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It Hasta Be Shasta: Meadow Valley

Sugar Maple, Acer saccharum, Meadow Valley (10/19/17) Michael Beatley

Years ago, “It Hasta Be Shasta” was the motto of one of my PR clients, the Shasta Beverage Company. That motto sure fits what’s happening up north, as fall color is now filling the Shasta Cascade with beauty.

For the coming week, it hasta be Shasta.

Penny farthing in a field, North Arm of Indian Valley (10/17/17) Michael Beatley

Color spotter Michael Beatley was riding past Meadow Valley (not on the penny farthing seen at left) when he spied a Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum).

Sugar maples are exotic trees (native to eastern Canada and the northeast U.S.), known for their brilliant fall color.

Meadow Valley is eight miles west of Quincy on the old Beckwourth Trail where Black Bart robbed stage coaches in the late 1870s. The town was settled around 1850.

Bigleaf maple, Indian rhubarb, Indian Creek,
Taylorsville (10/17/17) Michael Beatley

It sits at the base of Spanish Peak in the Plumas National Forest, which is full of native aspen, maple, dogwood, cottonwood, pine and fir.

Michael reports that “CA-89 from CA-70 towards Taylorsville, Greenville and Chester is very beautiful, with a lot of color along Indian Creek.”

Meadow Valley – Near Peak (50-75%) GO NOW!

Indian Creek, Taylorsville (10/17/17) Michael Beatley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spanish Peak, Meadow Valley (10/17/17) Michael Beatley

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Storm Arriving

Truckee River (10/19/17) Herb Huang

Foray Rd., Greenville, Plumas County (10/18/17) Jeff Luke Titcomb

Locations like these, shot by Herb Huang and Jeff Luke Titcomb, will be overcast for the next 24-hours as a storm passes over Northern California.

The storm will blow turned leaves from most trees, but it won’t denude them.

Lots of color will remain, particularly on trees that were nearing peak, as they still have the strength in the leaves to, as Avril Lavigne would sing…

Keep holding on
‘Cause you know we’ll make it through
We’ll make it through
Just stay strong
‘Cause you know I’m here for you
I’m here for you
There’s nothing you could say
Nothing you could do
There’s no other way when it comes to the truth
So keep holding on
‘Cause you know we’ll make it through
We’ll make it through

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Feather River Scenic Byway

Maple, Quincy (10/16/17) Jeff Luke Titcomb

As peak color declines in the Southern and Eastern Sierra, color spotters look for other areas to satisfy their appetite for fall color.

The Feather River Scenic Byway in the Northern Sierra is one such destination. This route follows the North Fork of the Feather River 130 miles east/west across Butte and Plumas Counties on State Highway 70.

The byway has extraordinarily diverse terrain and is a showcase of engineering marvels including seven power houses that make up California’s “Stairway of Power” hydroelectric power generating system, impressive railroad trestles (one crossed by a highway bridge – providing for an amazing photograph) and grades and tunnels.

It’s all accessible by CA-70, an impressive accomplishment in its own right. Trailheads to many paths, including the Pacific Crest Trail, lead from it and to superb fall color viewing.

In mid to late October, fall color in Plumas and Butte Counties is peaking. Quincy, the Plumas County seat is a great starting point for exploring the region.

Because Plumas County does not have the elevation change found in the Eastern Sierra, knowing when to visit is key to a satisfying trip.

The trick to knowing where to go (as much of the color in Plumas County is not self-evident), is to search this site for references to Plumas County, then go to those locations within a week or two of when they peaked historically.

Black oak, Indian Falls (10/16/17) Jeff Luke Titcomb

Feather River Scenic Byway (5,436′) – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!

 

 

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Cascade Trail to Spanish Creek

Bigleaf Maple, Spanish Creek (10/14/17) Michael Beatley

Plumas County color spotter Michael Beatley hiked the Cascade Trail beside Spanish Creek toward Quincy, yesterday, discovering one beautiful reflection after another.

He wrote, “The area has a profusion of color and reflections, with Indian Rhubarb, Bigleaf maple, black oak and grasses providing the color.”

Spanish Creek is along the trail to the Cascades. It runs into the North Fork of the Feather River, which continues down to the Sacramento River and the Delta.

Michael advises that mornings (9 to 10 a.m.) are best for light and reflection photographs at Spanish Creek.

Daytime temperatures are in the 60s with nights in the 20s to 30s, blue skies and a lot of clear, rushing water and still blue lakes.

Plumas County has been spared the haze caused by this autumn’s wildfires.  So, skies are blue, windless and smokeless.

Spanish Creek, Plumas County (2,000′) – Near Peak (50-75%) GO NOW!

Spanish Creek (10/14/17) Michael Beatley

Spanish Creek (10/14/17) Michael Beatley

Spanish Creek (10/14/17) Michael Beatley

Spanish Creek (10/14/17) Michael Beatley

 

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Wonder-Filled Plumas

Indian Rhubarb and riparian grass, Rock Creek (10/8/17) Michael Beatley

Indian rhubarb (10/87/17) Michael Beatley

When the Indian Rhubarb start to burn orange, red, yellow and green in Plumas County, there are few more striking places to be to see fall color in California than along one of its streams.

Michael Beatley captures the start of this beauty in these closeups from along Rock Creek, downstream from Meadow Camp in Meadow Valley.

Plumas County is the northernmost end of the Sierra in the vast Shasta Cascade region of California, and during autumn, it is wonder-filled.

Indian rhubarb, black oak and bigleaf maple are the predominant sources of fall color.

Though, exotic trees planted in its towns mix with the native color to create dramatic showy scenes, like that of the exotic maple planted behind the Plumas Superior Courthouse in Quincy, contrasted with a native maple seen along Big Creek road.

Eastern maple, Plumas Superior Courthouse, Quincy (10/8/17) Michael Beatley

Bigleaf maple, Big Creek Rd., Plumas County (10/8/17) Michael Beatley

Plumas County Color spotter Michael Beatley drove to Thompson Lake (First Report), just above Bucks Lake, on the road to the dam and just off the road near 5 p.m.

Beatley called it the “Perfect time, no wind and aspen peaking at 5,600′.

What!? Peaking aspen at 5,600′ when they haven’t peaked above 9,000′ at some locations in the Eastern Sierra? What gives?

This continues to be one of the earliest autumn peaks for the Northern Sierra and one of the latest for the Eastern Sierra.

Thompson Lake, Plumas County (10/8/17) Michael Beatley

 

 

 

 

 

Superior Court Judge Alan Theiler Memorial Maple, Quincy (10/10/17) Michael Beatley

Thompson Ranch Maple, La Porte Rd., Quincy (10/10/17) Michael Beatley

Quincy (3,432′) –  Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!

Plumas County – Near Peak (50-75%) GO NOW!

 

 

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Round Valley: Bigleaf Maple Go Big

Bigleaf maple, Round Valley Canyon (9/27/17) Jeff Luke Titcomb

Reporting from Plumas County, color spotter Jeff Luke Titcomb found bigleaf maple and dogwood showing Near Peak color in areas of Round Valley Canyon.

Round Valley Canyon (4,692′), Plumas County – Near Peak (50-75%) GO NOW!

Dogwood (9/27/17) Jeff Luke Titcomb

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Train Spotting Meets Color Spotting

Black oak, Keddie Wye, Plumas County (11/7/16) Dennis Hayes

Black oak, Clear Creek Trestle, Plumas County (11/4/16) Dennis Hayes

Railfans consider the Keddie Wye to be one of the Seven Wonders of the Western Pacific Railroad World.

It is a railroad junction in the form of a “wye” on the Union Pacific Railroad in Plumas County at the town of Keddie.  The wye joins the east-west Feather River Route with a branch line (the “Inside Gateway”) north to Bieber. What makes the wye so attractive is that locomotives and their trains traveling across it provide photogenic subjects for train spotters.

Though, at this time of year, orange-colored peaking black oak in the forest near the wye are just as attractive to color spotters, as Dennis Hayes demonstrates in his vibrant photograph of the Clear Creek trestle taken on Hwy 70/89 over Spanish Creek, about 1/3-mile northeast of the Keddie Wye.

Keddie Wye, Plumas County – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!

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Peak of the Week: Indian Creek

Black Oak, Indian Valley, Plumas County (10/26/16) Jeff Titcomb

Black Oak, Indian Valley, Plumas County (10/26/16) Jeff Titcomb

Indian Rhubarb, Indian Creek (10/26/16) Jeff Titcomb

Indian Rhubarb, Indian Creek (10/26/16) Jeff Titcomb

Indian Creek, Plumas County (10/26/16) Jeff Titcomb

Indian Creek, Plumas County (10/26/16) Jeff Titcomb

Indian Rhubarb, Indian Creek (10/26/16) Jeff Titcomb

Indian Rhubarb, Indian Creek (10/26/16) Jeff Titcomb

Indian Creek in Plumas County (Northern Sierra) is painted with color with Indian rhubarb at full brilliance, dogwood and bigleaf maple showing pink and yellow and black oak beginning to turn bright orange.

Indian Creek, Plumas County – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!

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Glorious Indian Rhubarb Near Quincy

Spanish Creek at Oakland Camp, Quincy (10/20/16) Mike Nellor

Spanish Creek at Oakland Camp, Quincy (10/20/16) Mike Nellor

Spanish Creek at Oakland Camp, Quincy (10/20/16) Mike Nellor

Spanish Creek at Oakland Camp, Quincy (10/20/16) Mike Nellor

Spanish Creek at Oakland Camp, Quincy (10/20/16) Mike Nellor

Spanish Creek at Oakland Camp, Quincy (10/20/16) Mike Nellor

Spanish Creek at Oakland Camp, Quincy (10/20/16) Mike Nellor

Spanish Creek at Oakland Camp, Quincy (10/20/16) Mike Nellor

Spanish Creek

Spanish Creek

Bold splashes of harlequin colored Indian rhubarb (Darmera peltata) brighten Spanish Creek at Oakland Recreation Camp near Quincy, as captured by local color spotter Mike Nello with his Samsung CSC.

This is the first weekend to see peak color in Plumas County. The best way to find fall color is to use the California Fall Color map on this site and go to those areas showing Near Peak to Peak color.

Exploring Plumas County’s backroads in the Shasta Cascade region never disappoints.

Spanish Creek at Spanish Camp, Quincy – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!

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Greenville… No Longer Green

Black oak, Greenville (10/16/16) Jeff Titcomb

Black oak, Greenville (10/16/16) Jeff Titcomb

Dogwood, Greenville (10/16/16) Jeff Titcomb

Dogwood, Greenville (10/16/16) Jeff Titcomb

Near Round Valley Reservoir, Greenville (10/16/16) Jeff Titcomb

Near Round Valley Reservoir, Greenville (10/16/16) Jeff Titcomb

Bigleaf maple, Round Valley Reservoir, Greenville (10/16/16) Jeff Titcomb

Bigleaf maple, Round Valley Reservoir, Greenville (10/16/16) Jeff Titcomb

Dogwood approaching Round Valley Reservoir, Greenville (10/16/16) Jeff Titcomb

Dogwood approaching Round Valley Reservoir, Greenville (10/16/16) Jeff Titcomb

Black oak and bigleaf maple, Indian Creek, (10/16/16) Jeff Titcomb

Dogwood and bigleaf maple, Indian Creek, (10/16/16) Jeff Titcomb

Dogwood, Round Valley Reservoir, Greenville (10/16/16) Jeff Titcomb

Dogwood, Round Valley Reservoir, Greenville (10/16/16) Jeff Titcomb

Hideaway Road, Greenville (10/16/16) Jeff Titcomb

Hideaway Road, Greenville (10/16/16) Jeff Titcomb

Greenville in the Northern Sierra of Plumas County is hardly living up to its name any longer, as fall color is accenting the town with auburn, crimson, pink, hot orange, umber, yellow, buff and lime splashes.

There are so many bright colors to be seen that, for the next three weeks, we propose that Greenville be renamed, “Crayolaville.”

Color spotter Jeff Luke Titcomb traveled Plumas County’s byways to return with these images of what’s happening up north.

He found dogwood, bigleaf maple and black oak providing the predominant colors and reports, “The valley is dropping leaves but the canyon roads are beautiful and holding strong.

“Oaks and dogwoods still have time for color change, the big leaf maples are at full color now.”

Give Greenville three weeks of awesome color.

Greenville, Plumas County – Near Peak (50-100%) GO NOW!

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