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California Roundup

Green Lake (9/23/17) Naresh Satyan

Color spotters from across California have been contributing their observations.  Here’s a roundup of what they’re seeing.

Eastern Sierra

Groves Above Cardinal Village (9/24/17) Clayton Peoples

Clayton Peoples spent Sunday in the upper reaches of Bishop Creek Canyon and reports, “Although I agree with color spotter Will Ridgeway on rating the high elevations above Lake Sabrina as “Near Peak” (50-75%), much of Bishop Creek Canyon is still “Patchy” (10-50%)–but that doesn’t mean there isn’t still beautiful color to be found.

“For instance, the upper portion of the groves above Cardinal Village have turned mostly orange. Given a few more days, this subset of aspens will likely be at peak color. Likewise, some of the aspen around Lake Sabrina have begun to turn yellow and/or orange–but will likely need a week or more to reach peak color.

Nevertheless, Clayton predicts there will be “numerous weeks of good color to come in Bishop Creek Canyon as color fills in more fully in the high elevations, then works its way down.” Clayton would assess Bishop Creek Canyon as “Peak of the Week” worthy… and we agree.

South Lake Rd, near Parchers, Bishop Creek Canyon (9/23/17) Naresh Satyan

Naresh Satyan hiked from South Lake in Bishop Creek Canyon to Green Lake (up to 12,400′) before snow turned him back, yesterday. He reports that aspens along South Lake road are still mostly green and healthy), though he found a few stands surrounding the Parchers Resort that are turning nicely.

The color appears to be best at or above 10,000′ which coincides with a Near Peak (GO NOW!) report we received this past week from Sabrina Lake.

You will, however, find peak color among the willows, grasses and ground covers. That is evident in the photo of Green Lake (11,260′) which Naresh described as “spectacular and well worth the hike to get there.” Of course, be prepared for cold temperatures. A light dusting of snow on the mountains and some lupines still blooming made for an unforgettable hike.


Shasta Cascade

Ruth Hartman reports from Coffee Creek in Trinity County (Shasta Cascade) that color this past week’s cold snap got dogwood turning red and varigated green along Hwy 3 in Trinity County at 3000′. You’ll find it while heading north along the Slate grade, two miles before Tannery Gulch campground. Odd, but we’re seeing the same with planted dogwood at 800′ in elevation, east of Sacramento in El Dorado Hills.

Southern California

Gingko Biloba, Long Beach (9/23/17) Trent Vierra

Liquidambar, Long Beach (9/23/17) Trent Vierra

Trent Vierra interrupted his morning bike ride, yesterday, to snap a couple of shots of gingko biloba and liquidambar brightening up along 1st St. in the Bluff Heights neighborhood of Long Beach, and commented that he’s been noticing change in color among these exotic species.

That’s typical of liquidambar, though the gingkos tend to keep to a more regular schedule. Still, Trent scores the first “First Report” for Long Beach. While doing that, he also got a shot of a Maine license plate beside emerging California Fall Color… double score.





16 replies
  1. Sandy says:

    Hi John

    Thank you for your great updates..

    Would like to know if June Lake loop is ripe for visiting this coming weekend i.e September 30th ?if not , when will be a good time? weekend of October 7th or 14th ?


    • John Poimiroo says:

      Sandy, No. The June Lake Loop follows – by two weeks – peak at Bishop Creek Canyon, and Bishop Creek is presently running a week to two late. However, this isn’t precise and I can’t say that June Lake will be that late, as well.

      But, for this and next week, upper Bishop Creek, Rock Creek, McGee Creek… all the high canyons on the Eastside, are where it’s happening.

    • John Poimiroo says:

      June Lake often peaks the third week of Oct. So, Oct. 14 might be early. However, if you search “God Shed His Grace” you’ll see a photograph of Silver Lake taken by Nicholas Barnhart that is absolutely angelic. So, it can peak earlier.

    • John Poimiroo says:

      Always, use the search engine on the site first. By typing in Sonoma, you’ll find several references and photographs. From them, it appears mid to late October is best for Sonoma County, though there’s such variety, it will roll through the county. Sugarloaf Ridge SP near Kenwood was peaking at the end of October, last year.

  2. Ryan says:

    Hi there. As a bishop native and photographer I’ll be heading up oct 6-9. Do you think bishop creek/Sabrina will already be shedding by that point?

    • John Poimiroo says:


      Frankly, I’m surprised Bishop Creek hasn’t been shedding by now. It is running late. I plan to be there Oct. 2 – 4, but the canyon will be good for at least a week or two longer. If not, there’s always Rock Creek, McGee, the high lakes… so much to see.

      • ryan says:

        yeah I think I’m mostly wanting to capture the quaking aspens near cardinal so hopefully since it’s a bit lower they will still be on the trees when I get there

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