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Mono County: Double Rainbow

Double Rainbow, Conway Summit (10/14/16) Jeff Simpson

Double Rainbow, Conway Summit (10/14/16) Jeff Simpson

Conway Summit (10/14/16) Jeff Simpson

Conway Summit (10/14/16) Jeff Simpson

Jeff Simpson drove throughout Mono County yesterday and found the colors to be “unbelievable” before the storm. This morning, he returned across the same route and was pleased to see that despite last night’s rain and wind the color, “was still there,” and he was “very surprised to see a good majority of leaves still on the trees,” despite severe wind the previous night.

Earlier this autumn, we wrote about the abcission layer which develops in autumn, preventing the leaf from being nourished. “Eventually, like scissors, the abscission cells close the connection between leaf and branch and the leaf falls,” we reported.

Conway Summit (10/14/16) Jeff Simpson

Conway Summit (10/14/16) Jeff Simpson

Wind is the biggest nemesis to autumn leaves, but if the leaves are still being nourished by the tree and the abcission layer isn’t yet fully closed, they may stay attached to branches, even though colorful and near ready to fall. That is likely what happened in this case.

The joy Jeff felt about fall still continuing in Mono County, regardless of the storm, was doubled when he spied a double rainbow arcing over Conway Summit.

Conway Summit, Mono County – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!

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Northern Owens Valley Burnished With Orange

Buckley Ponds, Owens Valley (10/12/16) Gigi deJong

Buckley Ponds, Owens Valley (10/12/16) Gigi deJong

Color spotter Gigi deJong drove southeast of Bishop toward the Owens River and the Buckley Ponds in search of color, today.

Buckley Ponds, Owens Valley (10/12/16) Gigi deJong

Buckley Ponds, Owens Valley (10/12/16) Gigi deJong

A smattering of yellow decorates the Bishop Country Club which is otherwise “still beautifully green” and is likely a “late starter.” She predicts it will approach peak in a few days to a week, depending on how much wind lashes the East Side, this week. 

There are large and small cottonwood trees dotted all across the northern Owens Valley floor. Some are loners, others in groves. The smaller trees range from fully yellow with burnished orange tips to an overall bronzed orange.

She writes, “The larger trees are just beginning to turn yellow on the tops and edges. Deep red leaves on creeping vines appear as if on fire as they curl around gnarled old wood of dead trees alongside the creeks. 

“A high point along Eastside road that runs along the base of the White mountains provides a panoramic view of the Owens River valley and the Sierra Nevada beyond. Early morning and sunset are always beautiful out here. 

“The creek, marshes and ponds along Buckley Ponds road have abundant birdlife and the reeds are a shimmering copper color. 

“There are large individual trees in many spots in and around Bishop that are almost iridescent yellow. There’s a large grove almost directly opposite my cottage and I’ll go out early tomorrow morning and try and get a few good shots.” 

Owens Valley – Patchy (10-50%)

Owens Valley (10/12/16) Gigi deJong

Owens Valley (10/12/16) Gigi deJong

Owens Valley (10/12/16) Gigi deJong

Owens Valley (10/12/16) Gigi deJong

Owens Valley (10/12/16) Gigi deJong

Owens Valley (10/12/16) Gigi deJong

Owens Valley (10/12/16) Gigi deJong

Owens Valley (10/12/16) Gigi deJong

Buckley Ponds, Owens Valley (10/12/16) Gigi deJong

Buckley Ponds, Owens Valley (10/12/16) Gigi deJong

Owens Valley (10/12/16) Gigi deJong

Owens Valley (10/12/16) Gigi deJong

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Mono Peaking Everywhere – Don’t Delay – GO NOW!

Lundy Canyon (10/12/16) Darrell Sano

Lundy Canyon (10/12/16) Darrell Sano

“Everything, everywhere (in Mono County) is peaking right now, including the June Lake Loop which is glowing and brilliant especially ‘down canyon’ from the Double Eagle Resort to Grant Lake,” reports color spotter, Alicia Vennos.

If you can get there today, GO NOW! As, it may not be there in a day or two. Darrell Sano visited on 10/12 and plans to continue photographing on 10/13, right up to the point when the scene might be gone with the wind.

Alicia advises that a storm is expected on Friday (10/14), with a break Saturday (10/15), and potentially more precipitation on Sunday (10/16). The storm could close Tioga and Sonora passes, though the freeze is expected to be very high.

Tip: During and immediately following an early winter, the scene is spectacular as trees, heavy with fall color, are dusted with snow.

Alicia suggests that anyone traveling this weekend should consult the weather forecast and road conditions (1-800-427-7623) before heading to the East Side in order to avoid road and pass closings.

Litttle Walker Lake (10/10/16) Alicia Vennos

Litttle Walker Lake (10/10/16) Alicia Vennos

Iconic locations at peak include the June Lake Loop, Convict Lake, Conway Summit, Walker Canyon, McGee Canyon, Twin Lakes and Summers Meadow.

Areas near the end of peak and likely to transition to past peak this weekend include Monitor Pass, Sonora Pass, Lobdell Lake (4WD high clearance vehicles only) and Parker Lake.

WALKER / COLEVILLE / TOPAZ

Monitor Pass – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW! – You’ll see color from top to bottom right now. Check road conditions before attempting to cross this pass.

Horse Creek Falls Trail, Twin Lakes (10/10/16) Alicia Vennos

Horse Creek Falls Trail, Twin Lakes (10/10/16) Alicia Vennos

Lobdell Lake – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW! – Still some brilliant colors but most leaves will be blown off by the end of the weekend. For 4WD high clearance vehicles only.

Walker Canyon – Near Peak (50-75%) GO NOW! – Lots of yellows around every bend working all the way up to Sonora Pass. Still a few days short of full peak. 

Towns of Walker & Coleville – Patchy (10-50%) – Just getting started but those iconic cottonwood trees will be perfect next weekend. 

Sonora Pass – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW! – An incoming storm this weekend may close the pass and the fall color door on this location. Check road conditions before attempting to cross this pass.

 BRIDGEPORT / VIRGINIA LAKES

Twin Lakes – Near Peak (50-75%) GO NOW!  – Still a little green around Upper and Lower Lakes and through the campgrounds of Robinson Creek. Hike the Horsetail Falls or Barney Lake trails for peak colors. 

Virginia Lakes (10/12/16) Darrell Sano

Virginia Lakes (10/12/16) Darrell Sano

Conway Summit (10/12/16) Darrell Sano

Conway Summit (10/12/16) Darrell Sano

Virginia Lakes – Past Peak YOU MISSED IT!

Conway Summit – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW! – Still slightly green in some spots but will be perfect later this weekend, conditions permitting, especially on the south side of Conway near the Mono Lake overlook.  Check this location post storm for snowy mountains in the background and fall color in the foreground. 

Green Creek – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW! – Past peak in the upper elevations, especially on the hike to Green Lake. Colors around the road and campgrounds are at peak color. 

Summers Meadow – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW! – This location will be gleaming with color the next 10 days

Sunrise, Mono Lake (10/12/16) Darrell Sano

Sunrise, Mono Lake (10/12/16) Darrell Sano

LEE VINING 

Tioga Pass & Lee Vining Canyon – Near Peak (50-75%) Go Now! – Lee Vining Canyon is just getting going while the colors around Tioga Pass and Saddlebag are past peak. Check road conditions before attempting to cross this pass.

Lundy Lake (10/12/16) Darrell Sano

Lundy Lake (10/12/16) Darrell Sano

Lundy Canyon (10/12/16) Darrell Sano

Lundy Canyon (10/12/16) Darrell Sano

Lundy Lake & Canyon – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW! Lundy Canyon and around the beaver ponds are at full peak while colors around the lake and campground are still spotty. 

BENTON & 120 EAST 

Sagehen Meadow – Past Peak YOU MISSED IT!

JUNE LAKE LOOP

June Lake Loop/Hwy 158 – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW! Groves of brilliant yellow, gold and red in some locations while others are still patchy. The drive around the June Lake Loop (Hwy. 158) is especially gorgeous down canyon from the Double Eagle Resort to Grant Lake. 

Parker Lake (10/12/16) Darrell Sano

Parker Lake (10/12/16) Darrell Sano

Parker Lake – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW! – Colors are still unbelievable at Parker Lake. Take the Parker Bench Trail from Silver Lake Resort for a more difficult but worthy fall color experience.

Litttle Walker Lake (10/10/16) Alicia Vennos

Litttle Walker Lake (10/10/16) Alicia Vennos

Litttle Walker Lake (10/10/16) Alicia Vennos

Litttle Walker Lake (10/10/16) Alicia Vennos

Little Walker Lake – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW! –Little Walker Lake is finally starting to shine and should be perfect over the next 5 days. 

MAMMOTH LAKES

Lakes Basin – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW! – Colors around the Mammoth Lakes Basin are at full peak.

Mammoth Creek Road – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW! – Take the drive around Sherwin Creek for the best chance for peak fall color.

CONVICT LAKE  

Around resort/campgrounds – Near Peak (50-75%) GO NOW!  Still slightly green the closer you get to US 395 but still plenty of color. 

Convict Lake & Canyon – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW! Colors around the lake and up Convict Canyon are brilliant right now! Take the short and easy hike around the lake for the best fall color experience. 

CROWLEY LAKE/McGEE CREEK  

McGee Creek Canyon – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!Great color around the pack station and campground right now!

Around Crowley community – Patchy (10-50%) 

ROCK CREEK CANYON

Around Rock Creek Lake  Past Peak YOU MISSED IT!

Along the road – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW! – Colors along the road and in the campgrounds are at peak while the higher elevation locations are at past peak. 

 

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All Eyes on the Eastern Sierra

Lundy Canyon (10/11/16) Josh Wray

Lundy Canyon (10/11/16) Josh Wray

Mammoth Creek (10/11/16) Josh Wray

Mammoth Creek (10/11/16) Josh Wray

Mammoth Creek (10/11/16) Josh Wray

Mammoth Creek (10/11/16) Josh Wray

Lundy Canyon (10/11/16) Josh Wray

Lundy Canyon (10/11/16) Josh Wray

Lundy Canyon (10/11/16) Josh Wray

Lundy Canyon (10/11/16) Josh Wray

Lundy Canyon (10/11/16) Josh Wray

Lundy Canyon (10/11/16) Josh Wray

June Lake Loop (10/11/16) Josh Wray

June Lake Loop (10/11/16) Josh Wray

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With all eyes on the Eastern Sierra, due to predicted wind and snow, Josh Wray of Mammoth Lakes went out today to see what’s happening and returned with this report.

Mammoth Creek Road – Near Peak (50-75%) Go Now! – This spot sure turned on, quick. The dazzling display of aspen closely grouped together and hugging Mammoth Creek can easily be seen from US-395. From the right vantage point, one can even capture Mammoth Mountain Ski Area in the background. Take a sack lunch and post up by the creek covered in a canopy of yellow. Could this be the gold the original founders of the Mammoth Mine were looking for?

Lundy Canyon – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW! – This hotspot never disappoints. You’ll get a fantastic show of fall color along the entire road up to Lundy Canyon. Nearly every grove before Lundy Lake is at peak while some trees at the lake level are now past peak. Take a little extra time to drive back to the beaver ponds for an excellent view of the canyon reflected in the water.

June Lake Loop -Near Peak (50-75%) Go Now! – From June Lake to Grant Lake you can’t lose. It seems that just around every corner on the loop there’s another grove starting to peak. It’s hard not to stop at every turn off making the loop more of a full day drive than just a quick alternate route. The Loop typically starts to peak around  this time every year and colors tend to last for about 2 weeks (weather dependent). With the possibility of snow this weekend, you might want to make the drive up and experience the fall colors with a fresh dusting of snow on the ground. Nothing compares to the beauty that happens when fall colors and snow battle for all of the attention.

 

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Mammoth Fun at Parker Lake

Parker Lake (10/9/16) Josh Wray

Parker Lake (10/9/16) Josh Wray

Josh Wray and his friends know how to have fun… head to Parker Lake near Mammoth Lakes for some standup paddleboarding surrounded by brilliant fall color.

Parker Lake (10/9/16) Josh Wray

Parker Lake (10/9/16) Josh Wray

He rated Parker as Patchy, though by the time you get there, it will be peaking, and along the trail to the lake, aspen have peaked and are falling quickly.

However, Josh rates the aspen on the backside of Parker Lake as “incredible.”

Josh forecasts that, conditions permitting, the far side of Parker Lake will be completely yellow by the weekend.

He advises that carrying a paddleboard on the 1.8-mile hike to Parker Lake isn’t the easiest adventure, but WOW! what a result and what fun.

Who wouldn’t have wanted to be with Josh and his posse as they glided across this glassine water, surrounded by fall color.

Parker Lake – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!

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Why It’s Called Fall

McGee Creek, Mono County (10/10/16) Laura Zirino

McGee Creek, Mono County (10/10/16) Laura Zirino

McGee Creek, Mono County (10/10/16) Laura Zirino

McGee Creek, Mono County (10/10/16) Laura Zirino

Peak yellow aspen leaves were fluttering in the wind when Laura Zirino visited McGee Creek, yesterday.

This area of the Eastern Sierra will likely drop it’s leaves by the weekend, should strong winds blow through on Thursday.

It’s why the season is called Fall.

McGee Creek – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!

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Gallimauphry: Weekend Update

Hope Valley (10/8/16) Andrew Zheng

Hope Valley (10/8/16) Andrew Zheng

This is one of the longest reports California Fall Color has ever published. It is so, because of many detailed reports received.

Unbeknownst to us, our inbox crashed along with the server, causing reports sent to us last week to arrive today. So, please bear with this long post, as it’s full of great photos and important guidance for the week ahead.

NORTHERN SIERRA

The upper areas of the Hope Valley are past peak, though as seen in Andrew Zheng’s photo (above) of the cabin near the junction of CA-88 and CA-89, a mix of developing lime to fully peaked trees can be seen side-by-side with stripped trees.

Hope Valley – Peak to Past Peak YOU ALMOST MISSED IT!

EASTERN SIERRA

Glacier Lodge (10/5/16) Clayton Peoples

Glacier Lodge (10/5/16) Clayton Peoples

First Report: Longtime contributor, Clayton Peoples sent news of “an oft-overlooked gem,” Glacier Lodge which is west of Big Pine in the southern Eastern Sierra, off US 395. He visited the previous weekend and found some nice patchy color in the lower elevations and near peak higher up, with more color appearing this week.  He promises to return.

Tip of the Day: a number of canyons lead up into the Eastern Sierra from US 395. These are often lightly visited and full of color.  No, they don’t have the big stands of aspen found in Bishop Creek or at June Lake, but they’re beautiful, nonetheless. And, for So. Calif. color spotters they’re a lot closer to reach.

Glacier Lodge, Big Pine – Near Peak (50-75%) GO NOW!

Surveyor's Meadow (10/6/16) Robert Provin

Surveyor’s Meadow (10/6/16) Robert Provin

Sabrina Approach (10/9/16) Abhi Bhaskaran

Sabrina Approach (10/9/16) Abhi Bhaskaran

Sabrina Approach (10/9/16) Julie Kirby

Sabrina Approach (10/9/16) Julie Kirby

Sabrina Approach (10/6/16) Robert Provin

Sabrina Approach (10/6/16) Robert Provin

Mist Falls, Bishop Creek Canyon (10/6/16) Michael Caffey

Mist Falls, Bishop Creek Canyon (10/6/16) Michael Caffey

Mist Falls, Bishop Creek Canyon (10/6/16) Michael Caffey

Convict Lake, Mono County (10/6/16) Michael Caffey

Bishop Creek is past peak at its upper reaches, though peak color can still be found (conditions permitting) at mid and lower elevations.

Then, there are exceptions like the Sabrina Approach, photographed by Abhi Bhaskaran, Robert Provin and Julie Kirby.

 

Following is a video from Bishop showing what the canyon looked like this past weekend.

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Bishop Creek Canyon – Upper Elevations – Past Peak YOU MISSED IT!

Bishop Creek Canyon – Mid Elevations – Near Peak and Peak  GO NOW!

Bishop Creek Canyon – Low Elevations – Patchy (10-50%)

Pine Creek Road (10/8/16) Gigi deJong

Pine Creek Road (10/8/16) Gigi deJong

Pine Creek (10/8/16) Gigi deJong

Pine Creek (10/8/16) Gigi deJong

Millpond County Park, Inyo County (10/8/16) Gigi deJong

Millpond County Park, Inyo County (10/8/16) Gigi deJong

Gigi deJong toured Round Valley, northwest of Bishop in the Eastern Sierra on Friday and found the cottonwood just turning yellow.

Though, there are “some lovely stand in picturesque spots,” with rabbitbrush in full irridescent yellow bloom, complementing the trees perfectly.

Counterpoints include bull rushes along the creeks, an occasional apple tree and “old structures that have lovely patina.”

Farm animals and the Sierra Nevada provide ornamentation that complements the scene and makes it classically a California Fall Color diorama.

She recommends exploring Pine Creek Rd., Round Valley Rd., Horton Creek Campground and Millpond County Park (Inyo County).

Round Valley, Inyo County (northwest of Bishop) – Patchy (10-50%), though well worth a trip.

Color spotter Anthony DeChiaro hiked to the Hilton Lakes on Oct. 6 to find the area denuded of leaves. He admitted he didn’t spend a lot of time searching for color around the lake, but that’s about what we would have expected, considering that the lakes are from 9,800′ to 11,000′ in elevation, and everything abover 9,000′ was reported as past peak the day Anthony headed up to the Hilton Lakes.

Hilton Lakes – Past Peak YOU MISSED IT!

Barney Lake (10/9/16) Leor Pantilat

Robinson Creek Trail to Barney Lake (10/9/16) Leor Pantilat

Barney Lake (10/9/16) Leor Pantilat

Robinson Creek Trail(10/9/16) Leor Pantilat

 

Barney Lake (10/9/16) Leor Pantilat

Robinson Creek Trail (10/9/16) Leor Pantilat

Barney Lake (10/9/16) Leor Pantilat

Robinson Creek Trail (10/9/16) Leor Pantilat

Leor Pantilat traveled to Mono County yesterday to capture these images on an iPhone.

He reports that the “Robinson Creek Trail to Barney Lake is at peak and dazzling with mountainsides full of yellow, orange and red contrasting with the rugged peaks surrounding the scene.

“After the short stretch in the pine forest near Twin Lakes, the trail emerges into meadows and the aspen at peak color is virtually unabated for 4 miles all the way to Barney Lake and beyond.

“I was at the same spot at the same time last year and the aspen show is substantially better this year with much less brown rot.

“Leaves were flying off the trees with every breeze so this is definitely a GO NOW! situation.”

He continues, “Strong winds are forecast as early as Thursday will likely end the show.”

Robinson Creek Trail to Barney Lake, Mono County – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW! 

June Lake Loop (10/9/16) Julie Kirby

June Lake Loop (10/9/16) Julie Kirby

June Lake should peak this weekend, with color lasting another week.  So, even if the winds strip some trees, enough color should remain along the June Lake Loop to keep it beautiful.

June Lake Loop – Near Peak (50-75%) GO NOW!

Sonora Pass (10/7/16) Dave Olden

Sonora Pass (10/7/16) Dave Olden

Sonora Pass and Leavitt Meadow are now wearing orange as if they were rooting for the San Francisco Giants in the playoffs.  When Dave Olden crossed the pass on Oct. 7, it was just beginning its peak.

Sonora Pass (10/10/16) Leor Pantilat

Sonora Pass (10/9/16) Leor Pantilat

Then, Leor Pantilat happened by on Sunday and found it had donned Giant colors. That’s how fast it peaks. Again, this color might not last out the week.

Sonora Pass – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW! 

CENTRAL COAST

Fremont cottonwood, Rose Valley Road, Ojai (10/6/16) Kevin Rose

Fremont cottonwood, Rose Valley Road, Ojai (10/6/16) Kevin Rose

First Report: Traveling north from Ojai along SR33, color spotter Kevin Rose found a stand of Fremont cottonwood, brushed by refreshing mountain breezes off Rose Valley Road.

The trees were showing patchy color at coordinates 34.5595382 – 119.1654414 along Sespe Creek.

Nearby, several backpackers were gearing up to hike Lion Canyon. Kevin did some of the same hike and declares it hike-worthy!  Turn right off CA-33 on Rose Valley Rd. and follow the parking lot to its bitter end.

This is a nice walk for Central Coast color spotters and earns title as HIKE OF THE WEEK. “Totally worth it!” wrote Rose who followed Rose Valley Road.

Rose Valley Road, Los Padres National Forest, Ojai – Patchy (10-50%)

Poison Oak, Humboldt Redwoods State Park (10/10/16) Max Forster

Poison Oak, Humboldt Redwoods State Park (10/10/16) Max Forster

NORTH COAST

Prairie Creek RSP (10/10/16) Max Forster

Prairie Creek RSP (10/10/16) Max Forster

Lost Man Creek, Redwood National Park (10/10/16) Max Forster

Lost Man Creek, Redwood National Park (10/10/16) Max Forster

Jedediah Smith RSP (10/10/16) Max Forster

Jedediah Smith RSP (10/10/16) Max Forster

North Coast color spotter Max Forster happened upon the historically significant Luna tree while looking for color in Humboldt Redwoods State Park.

This is the tree that Julia “Butterfly” Hill sat in for two years in protest of logging within the area.  

Humboldt Redwoods State Park – Patchy (10-50%).  Bigleaf maple and poison oak along the Avenue of the Giants have another week until peak yellow and crimson, though examples can be seen when rays of sun light the redwood forest. Look for the poison oak creeping up the trunks of the skyscraper redwoods along Mattole Road.

Redwood National & State Parks – (75%-100%) GO NOW!.  Most of the bigleaf maple are putting on their best show of the season.  Trees along Mill Creek (Jedediah Smith State Park) and Little Lost Man Creek (Redwood National Park) have turned particularly impressive over the last few days.

 

 

 

 

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June Lake on Track for Terrific Color

June Lake Loop (10/7/16) Jeff Simpson

June Lake Loop (10/7/16) Jeff Simpson

June Lake Loop (10/7/16) Jeff Simpson

June Lake Loop (10/7/16) Jeff Simpson

June Lake Loop (10/7/16) Jeff Simpson

June Lake Loop (10/7/16) Jeff Simpson

June Lake Loop (10/7/16) Jeff Simpson

June Lake Loop (10/7/16) Jeff Simpson

After hearing today that leaves had dropped from some aspen trees at June Lake, we asked Jeff Simpson to go there and photograph what it looks like, right now. His photos do not disappoint.

The aspen groves are lush and full of leaves, though, on closer inspection, some are spotted with black leaf spot fungus. Still, June Lake is on track for terrific color.

Next weekend (Oct. 15/16) should be prime for peak color at June Lake. Make your travel plans, now!

June Lake Loop/Hwy 168 – Patchy (10-50%) – The patchy rating is deceiving.  This area should easily move to near peak within a week.

As such, in the coming week June Lake is sure to earn the title PEAK OF THE WEEK.

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Sierra Gold Discovered in Mono County

Hikers along the Lundy Canyon Trail (10/2/16) Alicia Vennos

Hikers along the Lundy Canyon Trail (10/2/16) Alicia Vennos

Lundy Canyon (10/2/16) Jeff Simpson

Lundy Canyon (10/2/16) Jeff Simpson

Lundy Canyon (10/2/16) Jeff Simpson

Lundy Canyon (10/2/16) Jeff Simpson

Lundy Canyon (10/2/16) Jeff Simpson

Lundy Canyon (10/2/16) Jeff Simpson

Lundy Canyon (10/2/16) Jeff Simpson

Lundy Canyon (10/2/16) Jeff Simpson

Fall foliage is peaking in Mono County and will continue for two weeks.

Color spotter Alicia Vennos calls the brilliant yellow, orange and red leaves, her county’s “Sierra gold” and recommends visiting Lobdell Lake, Sonora Pass, Green Creek, Lundy Canyon, Parker Lake, and Rock Creek, this week. They are all at full peak and will be aglow through Monday.

Other  locations worth viewing are Monitor Pass, Summers Meadow (off Green Creek Road), Lee Vining Canyon, Lundy Canyon Trail, and McGee Canyon.

The West Walker River, Convict Lake, the June Lake Loop, and Little Walker Lake are just starting to show color and should be ready for the weekend of the 15th.

WALKER / COLEVILLE / TOPAZ

  • Monitor Pass – Near Peak (50-75%) GO NOW! Still green in some locations but groves near the top of the pass are peaking.
  • Lobdell Lake (9,200′) Near Peak (50-75%) GO NOW! Colors are absolutely stunning along the road to Lobdell Lake just off Burcham Flat Road. 4WD vehicle necessary – high clearance vehicles ONLY!
  • Sonora Pass (9,623′) Near Peak (50-75%) GO NOW! Last week’s storm blew a few leaves off the trees near the top of the pass. Areas near the Mountain Warfare Training Center near US 395 are a mix of yellow and lime.
Summers Meadow (10/2/16) Jeff Simpson

Summers Meadow (10/2/16) Jeff Simpson

BRIDGEPORT / VIRGINIA LAKES

  • Virginia Lakes (9,770′)  – Past Peak YOU MISSED IT!
  • Conway Summit (8,143′) – Patchy – (10 – 50%) – On the verge of a “go now” designation but still mostly green and lime green.
 
  • Green Creek (7,500′) Near Peak (50-75%) GO NOW! The hike to Green Lake is peak to past peak while colors around the campground and along Green Creek Road will be perfect this week. 
 
  • Summers Meadow Near Peak (50-75%) GO NOW! Foliage along the mountain side are full red and orange while the colors along the road will be perfect in about 7-10 days.
Lobdell Lake Road (10/2/16) Jeff Simpson

Lobdell Lake Rd (10/2/16) Jeff Simpson

Rodruigez Flat (10/2/16) Jeff Simpson

Rodruigez Flat (10/2/16) Jeff Simpson

Little Walker River Rd (9/29/16) Jeff Simpson

Little Walker Rd (9/29/16) Jeff Simpson

Little Walker River Rd (9/29/16) Jeff Simpson

Little Walker Rd (9/29/16) Jeff Simpson

Little Walker River Rd (9/29/16) Jeff Simpson

Little Walker Rd (9/29/16) Jeff Simpson

Lobdell Lake Road (10/2/16) Jeff Simpson

Lobdell Lake Rd (10/2/16) Jeff Simpson

Lobdell Lake Road (10/2/16) Jeff Simpson

Lobdell Lake Rd (10/2/16) Jeff Simpson

LEE VINING 

  • Tioga Pass (9,943′) – Past Peak YOU MISSED IT!
  • Lee Vining Canyon – Near Peak (50-75%) GO NOW! Lee Vining Canyon is still very green but the upper elevations around Tioga Lake, Ellery Lake and Saddlebag Lake are in prime viewing condition.
  • Lundy Lake & Canyon – Near Peak (50-75%) GO NOW! Still a little early around the lake and campground. Lundy falls and the beaver ponds are at full peak and will be a perfect hike for this weekend..
  • BENTON & 120 EAST 
  • Sagehen Meadow – Past Peak YOU MISSED IT!

JUNE LAKE AREA

  • Parker Lake (8,313′) – Peak (75-100%) to Past Peak GO NOW! or YOU MISSED IT! – This is the weekend to go to Parker Lake. Take the Parker Bench Trail from Silver Lake Resort for a more difficult but worthy fall color experience.
Kevin Lennox reports the hike to the lake (2 miles) was past peak, but once at the lake, a rolling peak was occurring where some aspen were still green or lime, while others were yellow and orange. Color at Parker Lake will likely last another week, though don’t delay as “conditions are progressing fast.”
  • Laurel Canyon (8,500′) – Peak (75-100%) to Past Peak GO NOW! or YOU MISSED IT! – Some areas of Laurel Canyon are now past peak, though large areas of color remain in the aspen groves along the middle section of this 4WD road (high clearance vehicles required or hike it).
  • Little Walker Road and Lake – Near Peak (50-75%) GO NOW! – The Little Walker Lake Road is still a week from full peak. Leaves are turning yellow with patchy lime greens still present. HIKE OF THE WEEK – If you are up for a steep hike, take the trail to Sardine Lake where aspen are in full color.
  • Silver Lake, June Lake Loop – Patchy (10-50%) – Fall color is starting to spill down from the surrounding hillsides onto the June Lake Loop. Many sections are just starting to turn over to lime green and yellow with few groves ahead of the pack. The aspen grove that lines the western shore at Silver Lake is just starting to shift and should be at full peak within the next ten days, in time for the #SilverLakeInstameet on Oct. 15. 

CROWLEY LAKE/McGEE CREEK  

  • McGee Creek Canyon – Near Peak (50-75%) GO NOW! The hike to the beaver ponds and beyond are prime for fall color while its still a little patchy around the campground and pack station.

ROCK CREEK CANYON

  • Upper Rock Creek (10,300′) – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW! Peak to past peak around the lake and in the high elevation areas. This will be the last few days to catch the color around the lake.
  • Middle Rock Creek Road – Peak (75-100%) Go Now! Colors along the road and in the campgrounds are at peak color and will be perfect this weekend.

LOWER RATINGS

  • Patchy (10 – 50%) – Mammoth Lakes Basin, Mammoth Creek Rd., Convict Lake and Canyon, Lower Rock Creek
  • Just Starting (0-10%) – Walker Canyon, Towns of Walker/Coleville, Twin Lakes, June Lake Loop/Hwy 168, Convict Lake Resort/Campground, Crowley Lake, Lower Rock Creek.
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Bishop Creek – Getting Past Peak, But Lots to Enjoy

Groves at Cardinal Village, Bishop Creek (10/2/16) Daniel Stas

Groves at Cardinal Village, Bishop Creek (10/2/16) Daniel Stas

A lot changed this week which we were unable to report, due to “technical difficulties.” Fundamentally, high areas of the canyon were at peak on Friday, then conditions deteriorated with North Lake – in particular – taking the biggest hit.  Wind stripped the beautiful color on Saturday and it was gone by Sunday.

We weren’t sure, until we’d received confirming reports from several spotters, as some of our very reliable spotters up the canyon were unable to report. Now, I know you all want to know:

Q. “What does this mean for fall color viewing and photography?”

A. Peak color can be seen at many, many areas of Bishop Creek Canyon and throughout the Eastern Sierra. More areas will peak in coming days. So, despite that several favorite areas have peaked, the show isn’t over.  Far from it.

Please be mindful, however, of where it’s peaking and avoid fruitless trips to places where it has already peaked. You missed it, there.

In a nutshell, here’s where to go and where not near Bishop, Calif.

North Lake Road, Bishop Creek (10/2/16) Daniel Stas

North Lake Road, Bishop Creek (10/2/16) Daniel Stas

General Conditions – Bishop Creek Canyon

  • Above 9000’ – Past Peak YOU MISSED IT!
  • 8,000’ and 9,000’ – Near Peak (50-75%) to Peak (75-100%)
  • 7,000’ to 8,000’ – Patchy (10-50%)

Weir Pond (9,650’) – Past Peak YOU MISSED IT!

Sabrina Lake, Bishop Creek (10/2/16) Daniel Stas

Sabrina Lake, Bishop Creek (10/2/16) Daniel Stas

Sabrina Campground Area (9,000’) – Peak ( 75-100%) to Past Peak GO NOW! or YOU MISSED IT!  – The aspen along Hwy 168 are now past peak, however aspen within the campground itself and along the stream are still peaking.

Parchers Resort (9,260’) – Past Peak YOU MISSED IT! – The canyon walls to the east and west of the resort are now past peak.

Willow Campground (9,000’) – Peak to Past Peak YOU ALMOST MISSED IT! – The campground and the aspen lining the road and the beaver pond are still holding their peak color, though many have peaked.

Table Mountain Camp (8,900’) – Peak to Past Peak YOU ALMOST MISSED IT! – The mountainside down canyon from the campground is now past peak, though aspen along the creek are peaking.

Surveyors Meadow (8,975’) – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW! – Surveyor’s meadow is now a mix of peaking and past peak stands. Give it another week of peak color here.

Lake Sabrina (9,150’) – Peak (75-100%) to Past Peak YOU ALMOST MISSED IT!  

Sabrina Approach, Bishop Creek (10/2/16) Daniel Stas

Sabrina Approach, Bishop Creek (10/2/16) Daniel Stas

Sabrina Approach (9,100’) – Near Peak (50-75%) – The approach to Sabrina and the small ponds below the dam are peaking.

Quaking Aspen, Bishop Creek (10/2/16) Daniel Stas

Quaking Aspen, Bishop Creek (10/2/16) Daniel Stas

Quaking Aspen, Bishop Creek (10/2/16) Daniel Stas

Quaking Aspen, Bishop Creek (10/2/16) Daniel Stas

Quaking Aspen, Bishop Creek (10/2/16) Daniel Stas

Quaking Aspen, Bishop Creek (10/2/16) Daniel Stas

Quaking Aspen, Bishop Creek (10/2/16) Daniel Stas

Quaking Aspen, Bishop Creek (10/2/16) Daniel Stas

North Lake (9,255’) – Past Peak YOU MISSED IT!

North Lake Road – Past Peak YOU MISSED IT!

Mist Falls and the groves above Bishop Creek Lodge (8,350’) – Peak ( 75-100%) GO NOW! – Absolutely beautiful. This area has a week or two left of peak color.

Aspendell (8,400’) – Patchy (10-50%) Aspendell is often one of the last areas of Bishop Creek Canyon to change.  This area has many stands of lush aspen in it.

Groves above Cardinal Village (8,550’) – Peak ( 75-100%) GO NOW! – The canyon slope from above Cardinal Village up to Cardinal Pinnacle is losing its peak color, though areas near the middle fork of Bishop Creek and surrounding Cardinal Village are peaking.

Four Jeffries (8,000’) – Patchy (10 – 50%)  – More yellow is appearing.

Intake II (8,000’) – Near Peak (50-75%) – Lovely right now!

Big Trees Campground (7,800’) – Patchy – (10 – 50%) – Yellow is now showing among the aspen.

Round Valley – Patchy (10-50%) – Gigi deJong reports that the Round Valley, northwest of Bishop, is carpeted with brilliant cadmium yellow rabbitbrush, providing a spectacular scene, particularly in morning light. Cottonwood along Pine Creek are a mix of developing gold and lime.