Fall Colors

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maverick
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Fall Colors

Post by maverick » Wed Oct 07, 2020 5:10 pm

https://www.californiafallcolor.com/

Some reports are starting to come in, areas above 8000ft are looking at nearing 75%-100%, Rock Creek is looking nice, and North Lake is reported by one person as the best ever showing.


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I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org






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Re: Fall Colors

Post by ironmike » Wed Oct 07, 2020 11:20 pm

...going tomorrow...

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Fall Updates

Post by maverick » Thu Oct 08, 2020 11:04 am

WALKER / COLEVILLE / TOPAZ:

- Monitor Pass (8,314′) – Near Peak (50-75%) Go Now – Monitor Pass is often a difficult child. This year it seems to be struggling to get going. Its colors are progressing toward Near Peak “with green-ish on the summit and groves of yellow to the east.”

-West Walker River, Walker, Coleville and Topaz (5,200′) – Just Starting (0-10%) – The Antelope Valley is one of the last to turn in the eastern Sierra, due to its low elevation and groves of cottonwood. Presently, it’s just getting started with a few yellow and lime-green leaves.


SONORA PASS / LOBDELL LAKE:

- Sonora Pass (9,623′) – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW! – This is the week to get the classic shot of peaking aspen just below the summit on the east side. Leavitt Meadows is in the 75% range. If Sonora Pass is on your bucket list, this is the week to go.

-Lobdell Lake Rd. (9,274′) – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW! – Incredible color is being seen along the length of Lobdell Lake Rd., and it should last the week. Do not attempt driving this in a normal passenger vehicle. Higher clearance and full traction is needed. An AWD or 4WD vehicle is recommended.


BRIDGEPORT / VIRGINIA LAKES:

- Twin Lakes (7,000′) – Patchy (10-50%) – Take the Tamarack Lake Trail, Horse/Cattle Creek Trail or the Barney Lake trail to the higher elevations for peak color. It is still green and light yellow around the lake level and through the campgrounds of Robinson Creek.

- Virginia Lakes (9,819’) – Peak to Past Peak (75-100%) GO NOW or You Missed It! – Absolutely the last fall color is peaking along the Virginia Lakes Rd, Dunderberg Medows Rd and Green Creek Rd. They’ve all been at peak for the past week and won’t last much longer.

- Conway Summit (8,143) – Patchy (10-50%) The downward march of fall color is being seen along the groves facing Conway Summit. Yellow trees at the top of the groves are blending to lime, then green at the bottom. Peak will arrive in another week throughout the groves, then Katy bar the door, the entire hillside will be a shocking mix of maroon, orange, yellow and green.

- Summers Meadow (7,200′) – Near Peak (50-75%) Go Now! – At peak, Summers Meadow is one of the state’s most beautiful groves. Long, lush stands of aspen cover rolling hillsides. Right now, they’re still a mix of green and yellow, but approaching peak.


LEE VINING:

- Tioga Pass (9,943′) – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW! Good color is seen along the Tioga Rd near Tioga Lake, though beyond that you must have a reservation to enter Yosemite NP and continue your travels through the national park.

- Lee Vining Canyon (6,781′) – Patchy (10-50%) – Mostly green with sections of yellow/lime. This area is still a good week away.

- Lundy Lake & Canyon (7,858′) – Near Peak (50-75%) Go Now! – Hikers who’ve been waiting for news of Lundy Canyon should head there now. This is one of California’s premiere fall color hikes. It’ll be great for the coming two weeks.


BENTON & 120 EAST:

- Sagehen Summit (8,139’) – Past Peak – You Missed It. – What a shame, the closure of Inyo National Forest kept people from enjoying this early-peaking area at its best. Now that Sagehen is past peak, mark your calendar to visit it during the last week of September, next year.


JUNE LAKE LOOP:

- June Lake Loop/Hwy 158 (7,654′) – Patchy (10-50%) – Some yellow is painting sections of the loop, though it will be better next week and peaking the week following.


MAMMOTH LAKES:

- Mammoth Lakes Basin (8,996′) – Patchy (10-50%) – Sherwin Creek and Mammoth Rock Trails are your best bets for color, right now.


CROWLEY LAKE/McGEE CREEK/CONVICT LAKE:

- McGee Creek Canyon (8,600’) – Patchy (10-50%) – The campground and pack station should be perfect next week.

- Around Crowley community (6,781′) – Patchy (10-50%) – This area just edged into being Patchy, so it has a way to go, though there can be lovely color in and around Crowley.

- Convict Lake (7850′) – Patchy (10-50%) – If you visit Convict Lake this week, you won’t be disappointed, but go the following two weeks and you’ll be boasting about what you saw.


ROCK CREEK CANYON:

- Rock Creek Rd (9,600′) – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW! – Whoa! Rock Creek Rd is extraordinary right now, but dropping leaves every day.

- Lower Rock Creek Rd. (7,087′) – Just Starting (0-10%)
https://www.californiafallcolor.com/
Professional Sierra Landscape Photographer

I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org

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Re: Fall Colors

Post by tweederjohnson » Thu Oct 08, 2020 4:24 pm

What a tremendous source! Heading up towards Mammoth for some fall fishing on October 21st. Hoping to catch a few of these spots still in splendor. Thank you for the post!

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Re: Fall Colors

Post by oddtiger » Fri Oct 09, 2020 8:04 pm

I was up there on Monday and today. North Lake has passed the peak, Lake Sabrina is peaking right now.

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Re: Fall Colors

Post by ironmike » Sat Oct 10, 2020 7:25 pm

A2378F2D-13F7-4C77-913A-9B1BBBD25F4B.jpeg
I was there yesterday as well. I found North Lake to still be worthwhile, though I agree it is past peak (just a bit). Sabrina did not impress me, but the South Fork drainage did, particularly between South Fork and Parchers. Super vibrant there (see above). Today (Saturday) was awful though in terms of air quality...up and down the Eastern Sierra.
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Re: Fall Colors

Post by maverick » Sat Oct 10, 2020 7:50 pm

The potential for snow above 8000 ft Friday into Saturday had me charging my cameras batteries earlier in the week, hoping for similar conditions as 2 years ago, but that hope started to diminished as we got to mid week as it disappear from the forecast, and the smoke was moving in, so I bailed. :(
Professional Sierra Landscape Photographer

I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org

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Re: Fall Colors

Post by ironmike » Sat Oct 10, 2020 8:06 pm

We did too, Maverick. Had planned to stay the weekend, but today was too smoky and depressing. Thursday/Friday were delightful though. Very ready for fires to be over this year...I have so much respect for the men and women whose jobs are committed to dealing with these tragedies day after day.

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North Canyon on east side of Lake Tahoe 10/18

Post by wildhiker » Mon Oct 19, 2020 12:44 pm

We hiked the full 4 mile length of North Canyon, in the Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park, on Sunday, Oct 18, 2020. This is accessed from Spooner Lake, which is off Nevada state highway 28 just north of the junction with US 50. $10 entrance fee. Aspens are common throughout the canyon with larger groves in the bowl at the head. There are also large aspen groves along the east side of Marlette Lake, but we did not go that far. We hiked up the foot and horse only Marlette Lake trail to the head of the canyon, and then cut over to the North Canyon road (fire road) to walk back - an eight mile loop. It was warm (about 70 degrees F) and the air was clear with no wildfire smoke! There were many mountain bikers on the fire road. More aspens were visible from the fire road than the trail, but many of the red aspens were along the trail. Some of the most colorful aspens were in the first mile from the trailhead.

Aspens were about 75% full color, with many individual trees and some small groves still quite green, so color should last at least another week. However, a weak storm is forecast for next Saturday, Oct 24, and that could knock off some of the leaves. We do this hike most years in the fall. This year, the peak is coming at least a week later and about 25% of the aspens are turning orange or red. In previous years, they were almost all yellow.

Here are some photos. There were many nice photo ops that needed a telephoto lens, but I only had my iPhone 7 with me.

-Phil
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