Just got back from a drive up 395 to some of the "hot spots" for fall color in the Eastern Sierra. I was very surprised at what I found.
Guess I'll start to the North and work my way on down.
Conway Summit is still mostly green. Just not much happening up there right now.
Lundy Canyon: In the lower part of the canyon, around the campgrounds, the aspens are awesome. They were glowing so bright in amongst the pines. I'd say that this area is peaking right now. I don't think we saw a green aspen there.
Up at the lake is a different story though. I'd say it's about 5o% green and 50% yellow up there. Most of the good color is on the back side of the lake, but as you get near the lodge there is some awesome color. The peak that towers over the lodge has beautiful trees all along it's base. Once again it is about 50-50, but the combination of the two colors with the dark rock of the peak is awesome. The light was much to harsh while I was there to get any pictures.
June Lake Loop: The Parker Bench is looking very nice. I'd say about 60% yellow and 40% green. If you are in the area I'd say it would be worth it to check it out.
On the Grant Lake, Silver Lake side of the loop, the high canyon walls are amazing right now. Lots of yellow and orange. The canyon is also changing quite a bit. I'd say over 50% yellow. I was very surprised at how much of this area is changing, it's more a middle of Oct area. Those of you planning to visit June Lake in the second half of Oct. might be very disapointed. There are enough trees changing right now that a windy period will severely hurt the leaves. I'd say that this area of the loop will be peaking by next weekend or early on the week of the 9th.
The June Lake, Gull Lake side of the loop is much the same. And maybe even farther along. It was hard to tell because I was going the wrong way to see how the tree were glowing. But it looked like a lot of trees were changing.
The trees at Crowley Lake are just getting going, but the trees high up on Hilton Creek looked very nice. Also the hills just west of Toms Place, above the meadow are awesome now.
Rock Creek Lake: Forget it. Don't bother to go there. Most of the trees got bitten by the cold. There are a few patched here and there that look good. But if i only had a short time to shoot in the Eastern Sierra, I'd stay away from Rock Creek this year.
I think the bigest surprise of all today was Round Valley. The cottonwoods in Round Valley are not only begining to change, some are full on gold!! This is at least 3 weeks early. I hadn't been out there in a couple of weeks. Wow was I surprised.
Well there you go. If you are visiting the Eastern Sierra in the next two weeks, there should be some beautiful images for you to take. After that is going to be a crap shoot though. Who know what you'll get.
Oh, something else you guys should know, becuase this could change everything very quickly, the weather forecast for this weekend is for cloudy conditions with a chance of showers. And the forecast for next week is that we may see our first snow of the season around the middle of the week. Welcome to Autumn in the Eastern Sierra :-)
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Thanks for the report! I might be in Mammoth in 2 weeks, so I hope there's something left.
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
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