California Fall Color
Dude, autumn happens here, too.

Posts Tagged ‘Southern California’

Southern California Goes Big

Sun ,15/11/2015
Rim of the World (11/14/15) Alena Nicholas

Rim of the World (11/14/15) Alena Nicholas

Weekend reports from color spotters show fall color going big across Southern California.

Lake Gregory Waterslides (11/14/15) Alena Nicholas

Lake Gregory Waterslides (11/14/15) Alena Nicholas

Alena Nicholas sent pictures from Rim of the World, Lake Gregory, Seely Creek, Green Valley and Deep Creek in the San Bernardino Mountains with deep orange color within forests of black oak.

Seely Creek (11/14/15) Alena Nicholas

Seely Creek (11/14/15) Alena Nicholas

Even a few dogwood, that have been sheltered from the weather, are still carrying rose and lime confetti.

Lone Pine Cnyn, Wrightwood (11/14/15) Frank McDonough

Lone Pine Cnyn, Wrightwood (11/14/15) Frank McDonough

Frank McDonough sends back this shot of Lone Pine Canyon near Wrightwood, spiking hot, and at his home base in Arcadia, hickory and maple are alive with color at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden.

Jim Beaux took his annual trip to Mt. Palomar in San Diego County on Saturday, Nov. 14 and reported black oaks and bracken fern as being past peak.

A small grove of dogwood on the lower end of the Chimney Flats trail were Near Peak.

Mt. Palomar (11/14/15) Jim Beaux

Mt. Palomar (11/14/15) Jim Beaux

Jim blames the poor color on the drought and windstorms that have blown thru the area over the last couple of weeks.

He’s seen similar dryness at Dogwood Campground near Lake Arrowhead.

Peak (75-100%) GO NOW! – San Bernardino Mountains (Lake Gregory, Rim of the World, Seely Creek, Green Valley, Deep Creek)

Peak (75-100%) GO NOW! – Wrightwood

Past Peak YOU MISSED IT! – Mt. Palomar

Near Peak (50-75%) GO NOW! – Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

Deep Creek (11/14/15) Alena Nicholas

Deep Creek (11/14/15) Alena Nicholas

Deep Creek (11/14/15) Alena Nicholas

Deep Creek (11/14/15) Alena Nicholas

Green Valley (11/14/15) Alena Nicholas

Green Valley (11/14/15) Alena Nicholas

Green Valley (11/14/15) Alena Nicholas

Green Valley (11/14/15) Alena Nicholas

Lake Gregory (11/14/15) Alena Nicholas

Lake Gregory (11/14/15) Alena Nicholas

Seely Creek (11/14/15) Alena Nicholas

Seely Creek (11/14/15) Alena Nicholas

Rim of the World (11/14/15) Alena Nicholas

Rim of the World (11/14/15) Alena Nicholas

Seely Creek (11/14/15) Alena Nicholas

Seely Creek (11/14/15) Alena Nicholas

Black oak, Seely Creek (11/14/15) Alena Nicholas

Black oak, Seely Creek (11/14/15) Alena Nicholas

Shagbark Hickory, LA County Arboretum (11/14/15) Frank McDonough

Shagbark Hickory, LA County Arboretum (11/14/15) Frank McDonough

Freeman's Maple, LA County Arboretum (11/14/15) Frank McDonough

Freeman’s Maple, LA County Arboretum (11/14/15) Frank McDonough

LA County Arboretum (11/14/15) Frank McDonough

LA County Arboretum (11/14/15) Frank McDonough

Out&About in Westways

Mon ,05/10/2015
Out&About, Westways, October 2015

Out&About, Westways, October 2015

CaliforniaFallColor.com was contacted by the Auto Club of Southern California for advice on where to find fall color within an easy drive of Southern California.  The advice appeared in “Falling for Color,” an article in Westways’ October number.

Travel writer Paul Lasley got it right when he concluded the article by writing, “Fall color can happen fast in California and be spectacular — you just have to be ready.”

Westways, October 2015

Westways, October 2015

Mt. Palomar Patchy, but Looking Up

Tue ,04/11/2014
The view from Mt. Palomar alone is worth the trip (11/3/14) Scott Turner

The view from Mt. Palomar alone is worth the trip (11/3/14) Scott Turner

Black Oak, Mt. Palomar (11/3/14) Scott Turner

Black Oak, Mt. Palomar (11/3/14) Scott Turner

Mountain Maple, Mt. Palomar (11/3/14) Scott Turner

Mountain Maple, Mt. Palomar (11/3/14) Scott Turner

Mt. Palomar (Patchy 10 – 50%) – We beg forgiveness for the pun in the headline, though considering the observatory atop Mt. Palomar, we couldn’t miss the opportunity to post it.

Modern Hiker’s Scott Turner reports that most of the black oaks on Mt. Palomar still have a long way to go before they turn. The rain and the wind have stripped some of the trees – particularly those on south-facing slopes, but most of the oaks retain their leaves and are around 25-50% turned on the north-facing slopes and over 50% on the south-facing slopes. Bark beetles are not a problem here, and Palomar has actually been close to matching its average precipitation since July, which is 3x that of the lower elevations.

Riparian areas are well short of peak (11/3/14) Scott Turner

Riparian areas are well short of peak (11/3/14) Scott Turner

Dogwood, Mt. Palomar (11/3/14) Scott Turner

Dogwood, Mt. Palomar (11/3/14) Scott Turner

Riparian foliage, including berries, box elders, and dogwoods are showing a bit more color. Dogwoods are showing colors ranging from green, yellow, pink and red, while box elders are lime green. The berry plants are yellowing nicely. Scott estimates that Mt. Palomar will peak in one to two weeks. Last year, we received photographs of black oak peaking near the observatory.

San Bernardino Mountains Near Peak

Mon ,06/10/2014
Mountain Maple, Big Bear Lake (10/5/14) Nick Barnhart

Exotic Silver Maple, Big Bear Lake (10/5/14) Nick Barnhart

Fremont Cottonwood (10/5/14) Nick Barnhart

Fremont Cottonwood (10/5/14) Nick Barnhart

Japanese Maple (10/5/14) Nick Barnhart

Maple, Green Valley Lake (10/5/14) Nick Barnhart

Color spotter Nick Barnhart traveled up to the San Bernardino Mountains this past weekend and got these colorful shots of fall color at Lake Gregory, Green Valley Lake and Big Bear Lake.

San Bernardino Mountains (10/5/14) Nick Barnhart

San Bernardino Mountains (10/5/14) Nick Barnhart

Rabbitbrush and cottonwoods (10/5/14) Nick Barnhart

Rabbitbrush and cottonwoods (10/5/14) Nick Barnhart

GO NOW! Near Peak (50 – 75%) – San Bernardino National Forest – A mix of black oak, mountain maple, rabbitbrush and aspen are delicately coloring Southern California’s San Bernardino Mountains.

Mountain Maple, Big Bear Lake (10/5/14) Nick Barnhart

Silver Maple, Green Valley Lake (10/5/14) Nick Barnhart

GO NOW! Peak (75 – 100%) – Big Bear Lake – Christine, a color spotter visited the famous aspen grove near Big Bear and repots it is peaking.  This is probably the last weekend to see it in its glory.

Lake Gregory (10/5/14) Nick Barnhart

Lake Gregory (10/5/14) Nick Barnhart

Patchy (10 – 50%) – Lake Gregory and Lake Arrowhead – Only about 25% of the trees are showing color.

 

LA Lights Up Following Cooler Weather and Rain

Fri ,22/11/2013
California Wild Grape, Baldwin Lagoon, LA Co. Arboretum (11/22/13) Frank McDonough

California Wild Grape, Baldwin Lagoon, LA Co. Arboretum (11/22/13) Frank McDonough

Colder temperatures and light rain have caused an intensification of color across Los Angeles County, as evidenced by these photos provided by Frank McDonough a botanical information consultant at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Gardens.

GO NOW! – 75 – 100% – Los Angeles County – Reports from Southern California indicate perfect fall color conditions with crystal clear skies and bright color.

San Gabriel Mountains, seen from Talac Knoll (11/22/13)

San Gabriel Mountains, seen from Talac Knoll (11/22/13)

Gingko tree, near Rose Garden (11/22/13) Frank McDonough

Gingko tree, near Rose Garden (11/22/13) Frank McDonough

Crepe myrtle and Sumac at LA Co. Arboretum (11/22/13) Frank McDonough

Crepe myrtle and Sumac at LA Co. Arboretum (11/22/13) Frank McDonough

Los Angeles County Arboretum (11/22/13) Frank McDonough

Los Angeles County Arboretum (11/22/13) Frank McDonough

Color Drops Below a Mile in the San Jacintos

Sun ,17/11/2013

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.

 


				

Warm, Dry Year Slows Southland Show

Thu ,14/11/2013
Pomegranate Bush and Japanese Maple (11/14/13) Frank McDonough

Pomegranate Bush and Japanese Maple (11/14/13) Frank McDonough

Color spotter Frank McDonough of the LA County Arboretum and Botanic Gardens attributes a warm, dry year to “erratic” fall color.  That certainly could be the case, though the spots of color provided to us by Frank show bright and intense color at the Arboretum, so far.  Also, this week we received shots from Mt. Palomar that showed long-lasting color among the oaks.  We’re betting that LA County will continue to develop into December.

Eastern Red Oak, LA County Arboretum (11/14/13) Frank McDonough

Eastern Red Oak, LA County Arboretum (11/14/13) Frank McDonough

GO NOW! 50 – 75% – LA County Arboretum – Warm, dry weather has tricked the trees, causing them to show sporadically and late in Southern California.

Tulip tree, LA County Arboretum (11/14/13) Frank McDonough

Tulip tree, LA County Arboretum (11/14/13) Frank McDonough

(l to r) Flame leafed sumac and Nandina domestica (11/14/13) Frank McDonough

(l to r) Flame leafed sumac and Nandina domestica (11/14/13) Frank McDonough

Hope Springs Eternal in So Cal

Tue ,12/11/2013
Black oak, Palomar Mountain State Park (11/9/13) Jim Beau

Black oak, Palomar Mountain State Park (11/9/13) Jim Beau

Pacific dogwood, Palomar Mountain State Park (11/9/13) Jim Beau

Pacific dogwood, Palomar Mountain State Park (11/9/13) Jim Beau

GO NOW! – 75 – 100% – Palomar Mountain State Park – Color spotter Jimbo reports from Southern California that black oaks are peaking at Palomar Mountain State Park, adding that a few dogwoods have also changed.  “Unless there’s a windstorm, they should last at least thru next weekend. Heck, I’ve seen a few of them with yellow leaves after the first snow in December.”

That’s the spirit, Jimbo.  So. Cal. holds our record for the best late fall color in California.  Because of California’s varied elevations and foliage, there isn’t another place in the good ole U.S. of A. that has a longer lasting or a more varied fall color season. Considering the stunning photos color spotters have shared this autumn, we challenge any state in the Union to show more variety or beauty.

 

Temecula/Mt. Laguna/Lake Hemet – Vintage Color

Wed ,30/10/2013
Temecula Wine Country (10/27/13) Brian Reilly

Temecula Wine Country (10/27/13) Brian Reilly

Color spotter Brian Reilly took these beautiful images at Thornton Winery on the Rancho California Road in Temecula.  This Southern California wine growing region is showing about 50% color.

Old vines make great wine, Temecula (10/27/13) Brian Reilly

Old vines make great wine, Temecula (10/27/13) Brian Reilly

Dessicated grapes, beyond late harvest, Temecula (10/27/13) Brian Reilly

Desicated grapes, beyond late harvest; Temecula (10/27/13) Brian Reilly

30 – 50% – Temecula Wine Country – The vineyards are getting close to peaking and considering the color now visible, we’d have no problem suggesting you GO NOW!, though we expect the color to continue to develop for the next couple of weeks.

San Diego County

So. Calif. color spotter Son H Nguyen reports, “There is not much in Julian, right now,” aside from exotic “Chinese pistache starting to turn in town. There is not much on Pine Hill and it”s around 30-50%.  However, Mt. Laguna is blazing, right now. So many black oak trees, the whole area is near peak.”

30 – 50% – Julian – Best at Pine Hill.

Oaks, Mt Laguna (10/27/13) Son H Nguyen

Black oaks, Mt Laguna (10/27/13) Son H Nguyen

Black oaks, Mt Laguna (10/27/13) Son H Nguyen

Black oaks, Mt Laguna (10/27/13) Son H Nguyen

Black Oak, Mt Laguna (10/27/13) Son H Nguyen

Black oak, Mt Laguna (10/27/13) Son H Nguyen

GO NOW! 75 – 100% – Mt. Laguna – Full peak at oak woodlands on Mt. Laguna in eastern San Diego County.

GO NOW! 50 – 75% – San Jacinto Mountains – Color spotter Anissa Granados from Lake Hemet Campgrounds sends this photo of cottonwood approaching peak at Lake Hemet.  Anissa says the trees ringing the lake and campgrounds provide a lovely setting to be surrounded by fall color.

Lake Hemet Campgrounds (10/29/13) Anissa Granados

Lake Hemet Campgrounds (10/29/13) Anissa Granados

East San Diego County – Colorful Surprises!

Mon ,21/10/2013
Black Oak, Mt. Laguna, San Diego County (10/19/13) Charlene Bruge

Black Oak, Mt. Laguna, Eastern San Diego County (10/19/13) Charlene Burge

Color spotter Charlene Burge reports she was happy to discover “Southern California has lots of natural fall color” when she moved there, two years ago.  Mount Laguna in eastern San Diego County is “flush with fall color as California Black Oaks are close to peaking, with exposed trees in full color, and understory trees, in many cases, still in the lemon-lime stage. Many areas along the northern part of the S1–Sunrise Highway–were burned during the Rim fire, but from about Laguna Campground, south, there’s plenty of blazing oaks. This area is roughly between Julian and Pine Valley, along the S1 north of Highway 8. The highway 8 corridor east of the S1 has big cottonwoods.

Black Oaks, Mt. Laguna, Eastern San Diego County (10/19/13) Charlene Bruge

Black Oaks, Mt. Laguna, Eastern San Diego County (10/19/13) Charlene Burge

Mt Laguna Observatory and Black Oak (10/19/13) Charlene Bruge

Mt Laguna Observatory and Black Oak (10/19/13) Charlene Burge

Highway 8, Eastern San Diego County (10/19/13) Charlene Bruge

Highway 8, Eastern San Diego County (10/19/13) Charlene Burge

GO NOW! 50 – 75% – Mt. Laguna – Oak and cottonwood are putting on a colorful show in eastern San Diego County near the Mt. Laguna Observatory (operated by San Diego State University) in eastern San Diego County.