Posted by: Sandy Steinman | October 11, 2012

California Fall Color Updates 10/10/12 – Updated 10/11/12

 Updated 10/11/12

This post includes a number of fall color reports for the Sierra Nevada, Shasta Cascade and Plumas County. Click Read more below to see all the postings. Report is updated throughout the day.

Parchers Resort’s Fall Color Report for 10/11/12

Bishop Creek Canyon Fall Color ReportUpdated 10-11-12

Overall Conditions above 8500ft
Peak color has come and gone in some areas, especially in the highest reaches of the canyon, while some areas are at peak right now. It is safe to say that conditions were better late last week but there are still quite a few areas that are worth a stop. A dusting of snow Wednesday night and into Thursday morning added to the scenic opportunities in the canyon. Some trees are starting to lose their leaves but there is plenty of color left to be captured.

Overall Conditions below 8500ft
There is a lot of color between the 7900ft mark and the 8500ft mark with many of these areas peaking or near peak. Hopefully the cold snap and the few inches of snow we received won’t negatively affect the color developing in this area of the canyon. Both the middle and south forks of Bishop Creek are really looking good in this elevation range.

75-100% – Table Mountain Camp (8900ft)
Still some color to be seen here however many of the aspen in this grove have given up their color until next year. Certainly some good shots are available though, not unlike the one below.

75-100% – Surveyors Meadow (8975ft)
While the aspen along the creek and on the west side of the road have already peaked and many of the aspen have lost their leaves, the east side of the road still looks beautiful.
View east from Surveyors Meadow

75-100% – Willow Campground (9100ft)
The willows are fading and some of the aspen along the road near the Tyee bridge are looking a bit naked but there are some great areas of color in this area, especially for those walking into the campground or taking photos from near the road looking west. The bright yellows and oranges can be beautifully captured with the stark granite background of the hillside. The whole west side of the road between Willow Campground and Parchers Resort is brilliant.

75-100% – Lake Sabrina (9150ft)
Lake Sabrina proper is past peak now but the aspen just below the dam around the bridge and pond are still absolutely stunning – this is still a can’t-miss in the canyon right now.

75-100% – North Lake (9255ft)
North Lake has peaked however there are still some good shots to be had for the photographer with skill. The best views in this area are actually along the creek near the North Lake turnoff or looking up canyon from the road on your way down from North Lake.

75-100% – South Lake Rd above Mt. Glen Camp (8600ft)
Mostly past peak but still a lot of nice creek shots with some yellow, orange and a little red to be found.

75-100% – Mountain Glen Campground (8400ft)
Although closed to vehicle traffic, there are some spectacular shots of brilliant color available in and above this little creekside camp. Ample turnouts along the road provide some great shots too without too much work.

75-100% – Mist Falls and the groves above Bishop Creek Lodge (8350ft)
Some of the aspen have peaked here but there is still plenty of bright yellow and lime green spicing up the scenery. The groves just above the waterfall are really starting to pop.
75-100% – Groves above Cardinal Village & Aspendell    (8550ft)
One of the most spectacular views in the canyon is from the road just above Aspendell looking south towards the crest, the middle fork Bishop creek and the gorgeous groves of aspen snaking their way up canyon in full fall color.

50-75% – Intake II, Big Trees Camp, Four Jeffries Camp (8000ft – 8300ft)
Color has is developing in an uneven fashion at present making for some interesting photographic opportunities in these areas. Some stands of aspen are in full color while others only a few yards away appear to still be hanging on to summer. There is very cool grove on the far side of Intake II that is showing very bright orange and red hues.

to see photos go:

California Fall Color posted the following Eastern Sierra fall color report for 10/10/12

75 – 100% – Laurel Canyon – Just south of Mammoth Lakes and truly epic.  High-clearance 4WD and off-road experience required! (See Comments)

Charlie Noback sends these shots taken at North Lake and overlooking Bishop Creek Canyon on Monday.

75 – 100% – Bishop Creek Canyon -Epic with a capital “E.”

75 – 100% – Rock Creek Canyon – This shot of aspen taken on Saturday, shows there’s still lots of color to be found up Rock Creek Canyon.

Mono County

Past Peak – Virginia Lakes (above 8,300′) Wind has stripped areas in Virginia Lakes Canyon.

75 – 100% – Conway Summit (8,138′) Areas of beautiful color remain, with a range of color from lime to brilliant yellow, to orange to rust.


Lassen Volcanic National Park – Go Now!

Ranger Amanda Sweeney reports Lassen Volcanic NP is approaching peak with orange and yellow ground covers dressing the hillsides near Kohm Yah-mah-nee, the Southwest Visitor Center and gold, lime and yellow to be seen along the Main Park Road to Manzanita Lake, where orange and gold are prominent.

Southwest area – 75-100% – The rusty orange mat of Mules Ear is dotted with late-blooming yellow and sage rabbitbrush.

Devastated Area / Hat Creek 50 – 75% – The cottonwood are getting near peak color (gold) and the aspen are still slowly turning (lime to yellow).

Manzanita Lake 75-100% – The alder (orange), cottonwood (gold) and occasional aspen (yellow)  are at peak color.

Plumas County 

30 – 50% – Plumas County Riparian areas are coloring nicely, particularly among the Indian Rhubarb, with its big orangy-red trimmed leaves, to Pacific Dogwood, now exhibiting pink, orange and red.  Look for Plumas County’s abundant yellow bigleaf maple and evergreens to provide nice contrast in coming weeks.

Go to California Fall Color to see photos and more reports

Inyo National Forest has the follow fall color report for the Eastern Sierra  10/10/12

The Inyo National Forest has wonderful displays of fall colors from late September through the month of October.  The glacier carved canyons adjacent to US Highway 395 are home to colorful aspen groves which provide an impressive contrast with rich green pine forests and dramatic granite walls.

In general, aspen groves and willows, around 8,500 feet, are producing a great display.  It’s now time to visit the Eastern Sierra.  Many locations are at full peak.  Trees above 9,000 feet are losing their leaves.  Due to a dry spring and summer, peak shows are relatively short in duration (3 – to 5 days).

Lundy Canyon (10 miles north of Lee Vining on SR 167) within a short drive leads to striking fall displays.  Groves at lower elevations are changing from yellow to gold.  Trees at higher elevations in the canyon are at their peak.

The June Lake Loop (west on SR 158) has started to change from lime to yellow.  This loop of the “California’s Alps” is beautiful year round, but especially stunning in the fall.  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

Mammoth Lakes has started to change color over the last week.  Check the progression of color in the Lakes Basin.  Trees are now spotty lime to yellow, with the promise of more to come this weekend.

Convict Lake (10 miles south of Mammoth Lakes) is in the process of changing from lime to yellow, with trees at lake level starting to show a range of colors, including orange.

In Bishop Creek (west of Bishop on SR 168), the best displays are between 8,500 to 9,000 feet, plenty of yellow, with touches of orange and red showing on both forks of the creek.  Above 9,000 feet trees are past peak, although some pockets of color still remain.  Groves near Aspendell, Bishop Creek Lodge, Parchers Camp and Surveyors Meadow are displaying full colors, from yellow, to gold, to orange.

Go to Inyo National Forest to see photos.

Calphoto had the following fall color report for the Eastern Sierra from a trip over the last few days.

  • Lee Vining Canyon still had a lot of green, but also some brilliant patches ofyellow and gold (10/9).
  • Some areas of June Lake are popping now, but Silver Lake was mostly green.
  • McGee Creek trailhead (10/7) also had a lot of green, but some good color too. at the trailhead (I didn’t take the trail up higher)
  • Rock Creek Rd had some very nice patches of color too, but again, still a lot of lime green and past peak higher up (10/7).
  • The best color I found was in Bishop Creek Canyon. Mist Falls to Table Mountain was very nice, but going fast at Table Mountain. Not much past Parchers. Aspendell was still pretty green with some patches of gold. Some great color between Aspendell and the bridge at Lake Sabrina. The first part of North Lake Rd was at peak, but beyond that was pretty much gone.
  • I stopped at Parker Lake on my way back and was pleasantly surprised by the mixof colors. The aspens at the back of the lake were a mixed bag with half still green a quarter yellow and a quarter gone.
  • Not sure what the storms will do to the Aspens, but I’m pretty sure there will still be lots around this weekend.

Go to calphoto : Message: Fall Color Update to see photo links and more reports.

Michael Frye  has the following Yosemite Valley Fall Color Report  for 10/10/12 on his In the Moment: A Landscape Photography Blog

 Some of the maples and dogwoods are starting to turn, but I didn’t see a single tree that had fully changed. All the maples and dogwoods had at least some green leaves, and most were entirely green. At this point it looks like the autumn color in the Valley will peak near the end of October or beginning of November—the normal time.

California Nature Photographers had the following fall color report on its fall foliage report for the Eastern Sierra on its Fall Color Reports thread

Friday and came back Tuesday. Bishop canyon still had large areas of green, but the higher areas were mostly past prime. I was not at North Lake for sunrise, but the trees on the far side looked like they were a little past prime on Friday.

A LOT of the leaves that have turned are not very vibrant. They look okay back lit, but are very dull and drab front lit. I think the dry year took its toll. There were areas still green up on Conway summit, but Virginia Lakes road was kind of done. I did not get to Lee Vining canyon or Lundy.

It is still well worth the trip up there, but it is a very early year and I don’t think it is one of the best years for the east side.

See all of their reports at: Fall Color Reports

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