Mono County Glows!

Scarlet Gilia and aspen leaves - 10/1/2011 - © 2011 Alicia Vennos

Fall color has arrived officially in Mono County (home to Rock Creek, Convict Lake, Mammoth Lakes, June Lake, Mono Lake, Lee Vining Canyon, Lundy Canyon, Virginia Lakes, Twin Lakes and Bridgeport).

Alicia Vennos send in this report and photos taken over the weekend.  An early winter storm is just arriving, but we predict it won’t have much effect on the fall color, other than to dust high mountain peaks with snow, making for even more spectacular photographs and fall color views along the Eastern Sierra.

15-30% – Rock Creek –Half-way between Bishop and Mammoth, “Rock Creek is leading the charge  with aspen about 5 miles up Rock Creek Road deep yellows, oranges and reds.  The hiking

Aspen at Rock Creek Lake (10/1/2011) © 2011 Alicia Vennos

trail from East Fork to Rock Creek Lake is highly recommended!


Lundy Falls (10/1/2011) © 2011 Alicia Vennos

Lundy Canyon (10/1/2011) © 2011 Alicia Vennos

0-15% – Lundy Canyon – Lundy is just begun to turn, with rich gold and some orange.  Along the Lundy Canyon hiking trail, the waterfalls are still amazingly full for October, and wildflowers continue to bloom, standing out against yellow aspen leaves – a rare photo opportunity.

Mono County Near Lundy Canyon (10/1/2011) © 2011 Alicia Vennos

15-30% — June Lake Loop is beginning to shift from yellow-green to orange.

30-50% – Parker Bench – Above June Lake, Parker Bench is showing a stunning blend of orange, red and yellow.

15 – 30% – U.S. 395 (Mono County) – Many of the aspen-lined creek beds (above Crowley, Laurel Canyon, just south of Mammoth and north of Lee Vining) along U.S. 395 are streaking the mountainside orange, red and yellow.  Locals predict colder temperatures now arriving from an Alaskan storm, forecast to arrive on Wednesday, may hasten the fall color peak throughout the region, though it’s been our experience that storms only affect currently changed leaves, not those that haven’t turned.  That means there’s lots of color yet to show throughout Mono County and the storm otherwise won’t reduce the color much.

30-50% – Virginia Lakes – High winds knocked turned leaves off the aspen surrounding Little Virginia Lake on Monday, color spotter Carolyn Webb reports.  However, there’s still lots of color to be appear or be seen in the Virginia Lakes area.  Carolyn writes, “Aspen are quite beautiful up and down the Virginia Lakes road to about 1 mile from the resort.  At nearby Conway Summit, “aspen in protected areas are still yellow with some gold going into rusts.”

8 replies
  1. Nevin says:

    The picture of June Lake at the top of this site, very beautiful picture. Do you know who the photographer is? Thank you…..

  2. Terry N. says:

    Hi…I plan to drive from San Francisco to Mono Lake and then going south on Hwy. 395 to Los Angeles on the weekend of Oct 22-23. Do you think the fall color will pass its peak already at that time or it is just the right time to be in the area. Any suggestion?

    • John Poimiroo says:

      There will still be lots of color in the Eastern Sierra by late October, depending on the timing of storms. The color is late this year by a week to two. However, the first storm was an early one. What storms do is knock “turned leaves” off the branches. As long as the leaves remain green, few will be blown away by the wind. It’s only when they’ve lost their life-giving chlorophyll that they’re fragile to wind and rain. Right now, there’s still lots of green below 8,000 ft. and that should last for two to three weeks more. Color drops by about 500 to 1,000 feet a week. The best advise is to keep checking back for current photos and status.

  3. Terry says:

    I would like to know when fall foliage in Mono Lake and June Lake area will be in peak time. I plan to drive down hwy. 395 sometime during the weekend of Oct. 21-23. Not sure if it will pass the best time to see full color. Is it too late? Please advise. Thanks.

    • John Poimiroo says:

      As long as the storms don’t continue unabated, there should be color, but not the intense color seen in the first two weeks of October.

  4. Son says:

    I hope this storm doesn’t ruin the foliage. We have planned to go this weekend. Keeping my fingers cross.

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