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Of course every year is different, but I have gotten great shots at the end of Sept in the Eastern Sierra. How about going up there the last week in Sept then? Ideally if you can straddle even 1 or 2 days into Oct that would be ideal. But you are better off going the end of Sept than the 3rd week in Oct...
There some preliminary indications that this strategy might work better this year than most other years. We know that the plant life is suffering from two years of serious drought. We also know that last years aspen color arrived a bit earlier than usual. There are some reports already of early color, and I saw some earlier-than-normal signs several weeks ago. (Though be cautious - such optimistic reports surface every year!).
If you go early, be prepared to go a bit higher and perhaps even hike up to some of the color.
The Eastern Sierra is one cool place for fall color. I might be there myself. I have been planning on shooting fall colors in Colorado again, but I have been spending a lot of time there, so it might be a nice change to shoot back in the old stomping grounds in the Eastern Sierra... I will let you know if I end up there, it would be fun to meet up and shoot.
Let's stay in touch. I'm shooting elsewhere in the Sierra backcountry during a chunk of the middle of the month, but around the last week of September my plans for east side fall color will likely coalesce.
D. von Briesen wrote:
October 21 . . .
... Not to hijack an Eastern Sierra thread, but third week October is traditionally peak for West Fork, Oak Creek in Sedona, Arizona. Just sayin' . . . !!
You scared me there for a second. I've spent decades in the Sierra and I was wondering how I might have missed the sandstone canyons filled with cottonwoods, oaks, maples... ;-)
I had one of my best fall color experiences last year, when I spent virtually all of October in Utah - aspens near the beginning of the month and then the sandstone country, canyons, cottonwoods later on. I'm soooo tempted to go back, but I think I'll probably stay in California this season.