Robert Kermen traveled the route from east to west on Friday. I did the same from west to east, Saturday morning.
Robert found peak color from the Coldstream Valley to Donner Lake. Aspen beside railroad snow sheds are brightly yellow, as well as cottonwood near China Cove on Donner Lake.
Beyond that, you drive in and out of pockets of color in areas where the South Yuba River is near the highway, such as Cisco Grove. Peaking groves are mostly of black cottonwood, as the aspen are Peak to Past Peak in most areas. Below 5,000′ bright glimpses of yellow bigleaf maple peek through the evergreens.
Take a break from highway driving and you’ll find beautiful scenes, such as the one Robert photographed of black cottonwood at Cisco Grove.
Kermen was dazzled by the color along CA-20 from I-80 to Nevada City. Presently, the most vibrant peak is being seen below 4,000′ and is descending rapidly, as noted by our previous report about Nevada City (2,477′).
The most prominent color he found was along the “dogwood belt,” near Lake Spaulding where hundreds of dogwood are peaking. This part of Hwy 20 is spectacular now and in May when the dogwood are bright green with new leaves and decorated with their white bracts (flowers).
Donner Pass (7,057′) – Peak to Past Peak, GO NOW, YOU ALMOST MISSED IT.