lake, Bishop Creek (10/6/15) Aditi Das

Pacific Aspen, North Lake, Bishop Creek (10/6/15) Aditi Das

The color of the week has been red, particularly at North Lake in Bishop Creek Canyon where Pacific Aspen have turned crimson.

North Lake, Bishop Creek (10/6/15) Aditi Das

North Lake, Bishop Creek (10/6/15) Aditi Das

South Lake, Bishop Creek (10/6/15) Aditi Das

South Lake, Bishop Creek (10/6/15) Aditi Das

South Fork Bishop Creek (10/6/15) Aditi Das

South Fork Bishop Creek (10/6/15) Aditi Das

North Lake (10/6/15) Erick Castellon

North Lake (10/6/15) Erick Castellon

North Lake (9/25/15) Julie Kirby

North Lake (9/25/15) Julie Kirby

This deep a tone of red has surprised many who thought aspen turned only yellow. Colorado’s famous mountain slopes flickering with yellow aspen are a trademark of autumn in the Rocky Mountains.  However, aspen that grow in the high alpine canyons of the eastern Sierra Nevada have the ideal combination of warm, sunny days and cold, cold nights to bring out red, orange and pink, as well as yellow and lime.

We post, today, a selection of great photos taken in past days by a selection of color spotters. Bravo for finding the color and sharing your vision with us.