Reluctant Aspen in Mono County

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Quaking Aspen, Virginia Lakes (9/19/17) Jeff Simpson

Jeff Simpson tells us that the aspen in Mono County “seem a little reluctant to let go of summer.” Like other areas of the Eastern High Sierra, peak color is delayed about a week.

“There is some lovely color beginning along the upper section of Rock Creek Road, Virginia Lakes Road, Lobdell Lake Road and Sagehen Summit. For hikers, there is some great color about 2 miles up McGee Canyon Trail above the first creek crossing. These locations will be the first to show color and will be perfect in the next 5-7 days,” Jeff reports.

And, while the trees are slow in turning color, lots of wildflowers are still blooming near 10,000′, particularly along creek beds in the Saddlebag Lake/Sawmill Campground area.

Virginia Lakes (9/19/17) Jeff Simpson

Sagehen Meadow (9/20/17) Alicia Vennos

Rock Creek Lake (9/19/17) Alicia Vennos













Virginia Lakes (9,819’) – 10-50% Patchy – The leaves are just starting to turn lime green with the exception of a few early achievers like this grove located near the parking lot of Big Virginia Lake. (And yes, that’s still snow on the mountain from last winter!) For more adventurous leaf peepers with AWD or 4WD vehicles, take the Dunderberg Meadow Road to Sinnamon Meadows and Green Creek for additional aspen groves and views of Conway Summit.

Sagehen Summit (8,139’) – 10-50% Patchy – Sagehen Summit is the closest to a “Go Now” designation in Mono County. Sagehen Meadow is showing a mixture of greens, yellows and oranges with nearby Johnny Meadow equally as close. This will be your best shot at peak colors over the next week.

Upper Rock Creek (9,600’) – 10-50% Patchy – Color is just starting to show up around Rock Creek lake but should be really getting pretty early next week. Take the Mosquito Flats trail, Hilton & Davis Lakes Trail or Tamarack Bench Trail into higher elevations for more color.

Lobdell Lake Rd. (9/19/17) Jeff Simpson

Lobdell Lake Road (8,600”) – 10-50% Patchy – Lobdell Lake Road was just getting started on Tuesday with mostly green and lime green foliage. Plan to see the colors here in about 10 days! Note: Burcham Flat Road to Lobdell lake Road are dirt roads – AWD or 4WD vehicles are recommended.

McGee Creek Canyon (8,600’) – 10-50% Patchy – For hikers, there is some great color about 2 miles up McGee Canyon Trail above the first creek crossing. Leaves around the campground and US 395 are still green.

Eastern Sierra Fall Color Map (2017)

CLICK HERE for a .pdf of the new California’s Eastern Sierra Fall Color Map for Inyo and Mono Counties.

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