Posted by: Sandy Steinman | October 8, 2012

Sierra Nevada Fall Color Updates 10/8/12 – Updated

Instead of doing a serious of posts on fall color in the Sierra Nevada this past weekend I thought I would combine the various reports in one place and possibly update it if I found more.

The California Nature Photographers Fall Color  thread reports for Saturday Oct. 6:

The color is looking really good, especially the aspen groves on both sides of the pass.

California Fall Color has the following report (go to site to see photos):

  • 30 – 50% – Onion Pass, Inyo County (west of Independence)
  • 75 – 100% – Rock Creek, Mono County (south of Mammoth Lakes)
  • 75 – 100% – Sabrina Lake, Bishop Creek Canyon, Inyo County

Carol Leigh’s Fall Color in California:

  • Yosemite to June Lake Loop – 10/3 — We drove from the Bay Area through Yosemite / Tuolumne Meadow to 395. The dogwood patch shortly after the entrance station was starting to show some color, but there was very little color looking down into Lee Vining Canyon. Patches of color were visible from 395 above the June Lake loop.
  • 10/4 — North Lake / Lake Sabrina / South Lake: there seems to be more stratification of color than I remember. Aspendell is green, North Lake is past prime, and the best color seems to be at about the level of the turnoff to North Lake. There’s good color in the Table Mountain area heading toward South Lake.
  • 10/5 — The S-curve on Laurel Creek near the turnoff to Mammoth Lakes shows a similar sensitivity to altitude, with the top half yellow and the bottom half green. Some color starts soon after the turn-off from 395 at Tom’s Place and continues up to Rock Creek Lake. Trees above that level are entirely bare.
  • 10/6 — June Lake loop is still very green, despite the color visible on upper slopes when driving along 395. It looked like a photography workshop had gathered at Aerie Crag (between Grant and Silver)., where a very nice patch of mixed yellow and green had backlighting at 11:30am.

Calphoto Yahoo Discussion Group had the following two reports


  • It would appear somewhere between 75 – 80% of the aspens have already turned yellow, but there are some greens for anyone willing to try next weekend. You are probably better off going from 395 to 108 up to about 5 – 10 miles past the pass and back.
  • Chipmunk flats is the first spot for colors from the West side. The aspens just off the road, and along the river are yellow, but they were bright and brilliant. Right around 8500 – 9000 feet, and close to the 9000ft. markers on both sides, there were a lot of Aspens, mostly yellow, but some orange, and really brilliant in colors.
  • Driving East, stop by Forest Road 077. There is a good 4ft rock right by the roadside as a marker. Colors are beautiful along this road, and a little to the right. I met a gentleman here who encouraged me to walk a half mile in, well worth it. If you do, you end up in a small meadow, with lots of impressive colors.
  • The area around Leavitt Meadows also has lots of colors if you have a good macro lens. Just past the US Marines Station, past the no parking zone, you can look to some brilliant colors. This has some promise as there is a good mix of green here.
  • On Highway 395, I stayed along the freeway as I was pretty close to the end of the day, so I missed Lundy, Virginia Lakes, etc. The usual suspects – spots with vista points had very good colors. There were some reds, many oranges and quite a bit of yellows. All of this looked really good.
  • The drive on 120, and the campground next to the highway, up to Yosemite also has yellows mostly.


  • Bishop Creek.
    North Lake: North Lake is disappointing: dull color, a lot of dry leaves.
    Aspendell:   Groove is green, started turning in. Leaves have black (brown)
    spots. Dry year.
    South Fork: Some green trees around house with waterfall. Higher elevations –
    fall color peak passed.
  • Rock Creek.
    Lower part: at peak.
    Higher part (close to Marsh Lake): leaves are gone.
  • Lundy Canyon.
    Lower part: close to peak. Aspens near Beaver Ponds (first, second) are green.
  • Conway Summit.
    At 70%. Groves below are in different state. Some are yellow, orange, some have
    bare trees, majority is still have green color.
  • June Lake, Silver Lake.
    Most of trees are still green. Probably would be in peak next week or even week
  • Canyon below Tioga Pass.
    Most of aspen are green, some are bright yellow. Current state is 20-30%.

Plumas County’s Awesome Autumn has the following two reports. You don’t need to be on Facebook to access the photo album mentioned below.

  • October 8, 2012 Within two weeks, Cromberg’s cottonwoods should be at peak, along with the oaks and willows, making the drive along Hwy. 70 and backroads spectacular!
  • October 7, 2012  a Facebook album to show what it looked like at Antelope Lake during the Indian Valley Leaf-Peepers Century ride yesterday.  “The trees are changing but all of the yellow is just barely getting there. It will be a few weeks for peak color. The aspens are 65% easily and some are even done.The driving is easy and relaxed, and many side shoots to choose from for a little off roading adventure. Not much by way of red up here near Antelope. The shades of green changing to orange and golden hues of yellow are coming soon.
Go to all sites to see additional reports.


  1. […] Sierra Nevada Fall Color Updates 10/8/12 ( […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: