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Peaking in Plumas – Golden Harvest at Indian Creek

Indian Creek, Plumas National Forest (11/3/10) - Richard McCutcheon

Color spotter Richard McCutcheon sends these magical shots of golden light and color along Indian Creek seen above Taylorsville, California in the Plumas National Forest.   CLICK HERE to join Richard McCutcheon on his virtual journey to Antelope Lake (when the website opens, click “Start Slideshow”).

Plumas County is at the southeast corner of California’s vast Shasta Cascade region, an area of forests, lakes, volcanoes and wilderness larger than the state of Ohio, but lightly populated.  It is a favorite destination for California leaf peepers.  As a service to leaf peepers, the Plumas County Visitors Bureau staff will come out and clean your windshield should you stop by their offices during autumn.  CLICK HERE to see current photos from this colorful corner of California.

Plumas National Forest, on the way to Antelope Lake (11/3/10) - Richard McCutcheon

75-100% – Indian Creek — Aspen are at full peak in the Plumas National Forest along the Indian Creek drainage leading to Antelope Lake.  Brush and willows alongside the creek have flushed ruby and rose, with bright spots of yellow and green flecking the forest.

Indian Creek, Plumas National Forest (11/3/10) - Richard McCutcheon

Aspen, Plumas National Forest (11/3/10) - Richard McCutcheon

Plumas National Forest (11/3/10) - Richard McCutcheon

Coloring Up in the Shasta Cascade, Yosemite Valley 50%

30 – 50% – Butte County

Butte County’s trees are changing fast now.  The vibrant reds are out and the luscious golds are starting to pop.  The leaves are still on the trees and the color change is at 30%, more in the higher elevations of the Paradise/Magalia area.  Colors will intensify with the cold weather.

15 – 30% – Whiskeytown National Recreation Area

Based on reports from park rangers, the area around Whiskeytown Lake NRA isn’t showing significant color change; it is still about 15%.  The Chinese pistachios are showing a little color in the visitor center parking lot but others, like the liquid amber, are not showing any color.  With consistent cold weather, colors should start to change more quickly.

75 – 100% – Burney Falls State Park

There have been lots of changes in the trees up at Burney Falls in the last couple of weeks.  A California State Park ranger there reported the forest to be peaking with colors just beginning to fade.

75 – 100% – Lassen Volcanic National Park

Colors are at peak in the national park.  Cottonwoods & willows are in full color at Manzanita Lake with buff to yellow, but this past week’s storm did eliminate some of the color at Hat Creek.

Past Peak – Lassen National Forest

There is noticeable change throughout the forest.  Colors have peaked with many trees past peak, though there is still beautiful and dramatic color in protected areas such as Bogard Campground.

75 – 100% Modoc National Forest

The Warner Mountains are in 60-80% color change.  The aspens are a beautiful yellow.

Past Peak – Siskiyou County

The colors are past peak, although there is still some beautiful color in the town of Mt. Shasta.

75 – 100% – Trinity County

Many aspen, apple, pear & mulberry are showing their red and yellow fall colors.  To see the best color take the loop from Highway 3 to Trinity Dam Blvd, past Trinity & Lewiston Lakes & south to Highway 299.

75-100% – Plumas County

Abundant fall colors are at 100% in Plumas County with lots of variety!  Plumas County at the northern Sierra Nevada is always a good choice for varied color.

Dogwood, Yosemite Valley (10/28/10) - Rob Bohning

50 – 75% – Yosemite Valley

Rob Bohning provides this lovely photograph of dogwood glowing rose in Yosemite Valley.  Rob says the dogwood are at about 50% of color.  Yosemite Valley often shows the best fall color in late October to early November, although the sugar maple by the chapel turns first.  This year’s display was a bit muted, Rob suggested, again hinting that the show is running late this year… a phenomenon seen across California in 2010.

15-30% – Sacramento

Travel writer Barbara Steinberg says the cooling hint of fall has taken hold of her city with beautfiful color now beginning to appear in its urban forest.

15 – 30% – Sierra Foothills (West Slope)

Latrobe Road (El Dorado County) has the first flecks of yellow.  As you head along CA-49, CA-16 and CA-124, the color is just beginning to appear

Coloring Up in Plumas County

Black Oak (10/5/10)

Joe Willis has posted beautiful images of fall foliage being seen in Plumas County on his blog, Black Oak Naturalist.  To check all of them out, click the link at left.

Photo Credit: © 2010,

Listen to KGO for California and Plumas County Reports

This past Saturday morning, KGO radio host John Hamilton welcomed California Fall Color blogger John Poimiroo and Plumas County’s maven of fall color, Suzi Brakken, to report on where it’s happening, now.  CLICK HERE to hear their reports.

Deans Valley Dogwood and Oaks Fired Up

Oak Leaves - Deans Valley (10/29/09)

Oak Leaves - Silver Lake (10/29/09)

Richard McCutcheon of Quincy says the nearby Deans Valley and Silver Lake are on fire with red dogwood and oaks and yellow aspen.

75-100% — Plumas County (3,000’). There has been an explosion of color in the past week with yellow, orange, red and colors in between, like pinks and purples.  The bigleaf maple, cottonwood, aspen, oaks and even the dogwoods are glowing… a beautiful sight to behold.

Aspen - Deans Valley (10/29/09)

Aspen - Silver Lake (10/29/09)

75-100% — Deans Valley. Take the road to Meadow Valley from Quincy and head to the Deans Valley for a bit of rosy dogwood.

75-100% — Silver Lake. Aspen are glowing bright yellow-orange in the pines and the oaks are a beautiful mix of yellow, orange and auburn at Silver Lake, near Quincy.

Photo Credit: © 2009, Richard McCutcheon