Statewide Summary: Peak 500′ to 2000′

Vineyard, Old River Rd., Ukiah (10/31/17) Walt Gabler

Peak fall color has descended to elevations below 2,000’. That means the best fall color can now be seen in the Sierra foothills, Gold Country and, increasingly, in the Central Valley.

Red maple and quaking aspen leaves, Agate Bay, Lake Tahoe (11/1/17) John Poimiroo

Splashes of peak color can still be seen at higher elevations, though they are not sufficiently widespread to paint an entire region as peaking. For example, areas of North Lake Tahoe have cottonwood and aspen still full of bright yellow and gold leaves, but travel a mile or so and the trees have been stripped of their leaves.

In the Northern Sierra, Plumas County was in the final stages of peak color this past week, though again, the color is at risk of being stripped. The same is true of other areas above 3,000’ in the Shasta Cascade that had peak color.

The Eastern Sierra, with the exception of Bishop and the Owens Valley are now Past Peak.

The Central Sierra (Yosemite and Kings Canyon Sequoia) are nearing Past Peak. Black oak continue to show bright color in Yosemite Valley, but almost all the dogwood, bigleaf maple and cottonwood are past peak. The Wawona Road in Yosemite is still speckled with bright red, yellow and orange color, though it is falling, increasingly.

In Southern California, all mountain communities above 2,000′ are Past Peak.

With an early winter storm predicted for the weekend, fully peaked color will likely be stripped from mountainous areas.

Peak Fall Color has now descended to from 500 to 2,000’ in elevation. This includes California’s vineyards which filling the vineyards with burgundy, red, orange, yellow and lime grape leaves, by type of grape variety. From now to Thanksgiving Day, Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino Counties and northern San Diego County vineyards should have successive shows of bright color by grape variety.