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As Autumn Approaches, Shasta Cascade Reports

With the first day of autumn approaching (Friday, Sept. 23), few reports received yet include significant measurements of fall color anywhere in California.  Yesterday, Leilani, a color spotter from the Shasta Cascade region (northeast California) reported:

0-15% – Butte County – The colors in Butte County are not expected to change much until closer to the end of the month.  The area has been experiencing unseasonably warm weather.

Sundial Bridge (11/4/2009) © 2009 John Poimiroo

0-15% – Redding – Nothing yet to report, but plan to visit in early October to see the riparian vegetation and oaks along the banks of the Sacramento River framing Sundial Bridge with shades of yellow, orange and burnt sienna.

0-15% – Whiskeytown National Recreation Area- The national park is not experiencing any fall color changes, as yet.

0-15% – MacArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park– The Vine Maples at the bottom of the falls at Burney Creek are just beginning to turn.

0-15% – Lassen Volcanic National Park–  Neither upper elevations at the park or Manzanita Lake are experiencing any foliage change yet.

0-15% – Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail-   Colors along The Bizz Johnson Trail in Lassen County are not expected to change until the middle of October.

0-15% – Lassen National Forest – The national forest will most likely not experience fall color changes until early October.

0-15% – Modoc National Forest – No color changes yet in Modoc County, but conditions are perfect for spectacular fall color, as the nights are starting to turn pretty cold, with warm days meaning that as the days shorten, the beginning of color change is expected in the next week or so.

0-15% – Mt. Shasta – California’s beautiful northern volcano, Mt Shasta, is not yet surrounded by fall color.

0-15% – Weaverville – Trinity County surrounding this fascinating gold rush era town along CA-299 has not yet seen any fall color.  Last year, we reported very lovely color along 299 and in the area.  Look to the middle of October for the color to truly swirl here.

0 – 15% – Plumas County – One of California’s premiere places to see fall color, Plumas County always delivers wonderful fall color and 2011 should be no change.  Area botanists are saying the colors are expected to be spectacular this season thanks to all the rain Plumas County has had throughout the year. Our dear friends at the Plumas County Chamber of Commerce will be posting to their fall webpage starting on Friday (Sept. 23).  Their reports feature local and visitor testimonies and pictures from all parts of this colorful destination.  Keep checking here for their reports, as well.  The Chester/Lake Almanor Chamber of Commerce in Chester stocks copies of a guide to regional fall color drives, many of which are on state and national scenic byways.

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