Posts

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Red Appearing in the Shasta Cascade – Still Early

Red has been the theme of this autumn’s show so far, across California.  The Shasta Cascade is no different, reporting ruby as well, in the north state.  Here’s the latest from color spotter Grace Smith.

Chinese pistache (exotic), Chico State University (10/2/13) Stephany Fernandez

Chinese pistache (exotic), Chico State University (10/2/13) Stephany Fernandez

15 – 30% – Butte County- A majority of the trees in Butte County are still mainly green, with a slight appearance of lime and yellow. As happens, some trees are progressing quicker than others. Locals recommend visiting Bidwell Park in Chico, Chico State University campus, and the Highway 99 and Highway 32 corridors.  As previously reported (See Special Events Category), several events are planned  in the Chico area.  More about them can be obtained by calling 530-891-5556 or visiting www.chicochamber.com.

30 – 50% – Plumas County – Most of the color to be found is at lower elevations of  the Indian Valley.  Richard McCutcheon reports dogwoods are starting to flush above Round Valley Lake.  He says it’s become “very pretty up in the woods, now. Oaks are turning yellow but not red, yet.” Bigleaf maples are changing rapidly in the Indian Valley, more quickly than at higher elevations. Exotic specimens are coloring up in Quincy and Taylorsville, as captured by color spotter Jeff Titcomb. Special Event: Indian Valley Leaf Peepers’ Ride occurs Oct. 5.  Visit www.indianvalley.net.

Bigleaf maple, Taylorsville (10/2/13) Jeff Titcomb

Maple, Taylorsville (10/2/13) Jeff Titcomb

0 – 15% – Shasta County – Not much has changed in Shasta County. The leaves are slowly starting to show light green.  Winds have blown some early changers from branches and stems. The change is predicted to intensify in the coming two weeks.  Look for the Sacramento River Trail near the Sundial Bridge in Redding and at Anderson River Park in Anderson to show beautifully this season. More info on Shasta County events is found at  www.shastcascade.com

Bigleaf maple, Taylorsville (10/2/13) Jeff Titcomb

Maple, Taylorsville (10/2/13) Jeff Titcomb

0 – 15% – Tehama County – The home of Red Bluff and the upper Sacramento River Valley is hovering  just below 15%, this week, with trees beginning to show change.  This area is exhibiting lovely shades of burnt orange and red, tinging mostly green leaves. Expect the change to rapidly progress within two weeks.  Special Event: Harvest Dinner Under The Stars takes place Oct. 5. Find more at www.landconservation.org/.

Taylorsville (10/2/13) Jeff Titcomb

Taylorsville (10/2/13) Jeff Titcomb

15 – 30% – Siskiyou County  – Not much has been reported as changing in Siskiyou County, at the far northern end of California. If heading there, check out Bike-toberfest in McCloud: www.mccloudchamber.com/bike-tober.

Indian Creek seen from CA-89 (10/2/13) Richard McCutcheon

Indian Creek seen from CA-89 (10/2/13) Richard McCutcheon

Western dogwood, Round Lake Valley (10/2/13) Richard McCutcheon

Western dogwood, Round Lake Valley (10/2/13) Richard McCutcheon

30 – 50% – Lassen County –  The leaves in Lassen County are changing rapidly.  Bigleaf maples are coloring up with beautiful shades of red. A lot of them and cottonwood are showing yellow. Special Event: Rails to Trails Festival, Oct. 12: www.lassenlandandtrailstrust.org/rails-to-trails.html.

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Big Bear Colors Up for Photo Contest

Oaks are approaching peak at Big Bear Lake (10/2/13) Dan McKernan

Oaks are approaching peak at Big Bear Lake (10/3/13) Dan McKernan

GO NOW! – 30 – 50% – Big Bear – Color spotter Dan McKernan reports the color at Big Bear Lake has jumped dramatically this week to near 50%.  We alerted in our last posting that Big Bear has this tendency and even though it hasn’t yet reached 50%, we’re issuing a Go Now! Alert for the San Bernardino Mountains.

Big Bear 1

Big Bear is approaching peak (10/3/13) Dan McKernan

Big Bear Photo Contest – Another reason to head to the San Bernardinos is Big Bear Lake’s photo contest.  Entry is easy.  Just post a photo of Big Bear’s fall colors on select social media and your shot could get published in 400,000 visitor guides, distributed in more than 3,600 locations throughout Southern California, Nevada and Arizona and at BigBear.com.

Photos of Big Bear’s fall foliage must be posted with the hash tag, #FallForBigBear, on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook between Oct. 4, and Nov. 1, 2013.  The winner will be selected on Nov. 4.

Bear Lake has some of the most spectacular displays of fall foliage to be seen in Southern California. This happens because of the San Bernardino Mountain’s ideal conditions for generating  bright color: evening temperatures in the 30s and 40s and sunny, warm days, creating intense gold, crimson, amber and yellow on Big Bear’s cottonwood, aspen and oaks.

Black Oak, Big Bear (10/2/13) Dan McKernan

Black Oak, Big Bear (10/3/13) Dan McKernan

This year’s peak can be seen in the next two weeks at: Big Bear Village, Mill Creek Road, The Pine Knot Trail, Grout Bay Trail, Castle Rock Trail and the Aspen Grove, a picture-perfect grove of quaking aspen.  Directions to these locations are found at BigBear.com.

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Fall Glows and Elks Rut at Redwood Nat’l Park

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Elk Meadow, Redwood National Park, Orick, Calif. (10/2/09) Rick E Martin

There may be a federal shutdown, but no one told the Roosevelt Elk at Redwood National Park to stop rutting or the fall colors to stop changing.  Color spotter Grant Roden reports from the Elk Meadow Cabins that the “‘federal shut down’ really has had minimal impact at Redwood National and State Parks for visitors that want to see the old growth redwood and habitat. Some of the best areas to visit are in the state parks, where visitor centers and public services are still available, as normally provided.”

30 – 50% – Redwood National and State Parks – These parks are known for their yellow and golden displays of Big Leaf Maple and Alder set in contrast to the redwood forest.  Look for spots of crimson poison oak in open brushy areas and along the edges of meadows (it is found infrequently beneath the redwood canopy, as it needs light to survive), but be careful not to touch it!  Grant writes, “The red and yellow hues are stunning in contrast to the towering evergreen redwood giants.”

Fall Wildlife Viewing Grant reports that several wildlife shows are now in progress in Humboldt County.

  • Elk Rut – The annual rut of the Roosevelt Elk is at peak, presently, with large bull elk bugling and battling to take charge of harems of elk cows.  This is ranks up there with coastal whale, central valley waterfowl and bat migrations as being one of California’s most dramatic wildlife spectacles.
  • Shore Birds – A fall migration of shore birds is to be seen at beaches all along the North Coast.  Beaches at Freshwater Lagoon, Stone Lagoon and Big Lagoon, near US 101, are good locations to see the migratory birds.
  • Chinook Salmon Run – the fall run of Chinook salmon is at peak on the Klamath River.
  • Whale Watching – Grey and Blue whales are now migrating along the North Coast.  Several charter boat companies offer trips from Eureka and Trinidad
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Mammoth Lakes – Color Intensifies – Go Now!

Sherwin Creek Road, Mammoth Lakes (10/1/13) Susan Morning

Sherwin Creek Road, Mammoth Lakes (10/1/13) Susan Morning

Edina Ingram reports that predictions of  warm days and cool nights are expected to sustain intense color to be found in and around Mammoth Lakes. Presently, Mammoth Lakes is peaking or approaching peak.

GO NOW! – Full Peak at all elevations above 8,000′ – The Sherwins and all mountainous areas surrounding the town of Mammoth Lakes are at full peak.

GO NOW! – 50 – 75% – Between 7,000 and 8,000′ – Color is approaching peak along the Sherwin Creek Road, with plenty of green and lime seen on the edges of stands of red, orange and yellow quaking aspen.

Mono County Supplementary Report

Summers Meadow 1

Summers Meadow, Mono County (10/2/13) Jeff Simpson

GO NOW! – 50 – 75% – Summers Meadow – This is one of Mono County’s lesser-known, spectacular fall color destinations.  It is only a few miles off U.S. 395. To find Summers Meadow, take the Green Creek Road turnoff, five miles south of Bridgeport. Follow a dirt road about a mile to the first right,  “Lower Summers Meadow Road.” The best colors are located four to five down this graded dirt road that is suitable for any type vehicle.

GO NOW! 75 – 100% – McGee Creek Canyon – McGee Creek is at full peak and glowing with yellow and orange aspen.

Government Shutdown: the federal shutdown has not limited color viewing in the Mammoth Lakes area.  U.S. National Forests and BLM lands remain open, though no services are available.  Devil’s Postpile National Monument has closed, temporarily. For details and suggestions on what to do in the area, visit : http://9nl.me/park-closure.

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Shasta Cascade Reports First Color

Red is starting to appear in  Shasta Cascade urban forests (9/27/13) Shae Garrett

Red is starting to appear in Shasta Cascade urban forests (9/27/13) Shae Garrett

Color spotter Shae Garrett provides this roundup of  color for the Shasta Cascade Region.  Some areas of this vast region of northeast California are beginning to show color, though it’s still two to three weeks from significant displays.  As in other areas of the state, red seems to be the theme of this autumn.

A number of special events and festivals are coming up.  Links to them are listed below for planning trips when color is showing.
The Shasta Cascade includes three different ecosystems: the Cascades, the Sierra Nevada and the Coastal Range.  Each has its own dominant fall foliage.  Look for orange-red Indian Rhubarb, yellow Bigleaf Maple, yellow Aspen, orange oaks, golden cottonwood, crimson poison oak and chartreuse wild cucumber.
Indian Rhubarb, Cascade Trail, Spanish Creek, Plumas County (9/27/13) Richard McCutcheon

Indian Rhubarb, Cascade Trail, Spanish Creek, Plumas County (9/27/13) Richard McCutcheon

Spanish Creek, Plumas County (9/27/13) Richard McCutcheon

Spanish Creek, Plumas County (9/27/13) Richard McCutcheon

0 – 15% – Plumas County – Color spotter Richard McCutcheon recommends following the Cascade Trail along Spanish Creek for spots of orangey-red Indian Rhubarb.  Other spotters in Plumas County predict the color will begin appearing in mid October.  Here’s a link to upcoming events: http://plumascounty.org/Events/October.htm

15 – 30% – Lassen County – The annual “Rails to Trails Festival” and Susanville Symphony Swing Band Concert occurs Oct. 12.  Follow these links to more info: http://www.lassenlandandtrailstrust.org/rails-to-trails.html http://www.susanvillesymphony.com/pages/2013-2014-concert-season
15 – 30% – Siskiyou County – A bit of yellow is begining to appear in this far northern California county.
0 – 15% – Modoc County – Enjoy free admission to all federal public lands in Modoc County on Sept. 28, Public Nation Land Day http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/modoc/news-events/?cid=STELPRDB5436220n
0 – 15% – Shasta County – Historic Hawes Farms Presents Civil War Days (reenactment)  http://historichawesfarms.com/civil-war/
0 – 15% – Trinity County – World’s Longest Tie-Dye Sept 25th – Oct 5thhttp://www.trinitycounty.com/
0 – 15% – Tehama County – Lassen Volcanic National Park’s annual Art & Wine Festival occurs Sept. 28 at the Kohm Yah-mah-nee visitor center (southwest entrance) and features local artists, craftsmen and wines.  Park admission is free that day due to National Public Lands Day.  The Tehama County Fair  occurs Sept 26 – 29 http://www.tehamadistrictfair.com/fair.htm
Bidwell Park, Chico (9/27/13) Shae Garrett

Bidwell Park, Chico (9/27/13) Shae Garrett

15 – 30% – Butte County – It’s still too early to make a trip to Chico for fall color, though it is always a great place to visit.  For the moment, Chico is mostly green as seen in this photo taken at Bidwell Park.  The best color in Chico will be seen there, on the Chico State University campus, along the Highway 32 corridor, and up the Highway 99 corridor in mid October.  Chico is known as a city of trees with a spectacular mature canopy in its parks and along its boulevards.  The agricultural fields and orchards surrounding Chico have impressive displays of nut and fruit trees in mid October.  Here are some upcoming Chico events:

  • 19th Annual Window Art Project, Oct. 1 – 31.  Downtown businesses collaborate with Chico artists, who display original work in store windows.  This is a walking art show.  Free admission.
  • Chico State Canopy (9/27/13) Shae Garrett

    Chico State Canopy (9/27/13) Shae Garrett

    The Fourth Annual Chico Experience Week, Oct 4 to Oct 13.  Chico Experience Week brings Chico State students, alumni, parents, and friends together for 10 days of fun, education, and re-connection on the campus and in Chico.

  • 4th Annual Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest, Oct 4 and 5.   Sierra Nevada Brewery, Hop Field, 1075 E 20th St.  Admission $47.50.  This popular event sells out in advance, so plan ahead.  It is Oktoberfest revelry at the Sierra Nevada Brewery with live music, food and drink.  Starts at 4 p.m. each day. http://www.sierranevada.com
  • Harvest Sidewalk Sale, Oct 12, downtown Chico. Rake in fall savings and celebrate the season at this Harvest Sidewalk Sale. Some incredible deals are offered. Free admission. http://www.downtownchico.com
  • Forest Ranch Fall Festival, Oct 12, 15522 Nopel Ave, Chico. Free admission. Enjoy local crafts and unique purchases, a farmer’s market, free children’s bounce house and face painting at this family-focused event. Music and food for purchase.  www.mountainjoybible.com
  • Sierra Oro Farm Trail Passport Weekend, Oct 12 and 13. Sample farm-fresh food and award-winning wines at stops along the Sierra Oro Farm Trail. Meet farmers and winemakers while taking this self-guided tour of Butte County’s countryside. $25 admission. www.sierraoro.org
  • Chico Parade of Lights “Dancin’ thur’ the Decades”, Oct 12, 7:30 p.m., Downtown Chico.  Create a rolling entry for this parade and light up the route by sharing your take on the parade’s theme “Dancin’ thru’ the Decades.” Parade participants wear decade-themed costumes, decorations and lights (e.g. 1920s flappers, 1950s sock hop, 1970s disco, etc).  Parade Route: 3rd St. and Salem, to Main St., 6th St. and ending at 4th St. and Broadway. 7:30 p.m.
  • Open Studios Art Tour, Oct 19 and 20,  and Oct. 26 and 27 – On two weekends each year, artists throughout the Chico area open their art studios for public visits.  Begin at the Chico Art Center (450 Orange St., Suite 6) and plan your tour itinerary to include stops at your favorite artists. www.chicoartcenter.com
  • Treat Street, Oct 31, 2-5 p.m., downtown Chico, Free admission.  Kids (12 and under) are sure to have a safe and fun Halloween each year at Treat Street in downtown Chico, organized by local merchants.  It’s simple, kids… wear a costume, bring a parent and get ready to stroll Halloween-style. More than 60 businesses are listed on the Treat Street route, follow the map and look for special posters in store windows. Costume contest – $5 entry with prizes to the top 3 finalists: Child 0-3, Child 4-7, Child 8-12, Themed family or group, and canine.
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Mono County – Pie Perfect – Go Now!

Pie in the Sky (9/21/13) Alicia Vennos

Pie in the Sky (9/21/13) Alicia Vennos

Mono County color spotter Alicia Vennos sent  a little whimsy along with today’s report of fall color… a humorous shot of someone spotting a slice of fall color at Pie in the Sky along the Rock Creek Road.

Rock Creek

Hilton/Davis Trail, Rock Creek Lake (9/21/13) Alicia Vennos

Float Angler on Rock Creek Lake (9/21/13) Alicia Vennos

Float Angler on Rock Creek Lake (9/21/13) Alicia Vennos

GO NOW! – 75 – 100% – Rock Creek Lake – Alicia writes, “Undaunted by recent wind and snow, the color shines on at Rock Creek in southern Mono County, particularly the upper section of Rock Creek Road at Rock Creek Lake where the red and orange hues are dazzling.”

Convict Lake (9/25/13) Alicia Vennos

Convict Lake (9/25/13) Alicia Vennos

10 – 20% – Convict Lake – The canyon is starting to show a few small pockets of gold and the yellow has increased. The aspens along the lower creek and in the campground are still showing green with a modest amount of yellow. The back of the lake and up the canyon is also showing signs of yellow but no brilliant colors to date. Still some time before Convict Canyon will be at its peak.

Early Snow on Aspen at Virginia Lakes (9/21/13) Alicia Vennos

Early Snow on Aspen at Virginia Lakes (9/21/13) Alicia Vennos

GO NOW! – 75 – 100% – Virginia Lakes – The early snowfall on Saturday, Sept. 21 created the perfect backdrop to the fall color along Virginia Lakes Road.

Green Creek Road, Red Aspen (9/21/13) Alicia Vennos

Green Creek Road, Red Aspen (9/21/13) Alicia Vennos

Green Creek Road, Red Aspen (9/21/13) Alicia Vennos

Colorful Aspen leaves in the Snow, Green Creek Rd. (9/27/13) Donna Mercer

Colorful Aspen leaves in the Snow, Green Creek Rd. (9/27/13) Donna Mercer

GO NOW! – 75 – 100% – A  stand of astonishingly red aspen are to be viewed along upper Green Creek Road.  Take Virginia Lakes Road from the top of Conway Summit (US 395 between Lee Vining and Bridgeport) and watch for the sign to Green Creek Road to the right/north. Green Creek is a wide dirt road in excellent shape and the color is magnificent right now.  75% at upper elevations; 30% at lower elevations.

Conway Summit (9/24/13) Alicia Vennos

Conway Summit (9/24/13) Alicia Vennos

0 – 15% – Conway Summit – Still hovering at 15%, though keep track of reports, as this beautiful area can turn quickly once it begins to flush.  Alicia Vennos provides the above photo of what she describes as a “staggered” timing of fall color.  There’s lots of green, but also lime, yellow and just over the ridge to the west is Green Creek Rd. with prolific reds and oranges.

Ducks on Silver Lake (9/22/13) Alicia Vennos

Ducks on Silver Lake (9/22/13) Alicia Vennos

0 – 15% – June Lake Loop – The spectacular June Lake Loop is just starting to get into the spirit of the season — still mostly lime green and yellow — but colder temperatures in coming nights should act as the perfect catalyst to nudge the June Lake area along.  A dusting of snow on high peaks surrounding Silver Lake and the other June Lakes promises to provide some incredible scenes in coming weeks as the color turns below.

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Snow Dusts Peaks Above Mammoth Lakes – Go Now!

The Sherwins, Mammoth Lakes, Eastern Sierra (9/23/13)

The Sherwins, Mammoth Lakes, Eastern Sierra (9/23/13) © Susan Morning

High peaks surrounding Mammoth Lakes were dusted with a couple of inches of snow this past weekend, as an early storm passed over California.  Color spotter Christie Osborne says the snow did little to change the steady progression of color at Mammoth Lakes, which has now begun to descend from the high country. She reports, “More color is starting to show in Mammoth Lakes at the base of the Sherwin’s, in Town and at resort levels. Also look for color starting to break at the base of the Sherwins and near Sherwin Creek Campground, and expect to see more yellow flowing down canyons.”  This week, at higher elevations, above 8,500, look for orange and yellow colors to be at full peak.

Mammoth Lakes (9/23/13) © Susan Morning

Mammoth Lakes (9/23/13) © Susan Morning

Mammoth Lakes (9/23/13) © Susan Morning

Mammoth Lakes (9/23/13) © Susan Morning

30-50%  – Elevations Above 7,000

GO NOW! – 50-75% – Approaching Peak – Elevations above 8,000
GO NOW! – 75-100% – Full Peak – Elevations Above 8,500

Signs of Autumn

Buckeye, Plumas County (9/22/13) © Richard McCutcheon

Buckeye, Plumas County (9/22/13) © Richard McCutcheon

Plumas County color spotter Richard McCutcheon (first to spot fall color on Aug. 1) reports that, “When the Buckeye tree changes, you know fall colors are not far away.”

California Fall Color Editor John Poimiroo spoke with Randol White and Patty Piper of Eat, Drink, Explore and click on this video to hear what was said:

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

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.

 

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Such a Deal!

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.