Posted by: Sandy Steinman | October 10, 2016

California Fall Color Updates 10/10/16

California Fall Color had an extensive report on Fall Color throughout the state today. Below are the highlights. See full post with photos at Weekend Update


The upper areas of the Hope Valley are past peak, though as seen in Andrew Zheng’s photo of the cabin near the junction of CA-88 and CA-89, there remains a mix of developing lime to fully peaked trees, though as many stripped trees.

Hope Valley – Peak to Past Peak YOU ALMOST MISSED IT!


Glacier Lodge which is west of Big Pine in the southern Eastern Sierra, off US 395…. visited the previous weekend and found some nice patchy color in the lower elevations and near peak higher up, with more color appearing this week.

Tip of the Day: a number of canyons lead up into the Eastern Sierra from US 395. These are often lightly visited and full of color.  No, they don’t have the big stands of aspen found in Bishop Creek or at June Lake, but they’re beautiful, nonetheless. And, for So. Calif. color spotters they’re a lot closer to reach.

Glacier Lodge, Big Pine – Near Peak (50-75%) GO NOW!

Bishop Creek is past peak at its upper reaches, though lots of color is peaking at mid and lower elevations.  Here’s a video from Bishop showing what it looked like this past weekend.

Bishop Creek Canyon – Mid Elevations – Near Peak and Peak  GO NOW!

Bishop Creek Canyon – Low Elevations – Patchy (10-50%)

Round Valley, northwest of Bishop in the Eastern Sierra on Friday and found the cottonwood just turning yellow.

Though, there are “some lovely stand in picturesque spots,” with rabbitbrush in full irridescent yellow bloom, complementing the trees perfectly.

Counterpoints include bull rushes along the creeks, an occasional apple tree and “old structures that have lovely patina.”

She recommends exploring Pine Creek Rd., Round Valley Rd., Horton Creek Campground and Millpond County Park (Inyo County).

Round Valley, Inyo County (northwest of Bishop) – Patchy (10-50%), though well worth a trip.

 Hilton Lakes on Oct. 6 to find the area denuded of leaves. He admitted he didn’t spend a lot of time searching for color around the lake, but that’s about what we would have expected, considering that the lakes are from 9,800′ to 11,000′ in elevation, and everything abover 9,000′ was reported as past peak the day Anthony headed up to the Hilton Lakes.

Hilton Lakes – Past Peak YOU MISSED IT!

Robinson Creek Trail to Barney Lake is at peak and dazzling with mountainsides full of yellow, orange and red contrasting with the rugged peaks surrounding the scene. 

“After the short stretch in the pine forest near Twin Lakes, the trail emerges into meadows and the aspen at peak color is virtually unabated for 4 miles all the way to Barney Lake and beyond. 

“I was at the same spot at the same time last year and the aspen show is substantially better this year with much less brown rot. 

“Leaves were flying off the trees with every breeze so this is definitely a GO NOW! situation.”

He continues, “Strong winds are forecast as early as Thursday will likely end the show there.

Barney Lake, Mono County – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!  

Sonora Pass  That’s how fast it peaks. Again, this color might not last out the week.

Sonora Pass – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW! 


First Report: Traveling north from Ojai along SR33,found a stand of Fremont cottonwood, brushed by refreshing mountain breezes off Rose Valley Road.

The trees were showing patchy color at coordinates 34.5595382 – 119.1654414 along Sespe Creek. 

hike Lion Canyon. Turn right off CA-33 on Rose Valley Rd. and follow the parking lot to its bitter end. 

This is a nice walk for Central Coast color spotters and earns title as HIKE OF THE WEEK. “Totally worth it!” wrote Rose who followed Rose Valley Road.

Rose Valley Road, Los Padres National Forest, Ojai – Patchy (10-50%)

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