Posted by: Sandy Steinman | October 5, 2012

Eastern Sierra Fall Color At Peak – Updated 10/05/12

Two Updates 10/05/12

Parcher’s Resort has posted a new detailed fall color report with photos for the Bishop Creek Area at: Bishop Creek Canyon Fall Color Report

The Sacramento Bee has updated its interactive map of fall color in the Sierra map as of yesterday afternoon at Fall Leaves.

California Fall Color an extensive report below:

Extended, warm weather is causing changes not seen in the Eastern Sierra in recent years.  Individual groves of aspen are exhibiting a full range of color, from lime, to yellow, to orange, to red, to spotted and dried leaves, to bare limbs – all in the same grove – according to Mono County color spotter Alicia Vennos.

Warm nights have not encouraged sugaring.  This worries some spotters who say a storm or sudden drop in nighttime temperatures could trigger a rapid change in color, so the advice remains… Go Now!

MONO COUNTY (Northern US 395)

The best color to be seen remains above 8,500’, though there are early signs that the color is descending with aspen indicating at June Lake and the Mammoth Lakes basin.

75 – 100% – Upper Rock Creek (9,500’) – The upper section of Rock Creek are approaching past peak, with many trees now dropping leaves.  A big wind will strip them.

30 – 50% – Lower Rock Creek (8,500’) – There’s still a lot of green and lime in the lower stands.

75 – 100% – McGee Creek (9,500’) – Higher areas of McGee are at peak, with some aspen now losing leaves.

15 – 30% – Lower McGee Creek – Flashes of color are seen in the lower drainages.

75 – 100% – Slopes Above Convict Lake – Aspen at the highest elevations leading down to the lake are showing orange and yellow.

30 – 50% – Convict Lake – At lake level, the aspen are showing yellow and have at least a week before peak.

30 – 50% – Mammoth Lakes – Aspen around the lakes are showing color, but it’s still beyond a week from peak.

75 – 100% – Lundy Lake – At peak, though some stands have yet to turn.

15 – 30% – Lower Lundy Canyon – Lime and yellow.

75 – 100% – Lundy Canyon Avalanche Zone – Gnarled aspen in the avalanche zone are at peak with many already past.

75 – 100% – Canyons above 8,500 feet – the colors are peaking or approaching peak. Rock Creek, McGee Creek (upper trail at first stream crossing) and Virginia Lakes (9,000′) are all approaching peak. Below 8,500′, the colors are two weeks from peak.

15 – 30% – Lower McGee Creek –Color spotter Whitney Lennon sends photos taken along McGee Creek, south of Mammoth Lakes (off U.S. 395). She says Lower McGee Creek has a way to go, perhaps two weeks to peak.

50 – 75% – Conway Summit – Approaching peak.

50 – 75% – Sonora Pass – Spotty yellow and orange in lower areas of the pass.

0 – 15% – Walker/Coleville – Color spotter Tim Fesko of the Meadowcliff Resort in Coleville says most of the color is seen on Sonora and Monitor Passes.  The boulevard of cottonwood trees along US 395 from Walker north to Topaz are not yet showing much color change.

50 – 75% – Monitor Pass – Spotty areas of yellow and orange among the aspen on the pass.

INYO COUNTY (Southern US 395)

Overall Conditions (above 8,500’) – Elevations above 8500’ remain at peak, with some areas now losing leaves.  There is lots of yellow with hints of orange, rose, and red showing on the middle fork of Bishop Creek towards Sabrina and around North Lake. Bright yellow and orange are seen along the So. Fork of Bishop Creek with the most vibrant groves between Mountain Glen Campground and Weir Pond.

Overall Conditions (below 8,500’) – Yellow continues to appear here and there with considerable lime among the aspen and cottonwood.

75-100% – Table Mountain Camp (8,900’) – The hill remains on fire with most much of the aspen displaying the full glory of autumn color.  Few late bloomers remain.

75-100% – Surveyors Meadow (8,975’) – Surveyor’s meadow, a mile from Parchers Resort, is splashed from the creekside trail to Tyee Lakes trail with color.

75-100% – Lake Sabrina (9,150’) – Lake Sabrina is putting on a colorful show, especially at the grove across from the café which is famous for its vibrant reds.

75-100% – North Lake (9,255’) – Color is popping everywhere. Some aspen are now past peak, though there’s still plenty of yellow along the North Lake Road and at the campground entrance. Some stands are now fading.

75-100% – Steiny Loop above Mt. Glen Camp (8,600’) – A mile past Mountain Glen Campground is a road to this colorful area of aspen at peak.

50- 75% – Mist Falls and the groves above Bishop Creek Lodge (8,350’) – This area has developed, as predicted, this past week.  Give it a week more to peak.

0-15% – Aspendell (8,400’) – Aspendell, a small community on the middle fork of Bishop Creek, is now beginning to lime and show color.

50-75% – Groves above Cardinal Village (8,550’) – This vista just above Aspendell has plenty of yellow and some orange. The views up Hwy 168 towards Lake Sabrina are worth the trip to the Eastern Sierra.

To view other reports and photos go to: California Fall Color


  1. […] Eastern Sierra Fall Color At Peak – Updated 10/05/12 ( […]


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