Early Peak Approaching in Eastern Sierra

Spots of color above 8,500′ in elevation are trending toward one of the earliest peaks seen in the Eastern Sierra in recent years. Yesterday, we reported that The Sherwins (Mammoth Lakes) above 8,500 were showing 30 – 50% color.  Today, Jared Smith of Parcher’s Resort is reporting some areas of Bishop Creek Canyon already “well above 50%”, including our first Go Now! declarations for Sabrina Campground and Surveyor’s Meadow.  Here’s his full report (9/11/13).

Overall Conditions above 8,500 ft  
30 – 50% – Lots of green still around but many of the higher elevation areas are now showing a lot of color. A little orange and red but most of the color showing is brilliant yellow and gold. Although most of the aspens along the road are still totally green, the hillsides in the higher reaches of the canyon are really looking impressive.  Some areas, surveyors meadow for example, is actually well above 50% of peak color.

Overall Conditions below 8,500 ft

Not much going on yet below 8,500 ft, but there are some little pockets of color developing. We’ve still got another couple weeks before these areas will be in full color.

Location Specific Reports

15-30% – South Lake Rd above Mt. Glen Camp (8,600 ft) – While this area is not in full color and the aspens along the creek are still green, the view up canyon is spectacular and the groves to the east are really lighting up.

0-15% – Mountain Glen Campground (8,400 ft) – Just a handful of aspens turning here with most of the foliage still dark or lime green.

0-15% – Mist Falls and the groves above Bishop Creek Lodge (8,350f t) –  Not much going on here yet, just a few trees starting to turn.

Groves Above Cardinal Village (9/11/13) © Krisdina Karady

Groves Above Cardinal Village (9/11/13) © Krisdina Karady

15 – 30% – Groves above Cardinal Village & Aspendell    (8,550 ft) –  Just enough yellow showing to be noteworthy but this area still has a ways to go before the color really starts popping.

Sabrina Campground (9/11/13) © Krisdina Karady

Sabrina Campground (9/11/13) © Krisdina Karady

Sabrina Campground (9/11/13) © Krisdina Karady

Sabrina Campground (9/11/13) © Krisdina Karady

50-75% – Sabrina Campground (9,000 ft) Go Now! – As expected, the groves along the road near Sabrina Campground are the first to near peak color. Plenty of orange, yellow and some read showing along with brilliant lime green.  I would expect this area to peak in the next 10 days if not sooner and the grove inside the campground to be a little behind that.

0-15% – Forks Campground (8,000 ft – 8,300 ft) – No color at all developing here yet.

0-15% – Table Mountain Camp (8,900 ft) –  Not much color showing yet.

Surveyor's Meadow (9/11/13) © Krisdina Karady

Surveyor’s Meadow (9/11/13) © Krisdina Karady

50 – 75% – Surveyors Meadow (8,975 ft) Go Now! – The aspen above Surveyors Meadow are really lighting up in all directions. The lower aspen along the creek are still mostly green but there is a ton of color on all of the surrounding hillsides.

15 – 30% – Willow Campground (9,100 ft) – The view up canyon from Willow Camp has lots of turning aspen but the majority of the aspen surrounding the campground are still very green. The best color is just past the camp on your right where there are a few dozen trees in full color. Just below the camp near the Tyee Trailhead also has several trees showing color.

30 – 50% – Parchers Camp – Lots of color developing in and around Parchers Camp. Especially brilliant are the hillsides to the east and west of the resort. Still plenty of aspen yet to change but its progressing nicely. The trail from Parchers to Willow is also turning nicely.

Weir Pond (9/11/13) © Krisdina Karady

Weir Pond (9/11/13) © Krisdina Karady

15-30% – Weir Pond (9,700 ft) – The grove above the pond is really turning yellow while the lower aspen surrounding the Weir still have yet to turn except for a few small branches here and there.

15 – 30% – Lake Sabrina (9,150 ft) – Still a ways to go here but there is quite a bit of color developing around what’s left of the lake. This location will be a little harder to find good photos this year with the water level being so low. Look for the groves below the dam to be one of the best places to capture color when it develops.

North Lake (9/11

North Lake (9/11/13) © Krisdina Karady


15-30% – North Lake (9,255 ft) – The groves above the lake area starting to turn nicely but the majority of the aspen are still green including the aspen along the creek and along the road. The most intense color is just below the lake along the road where some nice read and orange is visible.Closer to 15% than 30%, there is still a ways to go for full color.

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  1. […] conditions were reported at Sabrina Campground and Surveyors Meadow near Willow Campground, prompting "Go Now" alerts from John Poimiroo at California Fall Color. Both were spot on, but there's more to […]

  2. […] traveling this year, now is the time to start paying attention. Fall color blogger John Poimiroo has issued the first "Go Now!" alerts of the season. It's few weeks earlier than usual, but we're at the whim of Mother Nature — or, […]

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