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Time to be Outside on the Eastside

Lobdell Lake Rd. (10/10/17) Jeff Simpson | Mono County Tourism

Lobdell Lake Rd. (10/10/17) Jeff Simpson | Mono County Tourism

Whoa, if ever there were a weekend to get Outside on the Eastside, this is it in Mono County.

Peak color can be found anywhere you go and whichever direction you drive. We’ll be posting an update on Lake Tahoe and the Hope Valley, after returning to scout those locations (Oct. 12) and fully expect the color to be great, just as it is in Mono and Inyo Counties right now.

Part of the reason this autumn is so good is why it is so confusing. On the exact same day for the same location we’ve received conflicting reports stating, “It’s gone” or “it’s spectacular” or “not yet there.”

What’s happening is that the aspen forest, for the first time in anyone’s memory, is turning by grove. Stands of aspen are different genetically, and they’re demonstrating their individuality this autumn. In past years, the genetic differences between the groves seemed to make little difference, as the trees at least acted as if they were on the same clock. Not this year.

What that means for fall color viewing is that the show is lasting longer, but not as uniformly at any given location.

The big change this past week occurred at the highest elevations, which for the most part went Past Peak. Places like Upper Rock Creek (10,300′), Tioga Pass (9,943′) and Sagehen Meadows (8,139′ – High Desert, so it’s drier there) are now Past Peak.  Though, that’s not universally true. Some of the groves at “you’ll-get-winded walking there” heights are still green.

Lobdell Lake Rd. (10/10/17) Jeff Simpson | Mono County Tourism

Some spotters began declaring calamity after seeing stripped stands at some locations, posting on Facebook and elsewhere that high winds had stripped the color. So, I called Mono County fall color guru Jeff Simpson (Yes, you’ve now achieved guru status in your life, Jeff).

Jeff lives on the eastside and has been reporting autumn color for years. He seemed to be offended by the suggestion that fall had ended, saying, “in no way have all the leaves blown off.”

OK, Jeff, OK. I believe you, especially since you’re now a guru and after seeing your photos, taken as late as yesterday.

So, count on it.

This weekend, there’ll be lots of gorgeous color to be seen at: Twin Lakes Bridgeport, Lundy Canyon, Convict Lake, Rock Creek Road, McGee Creek Canyon, Conway Summit, Summers Meadow Road, Lobdell Lake Road, Lee Vining Canyon, Monitor Pass and the June Lake Loop, even if a few leaves have fallen, as seen at right.

Here’s a detailed report from Mono County, a go-to destination for great fall color this week:

WALKER / COLEVILLE / TOPAZ

Monitor Pass (8,314′) – Peak (75-100%) – Aspen on the summit are perfect, right now. Look for the large grove of trees on the east side of the summit to have the best display of color. GO NOW!

Lobdell Lake Road (8,600′) – Peak (75-100%) – This area has never looked as good. Lots of peaking trees with deep reds and yellows. Get here fast, as some stands are past peak or will not last much longer.  Note: Burcham Flat Road to Lobdell lake Road are dirt roads – AWD or 4WD vehicles are recommended. GO NOW!

Lobdell Lake Rd. (10/10/17) Jeff Simpson | Mono County Tourism

Walker Canyon (5,200′)- Patchy (10-50%) – Walker canyon has slowed since last reported. There are stands with great yellows and lime greens while others are just getting started. Give it a week and it’ll be rating “Go Now!”, but not just yet.

Towns of Walker & Coleville – Just Starting (0-10%) – A few cottonwoods have started to turn but this is traditionally the last place to peak in Mono County. Look to go here in the 3rd or 4th week in October. Nevertheless, there are spots where the tall cottonwood are crowned with yellow in the midday sun.

Sonora Pass (9,623′)- Peak (75-100%) – It’s a fall color inversion here, as colors are looking nice around Leavitt Meadows Pack station and the lower sections of Sonora Pass, whereas aspen near the summit never seemed to get going. You’ll find peak to past peak groves along the road and is still worth the trip this weekend. See our earlier report about Obsidian Campground – glorious! GO NOW!

Twin Lakes, Bridgeport (10/9/17) Jeff Simpson | Mono County Tourism

BRIDGEPORT / VIRGINIA LAKES

Twin Lakes (7,000′) -Peak (75-100%) – The biggest change in Mono County this week has occurred at Twin Lakes near Bridgeport. Wonderful color has appeared along the upper and lower lakes, and up the mountainside toward Horse Creek. GO NOW!

Virginia Lakes (9,819’) –Peak (75-100%) to Past Peak – The leaves never got going at Virginia Lakes, this year. Though, there’s still some great color along Lower Virginia Lakes Road. GO NOW! as You’re About to Miss It.

Conway Summit (8,143′)- Near Peak to Peak (50-100%) – There is lot’s of great color at Conway Summit right now. A few stands are a little green while most of the mountainside is at full peak. Tip: visit in the late afternoon, as shadows make this difficult to photograph in morning light. GO NOW!

Summers Meadow (7,200′) – Peak (75-100%) – – Simply spectacular. Entire groves of peaking aspens make this location a must stop.  NOTE: The Summers Meadow bridge sustained significant damage during the spring runoff. The bridge has been reduced to one lane traffic but is currently open to visitors traveling to Summers Meadow. GO NOW!

Conway Summit (10/11/17) Jeff Simpson | Mono County Tourism

LEE VINING 

Tioga Pass & Lee Vining Canyon (9,943′) – Near Peak to Peak (50-100%) – There is great color to be found in Lee Vining Canyon, especially along Log Cabin Mine Road. Higher up, Tioga Pass and Saddlebag Lake are past peak. GO NOW!

Lundy Lake & Canyon (7,858′)- Peak (75-100%) – Be prepared for brilliant color up Lee Vining Canyon at the first set of waterfalls. Color along the road and campground is our peak as Peak of the Week. GO NOW!

BENTON & 120 EAST 

Sagehen Summit (8,139’) – Past Peak (You Missed It.)

JUNE LAKE LOOP

Silver Lake, June Lake Loop (10/11/17) Jeff Simpson | Mono County Tourism

June Lake Loop/Hwy 158 (7,654′) – Near Peak to Peak (50-100%) – There is lots of bright lime, yellow and orange in the aspen around the June Lake Loop. There are peak trees just about everywhere. And yet, the June Lake Loop will last another week or two. We do not recommend delaying, but if you only can visit in two weeks, you should still find spots of good color. GO NOW!

Parker Lake (8,000′) – 50-100% Go Now!  – Wow. From Parker Bench to Parker Lake be prepared to drop your jaw. You will find a mix of color from Patchy to Near Peak, to Peaking, to Past Peak, but overall it’s lovely. GO NOW!

MAMMOTH LAKES

Mammoth Lakes Basin (8,996′) – Near Peak to Peak (50-100%) – Mammoth has come into its own, with good color along Mammoth Creek Road and Sherwin Creek Road and among bright orange willows at the Mammoth Lakes Basin. GO NOW!

Summers Meadow Rd. (10/9/17) Jeff Simpson | Mono County Tourism

CROWLEY LAKE/McGEE CREEK/CONVICT LAKE

McGee Creek Canyon (8,600’) – Near Peak to Peak (50-100%) – – McGee Creek Canyon is at full peak and has wonderful color right now while the road is still a bit patchy. GO NOW!

Around Crowley Community (6,781′) – Near Peak to Peak (50-100%) – Poke around the community and you’ll find bright color there and along the hillsides beside U.S. 395. Take the “old US 395” road from McGee Creek to Tom’s Place for great views of the color change that’s occurring up the mountain. GO NOW!

Convict Lake (7850′) – Peak (75-100%) – Convict Lake is a “must” stop this week. Colors are at their peak along the lake and up Convict Canyon. Take the 2.5 mile “Convict Lake Loop Trail” around the lake for a close up view of the leaves and different angles of Mt. Morrison. GO NOW!

ROCK CREEK CANYON

Rock Creek Road (9,600’) –Near Peak to Peak (50-100%) –  – Wonderful color along the lower section of Rock Creek Road from Tom’s Place. There are sections of great Yellows and Oranges while other areas above the lake may be past peak. GO NOW!

Lower Rock Creek Road(7,087′) – Patchy (10-50%)

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Glorious Color Emerges in Mono County

Sagehen Meadows (10/4/17) John Poimiroo

(Mono County – 10/4/17) – Peak is approaching at several viewing locations in Mono County, Jeff Simpson reports. We visited prime areas throughout Mono County today to find great color in the higher canyons.

Sagehen Meadows (10/4/17) Daniel Danzig

To the east of US 395, on a mountain area area that gets less water than the Sierra Nevada, Sagehen Meadows is at Peak and glorious. If you’ve not visited this remote place, take CA-120 (south of Mono Lake) 14 miles east to Sagehen Summit. Turn onto Sagehen Meadows Rd. and continue three miles south along a dirt road to Sagehen Meadows.

A dirt parking area at Sagehen can hold four cars and there’s a fairly steady stream of dusty cars pulling in for the view of venerable hot-red, flame orange and yellow-flecked aspen. They’re so old, they look as if they were there when the Sierra were made.

To the west, snowy peaks within Yosemite National Park are seen.  It’s a great place for contemplation, inspiration and a picnic.

Elsewhere in Mono County, Rock Creek Road, McGee Creek Rd., Convict Lake, Laurel Canyon Rd. (OHV), Conway Summit, Summers Meadow Road and Lobdell Lake Road are all transitioning from Patchy to Near Peak. They should all be increasingly brilliant each of the coming 7-10 days.

Many areas like the West Walker River, Lee Vining Canyon, Lundy Canyon and the June Lake Loop are just getting started but still have sections of great foliage and are worth visiting this weekend.

Sagehen Summit (8,139’) – Peak (75-100%) Sagehen Summit has been at peak color for the last 5 days and is rapidly nearing past peak. You’ll still find sections of good color with dark crimson, reds and oranges, while other areas are going Past Peak. Sagehen Summit will still be great for the next few days but it will likely be gone after the coming weekend. GO NOW!

Lower Rock Creek Rd. (7,087′) – Patchy (10-50%) – Towering black cottonwood along Lower Rock Creek Rd – leading to and beyond the Mono/Inyo County line and into Round Valley – are crowned in gold and should continue to glow for the next three weeks.

Rock Creek Road (9,000′ to 10,300’) – Patchy to Near Peak (10-75%) – There’s wonderful color to be found along the lower section of Rock Creek Rd., with sections of great yellows and oranges, though the tale of all Sierra color areas is that large stands of Just Starting and Patchy aspen are there, too. The areas along Rock Creek Lake are best in midday light. Aspen in the Little Lakes Valley are peaking. GO NOW!

McGee Creek Campground (10/4/17) John Poimiroo

McGee Creek Canyon (10/4/17) Terry Rightmire

McGee Creek Canyon (8,600′) – Patchy to Near Peak (10-75%) – The aspen and cottonwood along McGee Creek Rd are crowned with golden color, providing for a stunning show. Hike Of The Week: walk a mile beyond road’s end toward the peaks beyond to pass through golden aspen groves and a mountain hillside that is painted with chartreuse majesty (as seen in Terry Rightmire’s image). GO NOW!

Convict Lake (7850′) Patchy (10-50%) – Willows and aspen ringing the lake are patchy with large areas of emerging golden color. The aspen at the end of the lake are about 25% turned, so the show will continue to improve at Convict Lake for another two weeks. Take the 2.5 mile “Convict Lake Loop Trail” around the lake for a close up view of the leaves and different angles of Mt. Morrison.

 

Conway Summit (10/4/17) John Poimiroo

Conway Summit, north slope (10/4/17) John Poimiroo

Conway Summit (8,143′) – Patchy to Near Peak (10-75%) – Some color spotters say Conway Summit is peaking, but with the amount of green still in the aspen groves, it’s a truly more of a mix of High Patchy to Full Peak. Nevertheless the overall impression takes one’s breath away. There are bold stands of yellow and orange while others are patches of lime and green. When you cross the summit, note that the aspen on the south slope have further along than those on the north slope. GO NOW!

Gull Lake (10/4/17) John Poimiroo

June Lake Loop – Patchy (10-50%) – Bright yellow aspen mixed with lime and dark green are seen along the edges of June, Gull, Silver and Grant Lakes, as well as beside the June Lake Loop.

Summers Meadow (7,200′) – Patchy (10-50%) – Much of Summers Meadow is patchy, though some individual stands have brilliant color. The massive elevation change on the mountain means these trees will be peaking at different times over the next two weeks.  NOTE: The Summers Meadow bridge sustained significant damage during the spring runoff. The bridge has been reduced to one lane traffic but is currently open to visitors traveling to Summers Meadow.

Summers Meadow (10/4/17) Jeff Simpson | Mono County Tourism

Lobdell Lake Road (8,600′) – Patchy (10-50%) – Lots has changed here from last week but Lobdell Lake is still well short of Peak. You’ll find sections of peak color while other areas are still fully green. This is a perfect spot for portrait photography or anyone wanting to do close ups of isolated sections of trees. Note: Burcham Flat Road to Lobdell lake Road are dirt roads – AWD or 4WD vehicles are recommended.

 

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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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Wind Tonight! Color Tomorrow?

Convict Lake Resort (10/11/14) Bruce Williams/Oak Valley Photography

Convict Lake Resort (10/11/14) Bruce Williams/Oak Valley Photography

Reports from Mono County are indicating strong winds tonight.  Though, will that mean color will be gone with the wind? Mono County had a spectacular past weekend for color and peak conditions continue in several areas.  Color spotter Alicia Vennos reports a few areas of the Eastern Sierra at lower elevations have yet to turn, including: Lower Rock Creek Rd, Lower Tioga Pass Rd and Lower Lundy Lake Rd.  She will be providing an assessment which we’ll report when received, tomorrow.  Look to our Twitter feeds for the latest updates.

Rock Creek (10/134/14) Alicia Vennos

Rock Creek (10/134/14) Alicia Vennos/Mono County Tourism

Rock Creek (10/134/14) Alicia Vennos

Rock Creek (10/134/14) Alicia Vennos/Mono County Tourism

Pie in the Sky has baked its last pie [sniff] (10/13/14) Alicia Vennos

Pie in the Sky has baked its last pie [sniff] (10/13/14) Alicia Vennos/Mono County Tourism

Rock Creek Rd. (Peak – 75 – 100%) – Rock Creek Rd. is at full peak from Tom’s Place to East Fork, three miles from U.S. 395.  GO NOW! 

Upper Rock Creek Canyon – Past Peak – Above East Fork, it’s past peak.  A sure sign is that Pie in the Sky has stopped baking pies.  They pass thanks to everyone who dropped in for a slice this past year.  Until next spring, no more pies (sniff). YOU MISSED IT! 

Lower Rock Creek Rd (10/13/14) Alicia Vennos

Lower Rock Creek Rd (10/13/14) Alicia Vennos/Mono County Tourism

Lower Rock Creek Rd. (Just Starting – 10 – 50%) – The aspen groves that line Rock Creek south of Tom’s Place are just now turning and should survive the wind.  This hike should be lovely this weekend.  Alicia warns to look out for mountain bikes, as this is a multi-use trail.

Little Green Church at Crowley Lake (10/12/14) Alicia Vennos

Little Green Church at Crowley Lake (10/12/14) Alicia Vennos/Mono County Tourism

Crowley Lake (Peak – 75 – 100%) – The little green church at Crowley lake is embraced by fall color. GO NOW! 

Convict Lake Resort (10/13/14) Bruce Williams/Oak Valley Photography

Convict Lake Resort (10/13/14) Bruce Williams/Oak Valley Photography

Convict Canyon (10/14/14) Alicia Vennos

Convict Canyon (10/14/14) Alicia Vennos/Mono County Tourism

Convict Lake (Peak – 75 – 100%)  – Convict Lake Resort has beautiful fall color.  Let’s hope tonight’s winds leave it on the branches. The Canyon as a whole is at peak with vibrant colors. Color spotter Charles “JR” Porter notes the change this year has been somewhat different from the past few years. He’s seeing more yellow and brown with the green. In some areas of the canyon you will find foliage that is still green and in the same vicinity you will see leafs that have already run their course.   Stating at the bottom of the canyon you find plenty of spectacular colors as you make you way up to the lake. There is a combination of intense yellows, brilliant oranges and recently more traces of brown along the lower creek. The campground/resort section of the canyon is very close to peak.  The fall colors in this area are spectacular and are starting to show bright yellows and oranges. The foliage along the lake has increased in intensity. The shoreline is traced with a line on yellow, brown, green and orange.  At the back of the lake a dazzling ribbon of yellow is snaking its way up the lower section of the canyon. The higher elevation foliage at the back of the lake has reached it’s peak. GO NOW! 

Parker Lake (Past Peak) YOU MISSED IT!  June Lake Loop (Peak – 75 – 100%) – Color along the June Lake Loop is mature with red, orange and yellow.  Some areas have begun to drop leaves.  A few sections along the loop remain green and lime, though most are at full peak. GO NOW! 

Walker Lake (Peak – 75 – 100%) – Cottonwood are showing nicely gold. GO NOW! 

Tioga Pass/Lee Vining Road – Past Peak YOU MISSED IT! 

Lundy Lake (10/14/14) Jamie Lau

Lundy Lake (10/14/14) Jamie Lau

Lundy Canyon (Peak – 75 – 100%) – The Lundy Lake Rd and trail are at peak. GO NOW! Conway Summit (Peak – 75 – 100%) – Jamie Lau caught this beautiful shot of a yellow aspen-lined path at Lundy Lake, today.  who knows whether it will be there by tomorrow.

GO NOW!  Virginia Lakes (Past Peak) YOU MISSED IT! 

Green Creek, Buckeye Creek, Summers Meadow (Past Peak) YOU MISSED IT! 

Sonora Pass/Leavitt Meadow (Peak – 75 – 100%) – On the downhill side of peaking.

GO NOW!  Walker, Coleville, Topaz (Just Starting – 10 – 50%) – Cottonwood are lime and yellow.

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Finally… June Is Bustin’ Out All Over!

AV - June Lake Loop 1 - 10--6

Gull Lake (10/6/14) Alicia Vennos

Gull Lake (10/6/14) Alicia Vennos

Grant Lake (10/6/14) Alicia Vennos

Grant Lake (10/6/14) Alicia Vennos

GO NOW! Peak (75 – 100%) June Lake Loop – Mono County color spotter Alicia Vennos reports “It’s like the switch just flipped and Mono County is spectacular everywhere right now, including the June Lake Loop, Lundy Canyon, Convict Lake, Conway Summit, Summer’s Meadow/Green Creek Road and Log Cabin Road (at the bottom of Tioga Pass Road!).

These photos attest to the dramatic turn around in color at lower elevations.  She predicts that “this weekend (and next) will be a photographer’s dream.” Plus, what could be better than fall color and beer!?  The June Lake Autumn Beer Festival starts Saturday, Oct. 11 at Gull Lake Park. CLICK HERE for more details.

Bloody Canyon Trail (10/5/14) Alicia Vennos

Bloody Canyon Trail (10/5/14) Alicia Vennos

Little Walker Lake (10/5/14) Alicia Vennos

Little Walker Lake (10/5/14) Alicia Vennos

GO NOW! Peak (75 – 100%) Little Walker Lake – Aspen above Little Walker Lake on the Bloody Canyon trail to Sardine Lakes are incredible right now.  This is a strenuous hike, so plan accordingly.  The aspens around the south-west end of Little Walker Lake itself are just starting but should be peaking by next week!  To get to Little Walker Lake, take the Parker Lake Road exit from the north end of the June Lake Loop/Hwy. 158 and follow the signs to Walker Lake Trailhead.

Log Cabin Rd (10/6/14) Alicia Vennos

Log Cabin Rd (10/6/14) Alicia Vennos

Log Cabin Rd (10/6/14) Alicia Vennos

Log Cabin Rd (10/6/14) Alicia Vennos

Log Cabin Rd (10/6/14) Alicia Vennos

Log Cabin Rd (10/6/14) Alicia Vennos

GO NOW! Peak (75 – 100%) –  Log Cabin Road – Peaking at higher elevations.  This dirt road is located at the bottom of the Tioga Pass Road near Lee Vining — it is in fairly good shape with some steep, rocky sections.  At the historical cabins, it is advised to park and walk to the best viewpoints which are another 1.5 – 2 miles.

Upper Conway Summit (10/7/14) Alicia Vennos

Upper Conway Summit (10/7/14) Alicia Vennos

Lower Conway Summit (10/7/14) Alicia Vennos

Lower Conway Summit (10/7/14) Alicia Vennos

Summer's Meadow (10/7/14) Alicia Vennos

Summer’s Meadow (10/7/14) Alicia Vennos

GO NOW! Peak (75 – 100%) –  Conway Summit – US 395 between Lee Vining and Bridgeport is gorgeous right now, both on the south and the north sides.  Green Creek Road and Summer’s Meadows just south of Bridgeport are also peaking.

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