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Backcountry fall colors?

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Backcountry fall colors?

Postby schmalz » Tue Oct 05, 2010 11:33 am

I just spent a weekend in the eastern sierra checking out the fall colors. They were magnificent. The photography crowds were INSANE around bishop though, to the point where it detracted from the experience. On sunday morning, we hiked out to Parker Lake and that was much better as we got to share a serene sunrise with just one other person there.

So, this has me curious what other sierra locations are great for fall colors? I'd love to be able to experience this beauty while still getting the sense of isolation that the Sierras often provide. Does anyone have any locations? I can respect you might want to keep them secret, so please PM me if you don't want to advertise it too much.

Here's a pic of Parker Lake for your troubles. I can never figure out how to get the entire width in there, but this will give you an idea.

Image
Last edited by ERIC on Thu Oct 28, 2010 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: changed [img] tags to [rimg] to fix sizing issue.



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Re: Backcountry fall colors?

Postby maverick » Tue Oct 05, 2010 12:02 pm

Schmalz say's "I can never figure out how to get the entire width in there, but this will
give you an idea."
Either a wider angle lens, or even better try stitching some photo's together, which will
give you a bigger file to work with.
As for fall colors in the back country the problem is timing it right since you may
have a 2 day hike to get to a location just to find the colors peaked out or its
a week or two to early, unless you get some reliable intell, which is why most
Sierra fall color peepers just hit the most accessible location (Bishop Creek, Rock
Creek, Lundy Lake, McGee Creek, and the upper Hwy 108 Corridor) just to name a
few, which in a good year at it's peak is better than most things you can find in
the back country.
Irwin Bright Lake area in Yosemite has some great aspens around it, and Upper Paradise
Valley to the Castle Dome Meadows area in Kings Canyon is also quite impressive
at its peak, and also easily reached in a day, unlike IBL which may take some folks
at least 2 days to reach.
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Re: Backcountry fall colors?

Postby schmalz » Tue Oct 05, 2010 12:12 pm

maverick wrote:Schmalz say's "I can never figure out how to get the entire width in there, but this will
give you an idea."
Either a wider angle lens, or even better try stitching some photo's together, which will
give you a bigger file to work with.
.



Haha, no that's not what I meant. I meant how I can get the entire picture to show up when I embedd it on this board.

Here is the full version of the parker lake pic:

http://schmalz.smugmug.com/Landscapes/Sierra-Nevada/12824115_hcckJ#1033198616_ibPeE-A-LB
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Re: Backcountry fall colors?

Postby Snow Nymph » Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:04 pm

beautiful!
Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free . . . . Jim Morrison


http://snownymph.smugmug.com/
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Re: Backcountry fall colors?

Postby bheiser1 » Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:12 pm

Wow, you have some great images in that gallery ... very nice!
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Re: Backcountry fall colors?

Postby slackjawed1 » Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:57 pm

wonderful pic! :thumbsup:
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Re: Backcountry fall colors?

Postby copeg » Wed Oct 06, 2010 6:58 am

Wonderful shot. I was wondering the same thing as you recently. Paradise Valley was the first (and only) to come to mind, so I'm glad you asked the question.

Haha, no that's not what I meant. I meant how I can get the entire picture to show up when I embedd it on this board.


The board has a max width of something like 550 (or was that 500) pixels, anything larger gets cut off so if you want the whole thing try posting a smaller width version.
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Re: Backcountry fall colors?

Postby Herm » Wed Oct 06, 2010 7:33 am

Although I have never seen the area in autumn, I imagine the road up to Virginia Lakes and from there down to Bridgeport would have some nice color. I just wish my work schedule this time of year would allow for some travel, but that is not to be.
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Re: Backcountry fall colors?

Postby schmalz » Wed Oct 06, 2010 10:17 am

Herm wrote:Although I have never seen the area in autumn, I imagine the road up to Virginia Lakes and from there down to Bridgeport would have some nice color. I just wish my work schedule this time of year would allow for some travel, but that is not to be.
Herm


Thanks Herm. I believe that area does have some good fall colors.

What I'm really looking for here are some great locations that are actually in the backcountry... let's say at least 2 miles from a road. I'd like to get some more unique photos that are different than the typical spots that photographers can drive up to. Parker Lake was only a 2 mile hike in, and you'd be amazed how much that thinned out the crowds. North Lake sunrise on saturday = 60 photographers at least. Parker Lake sunrise on sunday = 2 photographers including me. Mcgee Creek seemed to be pretty good a few miles in, so that would probably be another spot that could fit in this criteria.
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Re: Backcountry fall colors?

Postby SSSdave » Wed Oct 06, 2010 10:31 pm

Generally the best aspen groves and certainly the largest are in the Eastern Sierra at lower 6k to 10k areas anyone can view and dayhike to from nearby roads. For instance groves along Bishop Creek roads or below Mount Wood. There are also a modest number of backcountry places I know with aspen areas. That includes some quite exceptional subjects including lake reflections of aspens. Aspen groves are all below 10k and the better subjects well below. Thus looking in the high country would be misguided. For instance there are several aspen groves between Florence Lake reservoir and Evolution Valley. Generally most are not along trails and tend to be down in big canyons of the major rivers where seeps drip down canyon walls or on various Eastern Sierra talus and moraine slopes. So the first task is to explore such areas during summer trips and note them for later fall trips. I don't divulge such better unknown secrets myself unless they are already public knowledge so I can pick some of them off in the coming years as unique subjects other serious photogs won't duplicate. Overall 98% of photographers have been working maybe 30% of the available aspen areas mainly because they are not aware of these other locations and are not able or willing to travel more than short distances from roads.
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Re: Backcountry fall colors?

Postby schmalz » Thu Oct 07, 2010 1:03 pm

SSSDave - That is exactly what I was getting at. I'm aware that there are a ton of aspens that arent' being photographed. I don't have the benefit of decades of experience in the sierra, or having many days in the summer where I can get out there to "scout" for future trips. I came on this board hoping that some people would be kind enough to discuss some of their findings, although I do appreciate your candor about not wanting to share the secrets.
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Re: Backcountry fall colors?

Postby TehipiteTom » Thu Oct 07, 2010 2:21 pm

IIRC, Mono Creek valley has a good deal of aspen. Might be worth checking out.

A more general suggestion: browse the Sierra via Google Earth and look for old avalanche scars. Aspen are often the fill-in tree on those slopes.
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