Losing Hope? Not Quite Yet

Norway House, Sorensens Resort (10/12/17) John Poimiroo

The Hope Valley still has lots and lots of peak color, though it’s all below 7,400′.

A scouting trip through the Hope Valley (CA-88, Carson Pass) found peak color at Sorensen’s Resort at the top of Woodford’s Canyon and in the Hope Valley below Red Creek Cabin.

Comparison photos of Red Creek Cabin (admittedly shot at different times of day at different locations and with different framing) shows what’s happened there in the past ten days. They also show the affect of smoke in the air.

Red Creek Cabin, Hope Valley (10/12/17) John Poimiroo

Red Creek Cabin, Hope Valley (10/2/17) John Poimiroo

Aspen high on the ridge behind the cabin have moved from Just Starting to Patchy.

Those directly behind the cabin, that were peaking previously, are now Past Peak and those that were Patchy to Near Peak are peaking.

The most vivid peak probably occurred between the time I took the first and second photograph.

Hope Valley (10/12/17) John Poimiroo

Hope Valley (10/9/17) Dan Varvais

Above the cabin, Red Lake and Caples Lake have peaked. Only spotty color remains. Similarly, at Sorensen’s, stands at the resort are at full, glorious peak, while those across the road and along the West Fork of the Carson River are Past Peak.

Nevertheless, you haven’t missed it. This weekend will still be spectacular in the Hope Valley with great color to be seen along CA-88 between Red Creek Cabin and Woodford’s Canyon (Sorensens). Haze from Northern California wildfires softened the scene, slightly, but as seen in these photos, could be corrected.

If you are attentive, a few dirt and gravel US Forest Service roads lead from points along the north side of CA-88 to the color. They are marked with USFS tags. Do not, however, drive on any private roads, which usually are marked “No Trespassing.”

Also, parking at Sorensens is limited to resort guests and diners, so if you want to take pictures there, please buy something. They have a very excellent book/gift shop with tantalizing items, including the Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling – another fun way to capture fall color.

Hope Valley (10-/12/17) John Poimiroo

During my visit to the Hope Valley, I spoke with John Brisenden, owner of Sorensens Resort who said 29 mph gusts had passed through on Wed. night, but there was little sign that many of the leaves had been carried away.

Instead, at Sorensen’s and in the lower Hope Valley, there continue to be large groves of aspen with peak color that will likely hold for another week or more.

So, don’t lose Hope. GO NOW and be dazzled by it.

Hope Valley (7,300′) – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!

Luther Pass (7,740′) – Peak to Past Peak (75-100%) GO NOW as you almost missed it! – Big Meadow on the north side of Luther Pass is the only area along this section of CA-89 that has any color.  Large aspen on the east side of the meadow are peaking and add romance to a hike along the meadow trail. Though, the color is an added benefit to the hike, not a reason in itself to visit the meadow.

Monitor Pass (8,314′) – Past Peak – You Missed It. – Steve Greer reports he just crossed Monitor Pass and 80% of the trees up there are stripped. It’s so exposed up there, that the wind John Brisenden mentioned may turned the aspen into sticks last Wed. night.