I just spoke with Scott Gediman, PIO at Yosemite National Park, who says the sugar maple by the Yosemite Chapel is at 75% peak and should peak sometime between now and the end of the weekend, as when it goes, it happens fast.
Here’s how it stands in Yosemite National Park at present:
15-30% — Yosemite Valley Maples. As reported earlier in the week, the Yosemite Blog reports that “Bigleaf maples on talus slopes and riparian woodlands from Cascades to Happy Isles are lighting up.”
30-50% — Yosemite Valley Black Oaks. Scott adds that Yosemite Valley’s stately black oaks are nearing 50% of peak, with their deep orange color providing beautiful contrast to California’s blue skies and revitalized waterfalls.
75-100% — Yosemite Chapel Sugar Maple. Scott says the sugar maple near the Chapel is near peak and will probably peak over the weekend. This gorgeous red tree is not native to the Sierra, having been planted by settlers in the Valley. Now is the time to go see it in full color, as the color won’t last long.
75-100% — Wawona. Another maple south of Forest Drive in Wawona is also turning. Some aspens and cottonwoods in the Wawona area are starting to turn.