California Fall Color
Dude, autumn happens here, too.

Posts Tagged ‘Southern California’

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.

 

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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.

 

LA County Arboretum Begins to Warm Up

Fri ,18/10/2013
Freeman's maple, LA County Arboretum (10/17/13) Frank McDonough

Freeman’s maple, LA County Arboretum (10/17/13) Frank McDonough

Chinese pistache, LA County Arboretum (10/17/13) Frank McDonough

Chinese pistache, LA County Arboretum (10/17/13) Frank McDonough

Color spotter Frank McDonough always sends great shots of what’s turning at the Los Angeles County Arboretum.  While it appears the San Bernardino Mountains are at peak or a little bit past peak (We welcome reports from So. Cal.), the LA County Arboretum is warming up.  These shots tell it all:

15 – 30% – LA County Arboretum - Always a sure bet for long-lasting fall color, the LA County Arboretum in Arcadia has begun to warm up.  Trees that show early, such as exotic Chinese pistache are now turning.  A tupelo tree provides a botanical frame to a bench in the arboretum and a Freeman’s apple is on fire at its crest.

Tupelo tree, LA County Arboretum (10/17/13) Frank McDonough

Tupelo tree, LA County Arboretum (10/17/13) Frank McDonough

San Bernardino Nat’l Forest – Full Peak

Sun ,13/10/2013
Aspen Grove, San Bernardino National Forest (10/12/13) Lisa Wilkerson-Willis

Aspen Grove, San Bernardino National Forest (10/12/13) Lisa Wilkerson-Willis

Color spotter Lisa Wilkerson-Willis sends these beautiful photographs of the Aspen Grove near Big Bear in the San Bernardino National Forest.  These are the best shots we’ve seen of this lovely forest.  Wow! Whoever believed there is no fall color in Southern California, just hasn’t gone leaf peeping near Big Bear.  Good goin’, Lisa!  Be sure to enter your shots of autumn in Big Bear’s photo contest.  For more about this contest, CLICK HERE.

Aspen Grove, San Bernardino NF (10/12/13) Lisa Wilkerson-Willis

Aspen Grove, San Bernardino NF (10/12/13) Lisa Wilkerson-Willis

Aspen Grove, San Bernardino NF (10/12/13) Lisa Wilkerson-Willis

Aspen Grove, San Bernardino NF (10/12/13) Lisa Wilkerson-Willis

Ferns, San Bernardino NF (10/12/13) Lisa Wilkerson-Willis

Ferns, San Bernardino NF (10/12/13) Lisa Wilkerson-Willis

GO NOW! – 75 – 100% – Aspen Grove – San Bernardino National Forest

Big Bear Colors Up for Photo Contest

Thu ,03/10/2013
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.