88 is Nearing 50

Quaking Aspen, Wylder Hope Valley Resort (9/26/20) Philip Reedy

Highway 88 is still Patchy but approaching 50% of peak color, as seen in Philip Reedy’s photos of color along the Carson Pass.

The route was busy with traffic this weekend because US 50 (a few miles north) was closed due to road construction. So, 88 was the only semi-direct route to South Lake Tahoe.

Reedy noted very few “leaf peepers” among those travelers and that little fall color has yet developed from Silver Lake to Carson Pass. He reported, “the stretch from Red Lake down to the iconic cabin is starting to show some color, but is still just beginning.  Those who love to photograph the cabin in all of its autumn glory, should probably wait a week.”

We are more conservative. From Reedy’s photo of the cabin, we estimate it will take 1.5 to two weeks to reach peak, there. As, from the pictures of the cabin he took, there is very little color yet beginning to appear; it’s still in the 0 – 10% range. 

Across the road there is still no color along Red Lake Creek, but the trees are still beautiful, and in a week or two will be glorious,” Reedy estimates. These trees usually produce a variety of colors, from yellow to orange to crimson which can be impressive at peak.

“From Blue Lakes Road, east on 88, there is a decent amount of color for the first mile or so, probably in the 10-50% range. The pasture north of the junction of Blue Lakes Rd and CA-88 continues to increase in intensity, but it’s a scattered show with trees losing leaves, to bright yellow, to green.  All the color is in the trees near the pasture, while the groves up the mountainside are still completely green.” Reedy reports.

The best displays of fall color in the Hope Valley are seen from the intersection of state highways 88 and 89 east to the Wylder Hope Valley Resort, especially on the south side of the highway.  Reedy said the resort itself is still mainly green. Beyond that, there’s little color to be seen all the way to Markleeville.

Phil Reedy was recently honored by the Outdoor Writers Association of California for contributing photography to the award-winning article, Siskiyou Sonata, published on this site, last year.

  • Carson Pass, CA-88E (8,652′) – Patchy (10-50%)
  • CA-88E (7,800′) – Patchy (10-50%)
  • CA-88E (7,550′ – 7,000′) – Patchy to Near Peak (10 – 75%) Go Now!
  • CA-88E (Below 7,000′) – Patchy (10-50%)
2 replies
  1. Audre says:

    How do I get to red lake creek cabin? My gos doesn’t recognize red lake creek as a place, only red lake. Is that the same place?

    • John Poimiroo says:

      Red Lake Creek Cabin sits on the north side of CA-88. It is not at Red Lake, but sits near Red Lake Creek. The location is noted on the California Fall Color Map on the home page. Open the map, then search for Red Lake Creek Cabin. Caltrans has widened the shoulder near the cabin, to provide for safer parking for motorists who stop to photograph the cabin. Stay on the shoulder. Do not cross the fence to walk toward the cabin, as it sits on private land. Fall color should be peaking at the site next week.


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