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Orchard Pickings

Apple tree, Los Rios Orchard, Oak Glen Rd. (11/11/18) Ravi Ranganathan

Visiting orchards has become a late-autumn tradition, with Californians heading to Julian for apple dumplings, to Oak Glen for cider-infused mini donuts, to San Luis Obispo for hard cider, to Sebastopol for U-pick apples, to Kelseyville in Lake County for a Pear Belle Helene (pear ice cream sundae), and to Apple Hill in Camino for apple pies.

With so many calories ahead, Southern California color spotter Ravi Ranganathan recommends walking the Oak Glen Preserve Botanical Garden in Yucaipa, soon after the trail opens at 8 a.m. It’s  got kid-friendly sections, as well as others that get your heart pumping and “beautiful fall colors along the trail.”

Of course, if that hike works up your appetite, head over to Snow Line Orchard for their delicious apple-cider-infused mini donuts and a glass of freshly pressed cider. Ravi recommends picnicking under an ancient chestnut tree beside an apple orchard. 

  • Julian – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!
  • Oak Glen – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!
  • San Luis Obispo – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!
  • Sebastopol – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!
  • Kelseyville – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!
  • Camino – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!
Chestnut and apple orchard, Snow Line Orchard, Oak Glen Rd (11/11/18) Ravi Ranganathan
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The Color of Harvest

Sunset, Oak Glen, San Bernardino Mountains (11/3/18) Alena Nicholas

The color of harvest is many faceted.

At Oak Glen in the San Bernardino Mountains, it is as: garnet-red as an apple, carrot-colored as a pumpkin, sorrel-brown as a chestnut, flaxen as a dry stalk of corn and as dazzling as a California sunset.

Harvest and Autumn’s peak met this week at Oak Glen, where visitors gathered apples, corn, chestnuts and pumpkins for their holiday tables.

Southern California color spotter Alena Nicholas was there to share the color of harvest. 

Harvest, Oak Glen (11/3/18) Alena Nicholas
  • Oak Glen (4,734′) – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!
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Another Week of Peak

Aspen Grove Trail, San Bernardino NF (10/21/18) John Dinsmore

The San Bernardino Mountains have another week of peak at most elevations, reports John Dinsmore who visited Green Valley Lake, Barton Flats, Aspen Grove Trail, Running Springs and Oak Glen this past weekend.

Aspen have fallen the most, while black oak and bigleaf maple and exotics continue to show strong color. 

Best bet for the coming week are Lake Gregory and Oak Glen.

Green Valley Lake, San Bernardino Mountains (10/19/18) John Dinsmore

Green Valley Lake, San Bernardino Mountains (10/19/18) John Dinsmore

Running Springs San Bernardino Mountains (10/19/18) John Dinsmore

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Green Valley Lake (7,200′) – Peak to Past Peak – YOU ALMOST MISSED IT!
  • Big Bear (6,752′) -Peak to Past Peak – YOU ALMOST MISSED IT!
  • Aspen Grove Trail – Peak to Past Peak – YOU ALMOST MISSED IT!
  • Lake Arrowhead (5,174′) – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!
  • Grass Valley Lake (5,058′) – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!
  • Lake Gregory (4,554′) -Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!
  • Running Springs – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!
  • Oak Glen – Near Peak (50-75%) GO NOW!

 

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Lovely, Rain or Shine

Red maple, Big Bear Lake (10/13/18) Kathleen DiGregorio

Liquidambar, Big Bear Lake (10/13/18) Kathleen DiGregorio

North Lake, Big Bear Lake (10/13/18) Kathleen DiGregorio

Aspen, Big Bear Lake (10/13/18) Kathleen DiGregorio

Kathleen DiGregorio says Big Bear Lake is lovely, rain or shine.

A rainy Saturday drive took DiGregorio to Blue Jay (First Report), Big Bear Lake and Snow Summit, where she found color mixed, estimating two to three weeks more color, depending on weather.

We’re not as optimistic, rating Big Bear native color as now Near Peak to Peak. It should be noted that several of the species Kathleen photographed were exotics, which have a different fall color clock.

To get away from it all, Kathleen found solitude by using the AllTrails app, reporting that an aspen grove near the rangers’ station at North Shore is lovely. 

  • Big Bear Lake (6,752′) – Near Peak (50-75%) GO NOW!

 

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A Painter’s Palette of Peak

Green Valley Lake, San Bernardino Mountains (10/14/18) Alena Nicholas

Big Bear Lake, San Bernardino Mountains (10/14/18) Alena Nicholas

Big Bear, San Bernardino Mountains (10/14/18) Alena Nicholas

Big Bear, San Bernardino Mountains (10/14/18) Alena Nicholas

Big Bear, San Bernardino Mountains (10/14/18) Alena Nicholas

Green Valley Lake, San Bernardino Mountains (10/14/18) Alena Nicholas

Green Valley Lake, San Bernardino Mountains (10/14/18) Alena Nicholas

Green Valley Lake, San Bernardino Mountains (10/14/18) Alena Nicholas

Green Valley Lake, San Bernardino Mountains (10/14/18) Alena Nicholas

Rim of the World, San Bernardino Mountains (10/14/18) Alena Nicholas

Rim of the World, San Bernardino Mountains (10/14/18) Alena Nicholas

Lake Arrowhead, San Bernardino Mountains (10/14/18) Alena Nicholas

Lake Arrowhead, San Bernardino Mountains (10/14/18) Alena Nicholas

Lake Arrowhead, San Bernardino Mountains (10/14/18) Alena Nicholas

Black oak, Lake Arrowhead, San Bernardino Mountains (10/14/18) Alena Nicholas

Grass Valley Lake, San Bernardino Mountains (10/14/18) Alena Nicholas

Aspen, Lake Arrowhead, San Bernardino Mountains (10/14/18) Alena Nicholas

Aspen, Lake Arrowhead, San Bernardino Mountains (10/14/18) Alena Nicholas

Lake Arrowhead, San Bernardino Mountains (10/14/18) Alena Nicholas

Lake Gregory, San Bernardino Mountains (10/14/18) Alena Nicholas

Lake Gregory, San Bernardino Mountains (10/14/18) Alena Nicholas

A painter’s palette of lime, yellow, orange and red is daubing the San Bernardino Mountains with vibrant Peak color.

From Big Bear, down to Lake Gregory, successive bursts of bigleaf maple, Frémont cottonwood, quaking aspen and black oak are exploding like fireworks over Big Bear Lake.

San Bernardino Mountains color spotter Alena Nicholas estimates Peak color will continue for a week to two, unless high winds hit again.

Nicholas said that several now peaking trees were “wind chaffed” from the most recent storm. Though, colder nighttime temperatures are helping to intensify the display.

Despite the cooler weather, Alena noticed that boaters, anglers, hikers and mountain bikers are still out enjoying the outdoors.

The San Bernardino Mountains’ famous Rim of the World drive is just beginning to lighten. “It was nice to see the iconic cloud cover down below,” Alena said, adding that in a week to two, an evening drive along it will provide an irresistible blend of fall color and sunset light. 

  • Green Valley Lake (7,200′) – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!
  • Big Bear (6,752′) – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!
  • Lake Arrowhead (5,174′) – Near Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!
  • Grass Valley Lake (5,058′) – Peak a(75-100%) GO NOW!
  • Lake Gregory (4,554′) – Patchy (10-50%)
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Frost on the Pumpkin at Jenks Lake and Oak Glen

Jenks Lake, San Bernardino Mountains (10/7/18) Trent Vierra

Frost is beginning to appear on the pumpkins and snow on Southern California peaks, color spotter Trent Vierra reports.

With daytime temperatures in the 50s, Trent was in an autumn mood when he traveled out to Jenks Lake. There, the black oaks were a mix of “different shades of orange and russet” reflected in the still waters of the lake. Even the willows along the shore “had a little color to them” and “big leaf maples … were speckled with bright yellow leaves.”

But, the capper was a dusting of snow on the mountain tops behind Jenks Lake and cold, crisp air which made the scene feel all the more autumn-like.

At Oak Glen, autumn is Just Starting with sycamore, oak, and cottonwood beginning to show some yellow on them. 

  • Jenks Lake (6,739′) – Patchy (10-50%)
  • Oak Glen (4,734′) – Just Starting (0-10%)
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SoCal: Lake Gregory and Mt. Palomar Near Peak

Waterslide and black oaks, Lake Gregory (10/15/17) Micayla Anderson

Maple, Lake Gregory (10/15/17) Micayla Anderson

Black oak, Lake Gregory (10/15/17) Micayla Anderson

Now that days and nights are colder, the only thing sliding down the waterslide at Lake Gregory are fallen black oak leaves, Micayla Anderson reports.

Southern California’s mountain forests are now shedding their leaves as they evolve from Near Peak to Peak.

In the San Bernardino Mountains, Lake Gregory in Crestline is nearing peak with black oak and exotic maples showing orange, yellow and red.

Black oak, Mt. Palomar (10/15/17) John Caffrey

Fremont cottonwood, Mt. Palomar (10/15/17) John Caffrey

Dogwood, Mt. Palomar (10/15/17) John Caffrey

Black oak, dogwood and Frémont cottonwood at Mt. Palomar in San Diego County are showing near peak orange, rose and gold.

Lake Gregory (4,554′) – Near Peak (50-75%) GO NOW!

Mt. Palomar (6,138′) -Near Peak (50-75%) GO NOW!

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SoCal Mountains: Past Peak, Still Glowing in Places

Lake Arrowhead (11/12/16) Alena Nicholas

Lake Arrowhead (11/12/16) Alena Nicholas

We’ve been reporting that Southern California’s mountains are past peak, though as color spotter Alena Nicholas shows us in this post… many spots of bright color can still to be discovered.

Lake Arrowhead (11/12/16) Alena Nicholas

Lake Arrowhead (11/12/16) Alena Nicholas

She traveled to Lake Arrowhead and Lake Gregory in the San Bernardino Mountains and Idyllwild in the San Jacinto Mountains to find these scenes.

Lake Arrowhead (11/12/16) Alena Nicholass

Lake Arrowhead (11/12/16) Alena Nicholass

Lake Arrowhead (11/12/16) Alena Nicholas

Lake Arrowhead (11/12/16) Alena Nicholas

Lake Arrowhead (11/12/16) Alena Nicholas

Lake Arrowhead (11/12/16) Alena Nicholas

Idyllwild (11/12/16) Alena Nicholas

Idyllwild (11/12/16) Alena Nicholas

Idyllwild (11/12/16) Alena Nicholas

Idyllwild (11/12/16) Alena Nicholas

Lake Gregory (11/12/16) Alena Nicholas

Lake Gregory (11/12/16) Alena Nicholas

Lake Gregory (11/12/16) Alena Nicholas

Lake Gregory (11/12/16) Alena Nicholas

While the Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa prepares for the holidays by putting up colorful lights and decorations, nature continues to light up the forest with black oak and Rocky Mountain maple providing orange and red ornaments.

Should you visit Lake Arrowhead, stop into the Gift Gallery to see Alena’s photographs. We extend the same invitation to other photographers and color spotters who contribute your work to this site.  Should you have them on display, tell us and we’ll pass the word to others so they can see what you’ve seen and photographed.

Alena agrees that the mountains are generally past peak, but for the observant the glow continues.

Southern California Mountains – Peak to Past Peak – YOU ALMOST MISSED IT!

[forecast location=”Lake Arrowhead, CA” numdays=”4″ showdata=”daynames,icon,date,conditions,highlow” layout=”simple”]

The Bernardinos Begin to Get Big

Jenks Lake (9/29/16) Alena Nicholas

Jenks Lake (9/29/16) Alena Nicholas

Big Bear Lake (9/29/16) Alena Nicholas

Big Bear Lake (9/29/16) Alena Nicholas

Barton Flats (9/29/16) Alena Nicholas

Barton Flats (9/29/16) Alena Nicholas

Big Bear, Barton Flats and Jenks Lake in the San Bernardino Mountains are puttin’ on their colors. Orange black oak are getting reflected in lakes, a beautiful contrast to blue skies and lazy autumn days, reports Alena Nicholas from The Bernardinos.

Big Bear – Patchy (10-50%)

Barton Flats – Patchy (10-50%)

Jenks Lake – Patchy (10-50%)

[wunderground location=”Big Bear Lake, CA” numdays=”4″ showdata=”daynames,icon,date,conditions,highlow” layout=”simple”]

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First Report: Jenks Lake and Barton Flats Rec. Area

Jenks Lake ((9/3/16) Alena Nicholas

Jenks Lake ((9/3/16) Alena Nicholas

Alena Nicholas reports exploring new areas in the San Bernardino Mountains, today, the Barton Flats Recreation Area adjacent to Jenks Lake.

This area has a variety of trees “that should be beautiful during peak season,” including black oak, creek dogwood, chokecherry, Rocky Mtn maple, bigleaf maple, white alder, black cottonwood and Frémont cottonwood. Alena says “things are just starting to turn a bit” at 6,500′ in elevation.

Frémont cottonwood, Barton Flats Rec. Area (9/3/16) Alena Nicholas

Frémont cottonwood, Barton Flats Rec. Area (9/3/16) Alena Nicholas

Barton Flats Rec. Area (9/3/16) Alena Nicholas

Barton Flats Rec. Area (9/3/16) Alena Nicholas

Jenks Lake (9/3/16) Alena Nicholas

Jenks Lake (9/3/16) Alena Nicholas

The area has several small lakes and ponds, creeks and streams.

“Aspen Meadow” is closeby. Last October, California Fall Color reported that aspen would be the first trees to recover near Big Bear Lake following the Summer’s Lake fire, and that appears to be happening, according to Alena’s report.

A ranger at the Barton Flats Rec. Area said “the aspens are about six to seven feet tall and filling in very nice.” Alena promises to “take a trip there soon, as there’re some nice meadows and streams there.”

Look for several First Reports this autumn from this color spotter, both from the mountains and lowlands.

Also, these shots again show what you can capture with a cell phone, though Alena promises to start carrying the big gun, once the color fills in.

Just Starting (10-15%) Jenks Lake and Barton Flats, San Bernardino Mountains (6,500′)