Posted by: Sandy Steinman | October 4, 2017

Eastern Sierra Fall Color: Mono County 10/4/17

Fall Colors in Mono County – Mono County Tourism   reports below. See photos at: Fall Colors in Mono County – Mono County Tourism and Film Commission

Fall Colors have progressed significantly around Mono County over the last week and we are approaching peak color at a few of our favorite viewing locations.

Convict Lake, Rock Creek Road, Conway Summit, Summers Meadow Road and Lobdell Lake Road are all “Go Now” designations and should be brilliant for the next 7-10 days.

Many areas like the West Walker River, Lee Vining Canyon, Lundy Canyon and the June Lake Loop are just getting started but still have sections of great foliage and are worth the trip this weekend.

Book your trip in the next three weeks for the best chance to catch the fall colors in Mono County.

Monitor Pass (8,314′)- 10-50% Patchy – Areas with nice color but still too early for peak leaves even though it’s at a higher elevation. Look for this area to be at peak after next week’s report.
Lobdell Lake Road (8,600′) – 50-75%  Go Now! – Lots of change from last week but still falls short of a full 100% peak designation. You’ll find sections of peak color while other areas are still fully green. This is a perfect spot for portrait photography or anyone wanting to do close ups of isolated sections of trees. Note: Burcham Flat Road to Lobdell lake Road are dirt roads – AWD or 4WD vehicles are recommended.
Walker Canyon (5,200′)- 10-50% Patchy – Walker canyon has progress more rapidly than any other location on this list over the past week. Sections with great yellows and lime greens while others are just getting going. This will be a “go now” designation after next week’s report.
Towns of Walker & Coleville – 0-10% Just Starting – A few cottonwoods have started to turn but this is traditionally the last place to peak in Mono County. Look to go here in the 3rd or 4th week in October.
Sonora Pass (9,623′)- 10-50% Patchy – It’s a fall color inversion here, as colors are looking nice around Leavitt Meadows Pack station and the lower sections of Sonora Pass while the aspens near the summit are still green. Another early winter storm hit this area last night that hopefully jumpstarted the process.

Twin Lakes (7,000′) –  0-10% – Just starting to show signs of change. Take the hike to Barney Lake for the best color.
Virginia Lakes (9,819’) – 10-50% Patchy – This has been the hardest location to report on this year!  We’ve been up three times so far and each time it has failed to produce significant color. The leaves seem to be too early or already past peak. Take the Dunderberg Meadow Road to Sinnamon Meadows and Green Creek to Summers Meadow for the best color in this area – AWD or 4WD is recommended.
Conway Summit (8,143′)- 50-75% Go Now! – This iconic Eastern Sierra Fall Color destination barely makes the “go now” list as some sections have brilliant yellows and oranges while others are still patchy with leaves of full green. Make sure to check out the trees on the south side of Conway Summit as they have progressed faster than the north side.
Summers Meadow (7,200′) – 50-75% Go Now!  – Still patchy in sections but brilliant in others. The massive elevation change on the mountain means these trees will be peaking at different times over the next two weeks.  NOTE: The Summers Meadow bridge sustained significant damage during the spring runoff. The bridge has been reduced to one lane traffic but is currently open to visitors traveling to Summers Meadow.

Tioga Pass & Lee Vining Canyon (9,943′) – 10-50% Patchy – Great color is developing fast along the lower sections of Lee Vining Canyon, especially along Log Cabin Mine Road in Lee Vining Canyon. This location fell just short of the go now designation but is still worth the trip this weekend.
Lundy Lake & Canyon (7,858′)- 10-50% Patchy – Aspens are starting to change at the first set of waterfalls in Lundy Canyon but still not at peak color yet. You’ll find a few groves of peaking early achievers around the campground but still a good week away from a “go now” designation.


Sagehen Summit (8,139’) – 75-100% GO NOW – Sagehen Summit has been at peak color for the last 5 days now and is rapidly approaching past peak. You’ll still find sections of good color with oranges, reds and and dark crimson while other areas are already past peak. Sagehen Summit will still be great for the next few days but it will be too late after this weekend.

June Lake Loop/Hwy 158 (7,654′) – 10-50% Patchy – We were pleasantly surprised to see how rapidly the colors have changed along the June Lake Loop although they are still a week away from a “go now” designation. You’ll find some good color change down canyon in between Silver Lake and Grant Lake with the best color happening along Parker Bench.
Parker Lake (8,000′) – 10-50% Patchy – Great color along Parker Bench while the aspens around the lake still have a ways to go.
Little Walker Lake (7,900′) – 10-50% Patchy – Still at least a week away from peak colors.

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Mammoth Lakes Basin (8,996′) – 10-50% Patchy – Good color along Mammoth Creek Road and Sherwin Creek Road while the Lakes Basin is just getting going.

McGee Creek Canyon (8,600’) – 10-50% Patchy – Great color just up McGee Canyon Trail for those who want to hike up. Still patchy around the pack station and down to US 395.
Around Crowley community (6,781′) – 10-50% surprising and rapid change happening now along US 395 near the Crowley Lake Community. Take the “old US 395” road from McGee Creek to Tom’s Place for great views of the color change up the mountain.
Convict Lake (7850′) 50-75% Go Now! This will be one of the best locations to view the fall colors in Mono County this week! Brilliant yellows surround the lake and Convict Canyon while there are some small sections that have yet to be filled in. Take the 2.5 mile “Convict Lake Loop Trail” around the lake for a close up view of the leaves and different angles of Mt. Morrison.

Rock Creek Road (9,600’) – 50-100% Go Now!  – Wonderful color along the lower section of Rock Creek Road from Tom’s Place. There are sections of great Yellows and Oranges while other areas are still a little early. The areas along Rock Creek Lake have progressed wonderfully over the last week and are now at peak color.

Grab the NEWLY UPDATED Eastern Sierra Fall Color Map with all the “fall color hot spots” in Mono County, Mammoth Lakes, Bishop and Inyo County!  Follow us at and for up-to-date information!


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