Lake Tahoe was the destination of color spotter Clayton Peoples this past weekend. He reports, “In general, color extent varies considerably based on elevation. It is largely ‘just starting’ at lake level, but has progressed to ‘near peak’ in some higher elevations along the rim.”
Just Starting (0-10%) Lake Tahoe Lake Level (6,200 ft). Color is just beginning along the lake itself. Aspens are turning lime green, cottonwoods are getting some patches of yellow.
Patchy (10-50%) Lake Tahoe Mountainsides (6,200-7,000 ft). Color is beginning in patches in the aspen groves on the mountainsides along/near the Lake.
Near Peak (50-75%) Specific Lake Tahoe Rim locations (7,000+ ft). Although still patchy in some places, some groves have really taken off and are near peak. This is especially true of the oft-visited grove on CA Hwy 267 near Brockway Summit. Portions of the grove are fully yellow, and the trees are dropping leaves. Will likely reach peak within the week.
“It’s all about the shrubbery,” Kimberly Kolafa reported after her weekend hike along the Tahoe Rim Trail, saying that fireweed, willow and maple are turning a mix of orange, red and gold amidst green.
Patchy (50%) Tahoe Rim Trail/PCT, Barker Pass Trailhead to Twin Peaks – 7650 -8700′, it’s all about the shrubbery, along the trail at your feet, up the sides of rocky volcanic plugs and high walls of slate and talus – fireweed, willow and maple are turning orange, red and gold, mixed with green. You will also be delighted that there are a few wildflowers still in bloom and abundant views of Lake Tahoe on this 5 1/2 mile section hike to the base of Twin Peaks (10 miles round trip, you can hike a shorter distance and still see wonderful color). Aspens and cottonwood are also beginning to make small changes, shrubbery is yellow on the seven mile Blackwood Canyon Road enroute to the Barker Pass Trailhead.