Colorful Events

Several prime fall color destinations and accommodations are offering special events and deals.  Here’s a rundown of some of the best of them.

Fall Color Car Show (Oct. 5 – 7) — Vintage hot rods, restored classic cars and cruisers will be displayed at the Tri-County Fairgrounds in Bishop. There’ll be cruising the main drag Sat., Oct. 6, at 3 p.m. and Poker Runs and a Cruise through Bishop Creek (South Lake, Sabrina, Bishop Creek) to view the fall colors.

Choo-Choo Swap Meet (Oct. 5 – 7) — It’s billed as “100 yard sales in one place.” Just about the entire population of Bishop will be buying or selling something starting at 8:30 a.m. at the Tri-County Fairgrounds. Arts and Crafts shows and exhibits are also included.

For more information on the above events, contact the Bishop Chamber of Commerce,

Lone Pine Film Festival (Oct. 5 – 7) – A celebration of “Westerns” the Lone Pine Film Festival bills itself as “the only film festival on location.”  It’s also the “reel west,” as the local Alabama Hills are where many of the most famous westerns were shot.

Deer Hunter’s Family Barbecue (Oct. 6) – A feast has been marinaded in a secret barbecue sauce for days, then slow roasted in a pit and served on Sat., Oct. 6 at 5 p.m. in Walker.  $8 adult, $4 child.  Buy raffle tickets and win a hunting rifle with scope, camping gear and more at this benefit event by the Lions Club (good people, Lions… they do a lot of good work).  CLICK HERE.

Meadowcliff RV Resort (Oct. 6-7) – Park your RV for two nights and the total cost is $50, plus tax.  This neat RV Resort was named one of the best in the west not long ago.  Advance reservations required.

Meadowcliff Lodge (Oct. 6 – 7) – Stay at the Meadowcliff Lodge and save $15 off your room/night (normally $69 – $99/night).

Ambush at the Lake – More than $6,000 in prizes are awarded during the annual fall Convict Lake Trout Derby, continuing through Nov. 15, plus a bonus of $2,000 on Oct. 26-28.  Catch a massive Alpers Trout in a setting so beautiful, you’ll have a hard time concentrating on fishing. CLICK HERE

Bodie Photographer’s Day (Oct. 20) – The last Friends of Bodie Photographer’s Day will occur on the third Saturday of October.  For a $75 fee, photographers can get in early and return for sunset photographs of the state historic park, allowing sunrise and sunset photography of the ghost town of Bodie.


Autumn Lodging Specials


The Yosemite Resorts in El Portal are offering two special autumn packages.  CLICK HERE for more information or reservations.

At Cedar Lodge, stay two nights and your third night is free on any stay through Nov. 20.  Optional rooms include rooms with an in-room spa tub for two, or one with a four-poster King Bed, or perhaps a room that will fit the entire family.   Regardless of the type room, Cedar Lodge offers affordability and is minutes from Yosemite Valley.

Mountain View King Spa Room, Yosemite View Lodge

On Nov. 12, the Yosemite View Lodge holds its Fall Wine and Dine event, a four-course banquet with wine pairings for $85 per person.  Includes reception, appetizers and the banquet.  The View is known as being the best value for lodging in the Yosemite area, with deluxe rooms at reasonable cost.

50 – 75% – Yosemite Valley/Merced River Canyon – Dogwood are at 50% of color in Yosemite Valley, with black oak still coloring up.  Bigleaf maple and cottonwood have turned.  Autumn color has been running two weeks late, so – barring a turn in weather – fall color should still be seen in Yosemite Valley into the first couple of weeks of November.


Big Basin Tent Cabin, Big Basin Redwoods State Park

Beginning December 1, through January 31, Big Basin Tent Cabins at Big Basin Redwoods State Park is offering accommodations for “an all time low price of $49.95 per night!”  There’s no coupon to redeem or anything else you need to do.  Just CLICK HERE to book a tent cabin and you’ll receive the reduced rate.

The lower rate does not apply to cabins with the Deluxe Camping Package or Deluxe Cabins. The lower rate applies to new reservations only.  Lower rate prices is available 7 days a week, through December and Janaury. The lower rate does not apply to Holiday weekends. Offer expires January 31, 2012.

30 – 50% – Santa Cruz Mountains – Deciduous trees in the Santa Cruz Mountains are glowing nicely.  Look for color in riparian areas and meadows.

Sorensen’s Resort Reports

Snowshoe Thomson Cabin, Sorensen's Resort (10/20/11) © 2011Patty Brisenden

Past Peak – Hope Valley – John and Patty Brisenden report theirs was a “beautiful, long fall this year.”  The secret is out, that stunning video posted on California Fall Color earlier this autumn (look back in the archives) was produced by their daughter, Elizabeth.  And, their other daughter Annie, with her husband PJ and Elizabeth produced a winter video for the Hope Valley resort.  Though, it is now past peak at Sorensen’s spots of color are still to be found in and around the resort, though we couldn’t leave the Hope Valley without posting these shots taken last week.  Now, though it’s mostly gone from the Hope Valley, read previous articles here to see where you can still see the color at peak, as peak has now dropped to 6,000 ft in elevation.

Sorensen's Resort (10/20/11) © 2011 Patty Brisenden

The resort is offering a winter special.  Stay four nights for the price of three (Sun-Thurs) or three nights for the price of two (Monday-Thurs). Valid:  Oct. 23 – Dec. 15, Jan. 7 – Feb. 9 and Feb. 26 – Jun. 14, during non-holiday periods. Cannot be combined with other Sorensen’s programs or specials. Mention you saw this offer on CaliforniaFallColor, when making reservations. Regular weekend rates charged on Sunday when using 4-for-3 special.


Hope Valley (10/17/11) © 2011 Patty Brisenden

CLICK HERE for information on these holiday workshops and festivals: Nov. 24 – Thanksgiving Feast; Dec. 3 and 4, Holiday Wreath-making Workshop; Dec. 5 – 9, Wood-block Holiday Card Printing; and Dec. 10, Winter Survival Class.


Early Snow Doesn’t Disappoint

Yellow Edged Aspen at Convict Lake (10/6/2011) © 2011 Jennifer Heintzelman

For those concerned how the current winter storm is affecting the fall color, set aside your concerns.

These photos from color spotter Jennifer Heintzelman of the Convict Lake Report show that the aspen at Convict Lake are still green with an edging of yellow.  That means, few of them were knocked from the trees and with warmer autumn weather returning, they should turn color in coming weeks.

Convict Lake 10/6/2011 © 2011 Jennifer Heintzelman

15-30% Convict Lake  (7,850 ft.) — It’s pretty dark out now, Jennifer Heintzelman reports, though that hasn’t darkened the outlook for beautiful fall color at Convict Lake.  For those planning to head up, the lodge has, however, changed its  lodging specials and plans to close the restaurant due to exposure received on the front page of the L.A. Times Travel Section.

Colorful Aspen in Rock Creek Canyon (10/6/2011) © 2011Alicia Vennos

From Oct. 23-Nov. 15, Sunday – Thursday, Starting at $229+tax , two-night stay for two in a standard cabin, including use of a full day boat with motor.

Rock Creek Lake as storm clears (10/6/2011) © 2011 Alicia Vennos

The Convict Lake marina will remain open until November 15th and the Restaurant at Convict Lake until November 13th.

Here’s a rundown on Convict Lake fishing contests… what a great idea… combining Fishing and Fall Color!:

30-50% – Rock Creek Canyon – Gorgeous red and orange aspen, seen in photos taken by color spotter Alicia Vennos lit up a snow-covered Rock Creek Canyon today.  Expect the colors to be glorious this weekend with snow on peaks and the snow melted to reveal the color.

0-15% – Antelope Valley, Eastern Sierra (5,141 ft.) — Color spotter Tim Fesko from the Meadowcliff Resort reports the cold storm that has crossed Northern California “does not seem to have caused too much problems below the snow line.”  Tim was unable to get color percentage readings above 8,000 ft. as highways 108, 89 and 4 are not accessible due to snow.

0-15% – Yosemite Valley (4,000 ft.) — Color spotter Kevin Shelton of the Yosemite View Lodge in El Portal reports that the fall color is appearing about a week to two weeks behind normal with very little color yet showing in Yosemite Valley or the Merced River Canyon.

Win Free Hiking Boots & Other Autumn Deals

Jeanette Kozlowski of writes that they’ve partnered with Timberland to give away a free pair of hiking boots. For a chance to win, just CLICK HERE and share your favorite fall hike.

Here are some autumn deals from the Lake Front Cabins in June Lake (877) 648-7527:

“Fall Colors Special” – Stay at least 3 nights and get $10/off/cabin/night.  Valid on new reservations October 7-31, 2011.  All cabins.   Based on availability and regular rates.  Great for fall colors and end of the fishing season.

Here are some autumn deals from the Convict Lake Resort, 760-934-3800:

  • Sept. 5 – Oct. 22 – Starting at $359+ tax – 2-night Stay for two, Standard Cabin, Full Day Boat & Motor, $100 Restaurant Credit
  • Oct. 23-Oct. 31 – Starting at $289+tax – 2-night Stay for two, Standard Cabin, Full Day Boat & Motor, $100 Restaurant Credit
  • Oct. 23-Nov. 15 – Starting at $169+tax – 2-night Stay for two, Standard Cabin, Half Day Boat & Motor