California Fall Color
Dude, autumn happens here, too.

Posts Tagged ‘June Lake’

Weather To Go or Not

Mon ,12/09/2016
Mark Finan and Eileen Javora, KCRA-TV3

Mark Finan and Eileen Javora, KCRA-TV3

Two of my favorite meteorologists to watch are Mark Finan and Eileen Javora of KCRA-TV3 (NBC) in Sacramento. They aren’t just spot-on accurate meteorologists, they’re fans of fall color, too.

I suppose that comes with the job. As, how would you otherwise immerse yourself in analyzing the weather and predicting it, without also becoming fascinated by the turn of seasons?

Mark moved from meteorologist to color spotter this past weekend, driving a long loop in search of inspiration (and there is much of it along this drive), east from Sacramento over Carson and Monitor passes, then south along the Eastern Sierra Scenic Byway over Conway Summit and past Mono Lake, June Lake and Mammoth Lakes, to Convict Lake and back… all to see what’s developing.

Like others who have visited the area, he notes that most of the well-known fall color locations along the route remain mostly green or lime (Caples Lake, CA-88; Monitor Pass, CA-89; June Lake and Convict Lake), though promising yellow is emerging at the highest elevations: (above Mono Lake and on individual trees at June Lake).

For those judging whether to head to the east side or not, it is still a bit early, though emerging color can be seen and it will continue to improve through the last two weeks of September, particularly at the highest elevations.

How’s that for a forecast?

Mono County: The Show Goes On

Thu ,22/10/2015
Mammoth Creek (10/20/15) Greg Newbry

Mammoth Creek (10/20/15) Greg Newbry

This past week in Mono County brought a mix of snow, rain, sun and clouds, but with little to no wind, meaning that autumn color continues to light up the Eastern Sierra.

Color spotter Alicia Vennos writes, “The icing on top of it all is the fresh topping of snow on Eastern Sierra peaks that is providing a stunning contrast to the golden color.”

This weekend and next promise to be epic for photographers and leaf peepers on the East Side, as the short-term weather forecast is for sunny skies.

Photos are posted at californiafallcolor.com and on a video posted by Mono County Tourism VLOG host, Jeff Simpson at https://youtu.be/QmzUrxXdaI0.

Convict Lake (10/16/15) Charles Porter

Convict Lake (10/16/15) Charles Porter

Convict Lake (10/21/15) Charles Porter

Convict Lake (10/21/15) Charles Porter

Conway Summit (10/18/15) Alicia Vennos

Conway Summit (10/18/15) Alicia Vennos

Convict Creek Below Outlet (10/21/15) Charles Porter

Convict Creek Below Outlet (10/21/15) Charles Porter

Mammoth Rock, Old Mammoth Rd (10/18/15) Alicia Vennos

Mammoth Rock, Old Mammoth Rd (10/18/15) Alicia Vennos

Old Mammoth Rd (10/18/15) Alicia Vennos

Old Mammoth Rd (10/18/15) Alicia Vennos

June Lake Loop (10/18/15) Alicia Vennos

June Lake Loop (10/18/15) Alicia Vennos

Tioga Rd (10/19/15)

Tioga Rd (10/19/15)

Lower Tioga Rd (10/19/15) Alicia Vennos

Lower Tioga Rd (10/19/15) Alicia Vennos

Lundy Canyon (10/20/15) Josh Wray

Lundy Canyon (10/20/15) Josh Wray

Silver Lake (10/18/15) Alicia Vennos

Silver Lake (10/18/15) Alicia Vennos

Peak GO NOW! (75-100%) – Rock Creek – Color has endured throughout this area, though is now moving down the canyon. Lower Rock Creek Road and the mountain bike/hiking trail have some nice spots of color but they still a week short of peak. Tom’s Place, a local hangout, has taken on the colors of its surrounding trees, as it prepares its annual Halloween costume party on Oct. 31.

Peak GO NOW! (75-100%) – McGee Creek – Aspen lining the creek, just below the road, are thick with color; those along the first mile or two on the hiking trail are also prime, or close.

Peak GO NOW! (75-100%) – Convict Canyon/Convict Lake – The entire canyon is now peaking. Colors from top to bottom are spectacular. The foliage is showing yellows, bright gold and, recently, more orange. Conditions permitting, it should remain at peak for another week. Hike of the Week is the 3-mile trail around Convict lake. Aspens that fill the campground are brilliant against the dramatic mountain backdrop. Locals rate this as one of the prettiest places in Mono County to camp.

Peak GO NOW! (75-100%) – Mammoth Creek/Old Mammoth Road – Aspen are yellow, golden and orange with red highlights along the trail beside Mammoth Creek from where Hwy. 203 nears the exit onto US 305 (south). This area will be glorious this weekend with possibly another week to go.

Near Peak (50-75%) – June Lake Loop/Hwy. 158 – The June Lake Loop is, in places, a boulevard flanked by peaking yellow and golden aspen. Some areas of lime remain, though the Loop is Near Peak in many places, particularly between Silver Lake and Grant Lake. The aspen around Gull Lake and June Lake are still a week from peak color. Parker Lake and Walker Lake, off the north end of the Loop offer varying degrees of bright color and short, sweet hikes. LA Leaf Peeper was one of the many color spotters who followed our direction and headed to the Loop for an “AMAZING” weekend.  Here’s a snap LAFP took with a cell phone, a little different than Alicia’s.

The Heidelberg Inn in June Lake was once a favored destination of Hollywood celebrities; on Oct. 31, this glamorous old inn opens its doors for a Halloween tour and party.

Past Peak YOU MISSED IT! – Tioga Pass

Patchy (10-50%) – Lower Lee Vining Canyon – The lower part of Tioga Pass Road, near US 395, has some photogenic aspen groves, though Poole Plant Road continues to hang on to its green wardrobe. Log Cabin Road is almost past peak at the cabin level with one serene stretch still golden and photogenic. (This area is not gated but it is private property and has long been an animal and bird sanctuary; please tread softly).

Peak GO NOW! (75-100%) – Lundy Canyon – Don’t give up. While aspen along the first part of the Lundy Canyon trail are past peak, at the first waterfall are found an iconic gold-rust-yellow-orange blend of color. Higher up, the color is spent.

BRIDGEPORT / CONWAY SUMMIT

Peak GO NOW! (75-100%) – Conway Summit – What is remarkable is that while large groves of aspen have peaked, there are so many layers of color here, this year, that Conway Summit continues to look incredible. Some big stands are still a patchy mix of yellow and lime.

Past Peak YOU MISSED IT! – Virginia Lakes.

Peak GO NOW! (75-100%) – Green Creek/Summers Meadow – Summers Meadow has lost a lot of its color, though, like Conway Summit, layering and depth of color still keep the Green Creek/Summers Meadow area worth visiting.

WALKER / COLEVILLE / TOPAZ

Past Peak YOU MISSED IT! – Monitor Pass/Sonora Pass – It’s gone at the highest elevations.

Peak GO NOW! (75-100%) – Leavitt Meadows – Still golden.

Patchy (10-50%) – Walker Canyon/West Walker River/Towns of Walker & Coleville – This is one of the last areas of Mono County to change. For anglers, the West Walker River is flowing nicely as a result of recent rain, though leaf peepers and photographers won’t find much fall color for another two weeks.

Silver Lake (10/18/15) LA Leaf Peeper

Silver Lake (10/18/15) LA Leaf Peeper

 

Mono County – Wow!

Mon ,19/10/2015
Double waterfall at June Lake (10/17/15) Alena Nicholas

Double waterfall, Lundy Canyon (10/17/15) Alena Nicholas

Ansel Adams Wilderness (10/18/15) Alena Nicholas

Ansel Adams Wilderness (10/18/15) Alena Nicholas

 

Color spotter Alena Nicholas sent urgent text messages this past weekend, exclaiming about the incredible color to be seen in Mono County.

Alena knows the Eastern Sierra well, having photographed it many times in the past, though wrote “The Sierra are GLORIOUS!!! Never seen June Lake and area finer…”

Color spotter Patricia Costa followed our advice and headed to the east side to send us photos of the same storm swirling and dropping snow amidst the color while visiting Mammoth Lakes, Devil’s Postpile National Monument, June Lake and points along US 395.

June Lake Loop (10/17/15) Patricia Costa

June Lake Loop (10/17/15) Patricia Costa

Mammoth Lakes (10/17/15) Patricia Costa

Mammoth Lakes (10/17/15) Patricia Costa

Conway Summit (10/17/15) Patricia Costa

Conway Summit (10/17/15) Patricia Costa

Devil's Postpile (10/17/15) Patricia Costa

Devil’s Postpile (10/17/15) Patricia Costa

Weekend Forecast: A Wet Mix of Peak and Past Peak

Thu ,01/10/2015
Mule Deer at June Lake (9/30/15) Alena Nicholas

Mule Deer at June Lake (9/30/15) Alena Nicholas

Color spotter Alena Nicholas reports from a lakeside cabin at Boulder Lodge on June Lake, near where these photos were taken.  Nicholas notes that June Lake is joyfully transitioning from green to yellow, though the color is still at the low end of being Patchy.  When it’s drizzling, as is now happening in the Eastern Sierra, it’s time to look for new things to photograph, like deer enjoying fresh bursts of green.

June Lake Loop (9/30/15) Alena Nicholas

June Lake Loop (9/30/15) Alena Nicholas

June Lake Loop (9/30/15) Alena Nicholas

June Lake Loop (9/30/15) Alena Nicholas

June Lake Loop (9/30/15) Alena Nicholas

June Lake Loop (9/30/15) Alena Nicholas

June Lake Loop (9/30/15) Alena Nicholas

June Lake Loop (9/30/15) Alena Nicholas

June Lake Loop (9/30/15) Alena Nicholas

June Lake Loop (9/30/15) Alena Nicholas

June Lake Loop (9/30/15) Alena Nicholas

June Lake Loop (9/30/15) Alena Nicholas

This weekend, all points above 9,000’ in the Eastern Sierra (Inyo and Mono Counties), including: Bishop Creek, Rock Creek, Hilton Creek, Virginia Lakes, Green Creek, Summers Meadow, Sage Hen, Dunderberg Meadow and Twin Lakes have the most color, though how long it lasts will depend on the weather.

Yesterday, light breezes blew some of the color from areas in the Eastern Sierra that had peaked or were approaching peak (see below reports). However, the wind only got to what had peaked.  As Alicia Vennos wrote from Mono County this morning, there is still “far too much green mixed with the yellows and oranges,” for the show to end.

That should hold true even after this weekend’s storm passes by. Trees that have green leaves or slightly turned leaves will retain them and their fall color will emerge in coming days and weeks.

Prime areas to see California Fall Color this weekend are at all points above 9,000’ in the Eastern Sierra (Inyo and Mono Counties), including: Bishop Creek, Rock Creek, Hilton Creek, Virginia Lakes, Green Creek, Summers Meadow, Sage Hen, Dunderberg Meadow and Twin Lakes.

Patchy (10-50%) – June Lake – Still early, though color has begun developing.

June Lake is Jumping – Go Now!

Tue ,21/10/2014
Despite the warning, Greg Newbry shot this at June Lake, anyway (10/19/14) Greg Newbry

Despite the warning, Greg Newbry shot this near June Lake anyway (10/19/14) Greg Newbry

June Lake Loop (10/19/14) Alicia Vennos

June Lake Loop (10/19/14) Alicia Vennos

June Lake Loop (10/21/14) Steve Wolfe

June Lake Loop (10/21/14) Steve Wolfe

June Lake Loop (10/21/14) Steve Wolfe

June Lake Loop (10/21/14) Steve Wolfe

Lee Vining Canyon (10/21/14) Steve Wolfe

Lee Vining Canyon (10/21/14) Steve Wolfe

Mono County color spotter Alicia Vennos reports that fall color continues to explode in Mono County and predicts it should hold for at least another weekend, barring storms or high winds.

Today, Eastern Sierra color spotter Steve Wolfe left Bishop Creek Canyon to drive north along U.S. 395.  He confirmed what Alicia’s been saying, that aspen up Lundy Canyon, along the June Lake Loop and in Lee Vining Canyon are, surprisingly, still full in many places, with at- or past-peak, “Go Now!” colors.

Steve predicted that “with weather due to warm up about 10 degrees for the next few days, the color should continue to hold at least until the end of the week.  The color north of Bridgeport and south of Walker River is at- or past-peak, too, with yellow, orange and the occasional red.”

He wrote that “Lundy Canyon, while not as spectacular as June Lake Loop in its variety and intensity of color, is still uniformly yellow, with some green hanging in there. Lee Vining also has brilliant, full aspen stands.”

Lower Rock Creek Road (Near Peak – 50 – 75%) The lower trail is finally turning and should be close to peak this weekend.

Convict Lake (Peak to Past Peak) – “Ambush at the Lake” the Convict Lake Resort’s annual fall fishing derby is running now through Nov. 15, with cash and resort prizes.  Morrison’s Bonus Derby Weekend is Oct. 31 – Nov. 2, 2014.  For more about these events, contact Convict Lake Resort at 800-992-2260 or www.ConvictLake.comGO NOW!

Mammoth Lakes (Peak to Past Peak) – GO NOW!

June Lake Loop (10/19/14) Greg Newbry

June Lake Loop (10/19/14) Greg Newbry

June Lake Loop (Peak – 75 – 100%) – The June Lake Loop/Hwy. 158 is particularly beautiful from Gull Lake, “down canyon” to Grant Lake.  GO NOW!

Little Walker Lake (10/19/14) Alicia Vennos

Little Walker Lake (10/19/14) Alicia Vennos

Walker Lake (Peak – 75 – 100%) From the north end of the June Lake Loop/Hwy. 158, Little Walker Lake (Walker Lake on the Google Map) is peaking at lake level, and should hold through the weekend. Alicia Vennos provides this advice on how to get there: the trailhead is the only public access (you cannot drive to the lake on Walker Lake Rd. as that end of the lake is private).  Find the trailhead at the end of Sawmill Canyon Rd.  On the Fall Color Map, it doesn’t look that close to the lake but you just walk up a short incline from the parking lot, and you can look right down on the lake. GO NOW!

Lower Tioga Road (10/19/14) Alicia Vennos

Lower Tioga Road (10/19/14) Alicia Vennos

Lee Vining Canyon (Peak – 75 – 100%) – Groves at the base of Tioga Pass Rd./Hwy. 120 just north of the US 395 junction in Lee Vining Canyon are just turning now while along Poole Plant Road, the color is peaking and again should be amazing this weekend, as well. GO NOW!

Lower Lundy Lake Road (Peak – 75 – 100%) Lower Lundy Lake Rd. is rich in color — definitely peaking. GO NOW!

Sonora Pass (Peak to Past Peak) Sonora Pass and Leavitt Meadows are also glowing, with some areas and stands past peak.  Autumn rides through the trees are still available at the Leavitt Meadows Pack Station: text (preferred) or leave a message at (775) 450-0014GO NOW!

Walker River (Patchy – 10 – 50%) – The drive along the West Walker River in north county is becoming golden as the trees and willows along the shore get increasingly brighter.

Walker, Coleville, Topaz  (Patchy – 10 – 50%) – Spots of bright yellow and lime are seen among the Antelope Valley’s stands of black cottonwood.

Monitor Pass (Past Peak) – YOU MISSED IT!

 

 

 

Wind Tonight! Color Tomorrow?

Tue ,14/10/2014
Convict Lake Resort (10/11/14) Bruce Williams/Oak Valley Photography

Convict Lake Resort (10/11/14) Bruce Williams/Oak Valley Photography

Reports from Mono County are indicating strong winds tonight.  Though, will that mean color will be gone with the wind? Mono County had a spectacular past weekend for color and peak conditions continue in several areas.  Color spotter Alicia Vennos reports a few areas of the Eastern Sierra at lower elevations have yet to turn, including: Lower Rock Creek Rd, Lower Tioga Pass Rd and Lower Lundy Lake Rd.  She will be providing an assessment which we’ll report when received, tomorrow.  Look to our Twitter feeds for the latest updates.

Rock Creek (10/134/14) Alicia Vennos

Rock Creek (10/134/14) Alicia Vennos/Mono County Tourism

Rock Creek (10/134/14) Alicia Vennos

Rock Creek (10/134/14) Alicia Vennos/Mono County Tourism

Pie in the Sky has baked its last pie [sniff] (10/13/14) Alicia Vennos

Pie in the Sky has baked its last pie [sniff] (10/13/14) Alicia Vennos/Mono County Tourism

Rock Creek Rd. (Peak – 75 – 100%) – Rock Creek Rd. is at full peak from Tom’s Place to East Fork, three miles from U.S. 395.  GO NOW! 

Upper Rock Creek Canyon – Past Peak – Above East Fork, it’s past peak.  A sure sign is that Pie in the Sky has stopped baking pies.  They pass thanks to everyone who dropped in for a slice this past year.  Until next spring, no more pies (sniff). YOU MISSED IT! 

Lower Rock Creek Rd (10/13/14) Alicia Vennos

Lower Rock Creek Rd (10/13/14) Alicia Vennos/Mono County Tourism

Lower Rock Creek Rd. (Just Starting – 10 – 50%) – The aspen groves that line Rock Creek south of Tom’s Place are just now turning and should survive the wind.  This hike should be lovely this weekend.  Alicia warns to look out for mountain bikes, as this is a multi-use trail.

Little Green Church at Crowley Lake (10/12/14) Alicia Vennos

Little Green Church at Crowley Lake (10/12/14) Alicia Vennos/Mono County Tourism

Crowley Lake (Peak – 75 – 100%) – The little green church at Crowley lake is embraced by fall color. GO NOW! 

Convict Lake Resort (10/13/14) Bruce Williams/Oak Valley Photography

Convict Lake Resort (10/13/14) Bruce Williams/Oak Valley Photography

Convict Canyon (10/14/14) Alicia Vennos

Convict Canyon (10/14/14) Alicia Vennos/Mono County Tourism

Convict Lake (Peak – 75 – 100%)  – Convict Lake Resort has beautiful fall color.  Let’s hope tonight’s winds leave it on the branches. The Canyon as a whole is at peak with vibrant colors. Color spotter Charles “JR” Porter notes the change this year has been somewhat different from the past few years. He’s seeing more yellow and brown with the green. In some areas of the canyon you will find foliage that is still green and in the same vicinity you will see leafs that have already run their course.   Stating at the bottom of the canyon you find plenty of spectacular colors as you make you way up to the lake. There is a combination of intense yellows, brilliant oranges and recently more traces of brown along the lower creek. The campground/resort section of the canyon is very close to peak.  The fall colors in this area are spectacular and are starting to show bright yellows and oranges. The foliage along the lake has increased in intensity. The shoreline is traced with a line on yellow, brown, green and orange.  At the back of the lake a dazzling ribbon of yellow is snaking its way up the lower section of the canyon. The higher elevation foliage at the back of the lake has reached it’s peak. GO NOW! 

Parker Lake (Past Peak) YOU MISSED IT!  June Lake Loop (Peak – 75 – 100%) – Color along the June Lake Loop is mature with red, orange and yellow.  Some areas have begun to drop leaves.  A few sections along the loop remain green and lime, though most are at full peak. GO NOW! 

Walker Lake (Peak – 75 – 100%) – Cottonwood are showing nicely gold. GO NOW! 

Tioga Pass/Lee Vining Road – Past Peak YOU MISSED IT! 

Lundy Lake (10/14/14) Jamie Lau

Lundy Lake (10/14/14) Jamie Lau

Lundy Canyon (Peak – 75 – 100%) – The Lundy Lake Rd and trail are at peak. GO NOW! Conway Summit (Peak – 75 – 100%) – Jamie Lau caught this beautiful shot of a yellow aspen-lined path at Lundy Lake, today.  who knows whether it will be there by tomorrow.

GO NOW!  Virginia Lakes (Past Peak) YOU MISSED IT! 

Green Creek, Buckeye Creek, Summers Meadow (Past Peak) YOU MISSED IT! 

Sonora Pass/Leavitt Meadow (Peak – 75 – 100%) – On the downhill side of peaking.

GO NOW!  Walker, Coleville, Topaz (Just Starting – 10 – 50%) – Cottonwood are lime and yellow.

Finally… June Is Bustin’ Out All Over!

Wed ,08/10/2014

AV - June Lake Loop 1 - 10--6

Gull Lake (10/6/14) Alicia Vennos

Gull Lake (10/6/14) Alicia Vennos

Grant Lake (10/6/14) Alicia Vennos

Grant Lake (10/6/14) Alicia Vennos

GO NOW! Peak (75 – 100%) June Lake Loop – Mono County color spotter Alicia Vennos reports “It’s like the switch just flipped and Mono County is spectacular everywhere right now, including the June Lake Loop, Lundy Canyon, Convict Lake, Conway Summit, Summer’s Meadow/Green Creek Road and Log Cabin Road (at the bottom of Tioga Pass Road!).

These photos attest to the dramatic turn around in color at lower elevations.  She predicts that “this weekend (and next) will be a photographer’s dream.” Plus, what could be better than fall color and beer!?  The June Lake Autumn Beer Festival starts Saturday, Oct. 11 at Gull Lake Park. CLICK HERE for more details.

Bloody Canyon Trail (10/5/14) Alicia Vennos

Bloody Canyon Trail (10/5/14) Alicia Vennos

Little Walker Lake (10/5/14) Alicia Vennos

Little Walker Lake (10/5/14) Alicia Vennos

GO NOW! Peak (75 – 100%) Little Walker Lake – Aspen above Little Walker Lake on the Bloody Canyon trail to Sardine Lakes are incredible right now.  This is a strenuous hike, so plan accordingly.  The aspens around the south-west end of Little Walker Lake itself are just starting but should be peaking by next week!  To get to Little Walker Lake, take the Parker Lake Road exit from the north end of the June Lake Loop/Hwy. 158 and follow the signs to Walker Lake Trailhead.

Log Cabin Rd (10/6/14) Alicia Vennos

Log Cabin Rd (10/6/14) Alicia Vennos

Log Cabin Rd (10/6/14) Alicia Vennos

Log Cabin Rd (10/6/14) Alicia Vennos

Log Cabin Rd (10/6/14) Alicia Vennos

Log Cabin Rd (10/6/14) Alicia Vennos

GO NOW! Peak (75 – 100%) –  Log Cabin Road – Peaking at higher elevations.  This dirt road is located at the bottom of the Tioga Pass Road near Lee Vining — it is in fairly good shape with some steep, rocky sections.  At the historical cabins, it is advised to park and walk to the best viewpoints which are another 1.5 – 2 miles.

Upper Conway Summit (10/7/14) Alicia Vennos

Upper Conway Summit (10/7/14) Alicia Vennos

Lower Conway Summit (10/7/14) Alicia Vennos

Lower Conway Summit (10/7/14) Alicia Vennos

Summer's Meadow (10/7/14) Alicia Vennos

Summer’s Meadow (10/7/14) Alicia Vennos

GO NOW! Peak (75 – 100%) –  Conway Summit – US 395 between Lee Vining and Bridgeport is gorgeous right now, both on the south and the north sides.  Green Creek Road and Summer’s Meadows just south of Bridgeport are also peaking.

 

 

Fall Color Hike: Lundy Canyon Trail

Thu ,02/10/2014
Fall color edges the Lundy Canyon Trial (9/28/14) Alicia Vennos

Fall color edges the Lundy Canyon Trail (9/28/14) Alicia Vennos

GO NOW! Near Peak (50 – 75%) Mammoth Lakes Basin – Twin Lakes in the Mammoth Lakes Basin is at peak with beautiful orange colors.  Other lakes in the basin either lack fall color or are still patchy. Color spotter Kevin Lennox reports erratic uniformity of color among the trees in the Lakes Basin.

Patchy (10 – 50%) – Laurel Canyon – Very little color showing at base, though about a fourth of trees have turned at the top of the canyon.

Patchy (10 – 50%) – Convict Lake – Convict has lots of yellow just appearing around the lake; Convict Canyon has a way to go.

GO NOW! Near Peak (50 – 75%) – McGee Creek Canyon – Gorgeous color above 8,500′

Patchy (10 – 50%) – Crowley Lake – Very little color is showing, as yet.

Lower areas of the Lundy Canyon trail are still green (9/28/14) Alicia Vennos

Lower areas of the Lundy Canyon trail are still green (9/28/14) Alicia Vennos

Peak color is found higher along the Lundy Canyon trail and near waterfalls (9/28/14) Alicia Vennos

Peak color is found higher along the Lundy Canyon trail and near waterfalls (9/28/14) Alicia Vennos

Lundy Canyon (9/28/14) Alicia Vennos

Lundy Canyon (9/28/14) Alicia Vennos

GO NOW! Near Peak (50 – 75%) – Lundy Canyon Trail – Color Spotter Alicia Vennos of Mono County picks Lundy Canyon as a peak hike for this weekend.  She reports color at peaking along the trail and in waterfall areas though the Lundy Lake Road and the lake itself are still green.  That means the color should be good not just this weekend, but for the following week (wind and weather permitting).

Patchy (10 – 50%) – June Lake Loop – A mix of green, lime and yellow color the aspen surrounding the June Lakes. Brush are painting surrounding mountainsides auburn and orange. June Lake has at least a week to two weeks before peaking.

GO NOW! Peak (75 – 100%) – Saddlebag Lakes – Upper Tioga Pass is at full peak.  There aren’t many aspen in this area, though riparian color is beautiful.

Patchy (10 – 50%) – Lee Vining Canyon – Similar to June Lakes, it has a way to go before full color.

YOU MISSED IT! Past Peak – Upper Virginia Lakes Road – Wind stripped turned trees at Virginia Lakes, last weekend.

Patchy (10 – 50%) Lower Virginia Lakes Road – Wind swept aspen surrounding Virginia Lakes lost their leaves this past week. Color spotter Steve Wolfe reported “The last half of Virginia Lakes Road at Conway Summit is past peak, with lots of leafless stands, but the first half… is still just this side of “patchy”, with green, lime and yellow stands.”

GO NOW! Peak (75 – 100%) – Sonora Pass – Most of the color to be seen along Sonora Pass is on the eastern side of the pass. Higher elevations are at full peak with lower groves of aspen a mix of yellow and green.

Patchy (10 – 50%) – Walker/Coleville – Very little yellow and orange color is showing among the willows and cottonwood.

Near Peak (50 – 75%) – Monitor Pass – Wind stripped some of the turned color this past week, but leaves that hadn’t turned are now coloring up.  Color Spotter Kimberly Kofala reports the white trunks of the aspen contrast nicely with the new color.

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

Warm Temps, Warm Colors

Thu ,18/09/2014
Conway Summit (9/16/14) Robin Roberts

Conway Summit (9/16/14) Alicia Vennos/Mono County Tourism

Mono County’s Color Spotter, Alicia Vennos reports warm temperatures in the Eastern Sierra, both at day and at night, are extending both the summer camping season and the show of fall colors.

She recommends to those who travel to Mono County this weekend, that prime fall color viewing areas are: Rock Creek (US 395 at Tom’s Place), the Mammoth Rock Trail (Mammoth Lakes), Virginia Lakes (between Lee Vining and Bridgeport) and Sonora Pass (Hwy 108).

Rock Creek Road (9/6/14) Robin Roberts

Rock Creek Road (9/6/14) Robin Roberts

Patchy (10-50%) Rock Creek Road – Yellow and lime lead up into the High Sierra.

Convict Lake (9/17/14) Alicia Vennos/Mono County Tourism

Convict Lake (9/17/14) Alicia Vennos/Mono County Tourism

Just Starting (0-10%) Convict Lake – A hint of yellow along the edge of the lake.

Mammoth Rock Trail (9/13/14) Alicia Vennos/Mono County Tourism

Mammoth Rock Trail (9/13/14) Alicia Vennos/Mono County Tourism

Just Starting (0 – 10%) Mammoth Rock Trail – Still lots of lime.

Sonora Pass (9/16/14) Robin Roberts

Sonora Pass (9/16/14) Alicia Vennos/Mono County Tourism

Patchy (10-50%) Sonora Pass/Hwy 108 – Showing at about 15% of color.

Patchy (10-50%) Conway Summit – Color has progressed to 20%.

Parker Lake (9/14/14) Alicia Vennos/Mono County Tourism

Parker Lake (9/14/14) Alicia Vennos/Mono County Tourism

Patchy (10-50%) Parker Lake/June Lake Loop – Color is painting the upper slopes yellow, still too early for the big show. Access to fire June Lake is again fully open, following a fire at June Mountain that closed Hwy the Southern entrance to the June Lake Loop temporarily.  For the latest updates,  CLICK HERE.

Parker Lake Trail (9/14/14) Alicia Vennos/Mono County Tourism

Parker Lake Trail (9/14/14) Alicia Vennos/Mono County Tourism

Upcoming Events:

  • Fly Fishing Faire – Sept. 19-21, Mammoth Lakes
  • Hiking the Valley – Sept. 26-28, Walker/Coleville
  • Deer Hunter BBQ – Oct. 4, Walker/Coleville
  • June Lake Autumn Beer Festival – Oct. 11, Gull Lake Park, June Lake
  • “Ambush at the Lake” fishing derby – now through Nov. 15, 2014,  Convict Lake Resort
  • Bodie Photographer Days – Sept. 20 and Oct. 18, Bodie State Historic Park

For more information on these event as well as lodging and camping, air service, fishing reports, hiking trails, CLICK HERE or call 800-845-7922.