Posted by: Sandy Steinman | October 5, 2017

Eastern Sierra Fall Color: Bishop Creek 10/4/17

California Fall Color reports

Bishop Creek Canyon is a mix of every level of peak, from Just Starting, to Patchy, to Near Peak, to Peak, to Past Peak, some occurring at the same location.

North Lake is a puzzle. It’s lime, yellow, orange and gone, all at the same location. Peak color is near the lake with green aspen far above. We rate it Near Peak, though it’s peaking in areas, nowhere close in others and past peak, too.

Sabrina is topsy turvey. The higher you go, the less consistent the color is. Intake II (at the lowest elevation) is Near Peak, while Sabrina Approach (higher up) is Patchy.

Aspen at the center of the Groves Above Cardinal Village were past peak and surrounded by a ring of patchy, though mostly green aspen. Aspendell has hardly any color, though that’s not unusual. It’s often the last to peak.

We were there to sort it out and ran into dozens of color spotters and photographers who were shrugging their shoulders in confusion. Seeing me trying to find some color along a stream at Sabrina Approach, one photographer turned and said, “I did the same thing, and came to the same conclusion… not yet there. Still, I’m glad to be here.”

We were all certainly glad to be in Bishop Creek Canyon this week searching for fall color, as there were moments of breathtaking wonder.

Travel writer/photographer Lee Foster and I found it in a dazzling display along the South Lake Road. From Parchers down to the Mist Falls at Mountain Glen the hillsides are lit with pink, orange, yellow and lime aspen.

While several of South Lake’s groves could technically be rated as “Patchy,” Oh!, how beautiful they are in the midday sun. No one photographing them was disappointed.

Southern Inyo County

  • Whitney Portal (8,374’) – Patchy (10 – 50%)
  • Onion Valley (9,600’) – Near Peak (50-75%) GO NOW!
  • Big Pine Creek (7,660’) –Patchy (10 – 50%)
  • Mt. Whitney Fish Hatchery (4,000’) – Just Starting (0-10%)
  • Alabama Hills (4,534’) – Just Starting (0-10%)

South Lake

  • Weir Pond (9,650’) – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!
  • Parchers Resort(9,260′) -Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!
  • Willow Campground (9,000’) -Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!
  • Table Mountain Group Camp (8,900’)- Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!
  • Surveyors Meadow (8,975’) – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!
  • Mountain Glen (8,500′) – Near Peak (50-75%) GO NOW!
  • Mist Falls and the groves above Bishop Creek Lodge (8,350’) -Near Peak (50-75%) GO NOW!
  • Four Jeffrey Campground (8,000’) -Patchy (10 – 50%)

Sabrina Lake

  • Big Trees Campground (7,800’) – Just Starting (0 – 10%)
  • Lake Sabrina (9,150′) – Patchy (10 – 50%) to Peak (75-100%)
  • Sabrina Campground (9,000’) -Patchy (10 – 50%)
  • Groves above Cardinal Village (8,550’) –Patchy (10 – 50%) 
  • Aspendell (8,400’) – Just Starting (0 – 10%)
  • Intake II (8,000’) – Near Peak (50-75%) GO NOW!

North Lake 

  • North Lake Road – Peak GO NOW!
  • North Lake (9,255’) -Near Peak (50-75%) GO NOW!
  • Upper North Lake Road – Peak GO NOW!

Round Valley/Pine Creek

  • Round Valley – Patchy (10-50%) – Landmark black cottonwood grow throughout the Round Valley, often near old weathered cabins. They are now crowned with yellow and will be beautiful at peak.
  • Pine Creek Rd. – Patchy (10-50%) – The black and Fremont cottonwood along Pine Creek will be gorgeous when they peak.
  • Pine Creek Pack Station – Peak GO NOW! – A small grove of aspen is at peak near the trailhead and pack station.
  • Lower Rock Creek Rd. – Patchy (10-50%)

Owens Valley/Bishop

  • Owens Valley – Just Starting (0-10%)
  • Bishop – Just Starting (0-10%)

 

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