Color spotter Jim Beau was in Idyllwild on Friday and reported, “It looks like this might be the last weekend of fall color in Southern California’s mountains (above a mile high). Driving southbound from I-10 on Hwy 243, the oaks were pretty much done for the year.
“On Thanksgiving weekend last year, we hit Idyllwild at peak fall color. In comparison, this year was a bit of a disappointment. Since a weak winter storm has moved into the area this weekend, it was pretty dreary up there, yesterday. And, I don’t expect what little is left to last into next weekend. So, it looks like it’s time to head to the lower elevations for fall color in Southern California.”
Past Peak – Idyllwild - Black oaks are now cloaked only in rusty brown leaves.
GO NOW! – 75 – 100% – Mountain Center/Lake Hemet (4,500′) - Heading west on Hwy 74 near Mountain Center, there is a nice, mile-long section of oaks and a few cottonwoods at peak.
GO NOW! – 50 – 75% – Hwy 74 (below 4,000′) - Heading west toward Hemet, the cottonwoods and sycamores were just starting to turn yellow and chartreuse.