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Fall Foliage in Eastern Sierras
  
 
billsamuels
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Fall Foliage in Eastern Sierras


I'm going next weekend (October 13-15) to the Eastern Sierras and I'm wondering if anyone's been out there and can report on how the trees are changing color? I saw some reports that range from "go now" to "just showing color."
I'm starting in Lake Tahoe, down Monitor Pass, onto I-395 southbound and hitting the lakes above Bridgeport, Mono Lake, highway 120, June Lakes, Convict Lake, Rock Creek Lake, etc.

I also couldn't find this year any great websites that seem well-done like last year.

If you've been, your input would be greatly appreciated. I'll update this post after next weekend as well, probably with some photos.
Cheers,
Bill



Oct 06, 2017 at 07:33 AM
Fred Amico
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Fall Foliage in Eastern Sierras


I am heading up there next week, Bill, so maybe our paths will cross. Like you, have had a tough time finding some decent reports. The CA Fall Colors site seems to be down right now, but I did find this updated info this morning on another site:

https://www.monocounty.org/things-to-do/fall-colors/

Hope that helps.



Oct 06, 2017 at 06:14 PM
billsamuels
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Fall Foliage in Eastern Sierras


Fred Amico wrote:
I am heading up there next week, Bill, so maybe our paths will cross. Like you, have had a tough time finding some decent reports. The CA Fall Colors site seems to be down right now, but I did find this updated info this morning on another site:

https://www.monocounty.org/things-to-do/fall-colors/

Hope that helps.


Fred,

Funny enough, last year there were a lot of sites that had great information, but this year, the availability of information is terrible! Maybe the area isn't as hungry as they were last year for tourists?

I'll be taking my wife's life-long friend's daughter who just started UC Berkeley (Freshman). I recently gave her a Sony with a Zeiss fixed lens (I think it goes 18-1200mm) because she always wanted to learn photography, but her mom could never afford to buy her a camera. So I'm teaching her the ropes and I figured the fall foliage in the Eastern Sierras is a great learning experience. I took her to Lassen in August and she got some great wildflower photos.

Although I've had a 35mm SLR since I was 12, the past 5 years I've been a student of photography of sorts. It's fun to switch roles and be the teacher! Let me know if you want to hook up next weekend for lunch or something - it might be fun to meet a fellow FM'er!!!

Cheers,
Bill



Oct 07, 2017 at 04:28 AM
billsamuels
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Fall Foliage in Eastern Sierras


Great site - that's what I was looking for!


Oct 07, 2017 at 04:30 AM
jdc562
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Fall Foliage in Eastern Sierras


Probably the lack of reports about the Sierras is due to a lack of colorful foliage displays so far. Reports last week say color development is way behind schedule this year, maybe the latest ever. http://beta.latimes.com/travel/deals/la-tr-leaf-report-20170929-story.html

Today (6 Oct) L.A. Times says the Sierras have just "popped," but their example photos don't look too popped to me.
http://www.latimes.com/travel/deals/la-tr-california-fall-colors-eastern-sierra-finally-pop-20171006-htmlstory.html

The N.Y.Times (oddly enough) reports this unexciting color status for the Sierras in their condescending reports for you "dudes;" but no cowabungas here.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/26/us/california-today-autumns-first-blush.html

http://www.californiafallcolor.com/
On 6 Oct 2017, this site is enthusiastic, but to me, it looks like the color is not worth the trip yet.

Google Fall Color today shows almost every place at pre-peak.
https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?mid=12FSQxbVe9CedswOvJaWaeI5vvYU&hl=en_US&ll=40.68151677140349%2C-121.19042158593754&z=7

Personally, I'm ready to go when colors are peaking, but that's not happening yet.



Oct 07, 2017 at 04:54 AM
billsamuels
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Fall Foliage in Eastern Sierras


Thanks for the great information. I would love to go when it was truly "Prime leaf moment" but I'm also dealing with a Cal Freshman's crazy schedule. But I'll try to get to the best locations next weekend.






Oct 07, 2017 at 07:08 AM
 

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gdanmitchell
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Fall Foliage in Eastern Sierras


I passed through on my way to and from Great Basin NP in late September, and at that point color was just beginning to show.

I was in the eastern Sierra again a few days ago — October 3-5 — and I did a sort of "grand circle," coming in from the Bay Area via Carson and Monitor passes and then heading south on US 395 to end up camping one night in the Bishop Creek drainage and the one in Lee Vining Canyon.

At that point color was developing nicely, but certainly was not close to peaking yet. As is typical in the Sierra, some of the higher elevation trees were fairly far along, while trees at lower elevations were (with some exceptions) almost completely green.

Rather than trying to name specific so-called best spots, I can say the following:

- By the October 13-15 dates the higher elevation trees should be well past their prime.

- Lower elevation trees should still be good in many places, and you can often look in more sheltered east side valleys for later color.

- You'll likely also see more and more cottonwood and similar color down in places like Owens Valley.

- To find color, you can head over pretty much any trans-Sierra pass (and passes like Monitor) and then up/down 395. Simple watch to (mostly) the west and follow side roads to what you spot.

I'm heading back up there tomorrow for a few days.

Dan

(I'm the author of "California's Fall Color: A Photographer's Guide to Autumn in the Sierra" from Heyday Books. If you are interested, you can get it from Heyday, from Amazon, or from a number of places on the east side. I just signed all of the stock at the Mono Lakes Visitor Center a couple days ago, and I hear that they have it at Whoa Nellie Deli and the Mammoth Lakes Visitor Center.)



Oct 07, 2017 at 03:34 PM
Fred Amico
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Fall Foliage in Eastern Sierras


^^ Thanks for the info, Dan, much appreciated. By the way, I do have your book, and it is an excellent guide to have.


Oct 07, 2017 at 04:44 PM
billsamuels
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Fall Foliage in Eastern Sierras


Thanks Dan, I'm going up this weekend also. And I got your book a year ago.


Oct 11, 2017 at 05:42 PM
gdanmitchell
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Fall Foliage in Eastern Sierras


Thanks to both of you! Hopes for successful aspen hunting!








Oct 18, 2017 at 02:34 AM
JohnC
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Fall Foliage in Eastern Sierras


@billsamuels I never heard back from you I hope you had a successful trip. I went last week and drove down 395 from Reno to Lone Pine and I think mid October was a little past peak but beautiful nonetheless.The sagebrush was spectacular.

@gdanmitchell I looked/asked for your book at both Mono Lake Visitor Centers and none available, your work is an inspiration.









Oct 20, 2017 at 10:08 PM
gdanmitchell
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Fall Foliage in Eastern Sierras


JohnC wrote:
@gdanmitchell@ I looked/asked for your book at both Mono Lake Visitor Centers and none available, your work is an inspiration.


Good news for me, but not so good news for you! They had a stack of them a week and a half ago when I stopped by and signed all the copies. I also signed a few at the Mammoth Lakes visitor center by the ranger station as you head into town.

Ran into John Sexton and Anne Larsen in Yosemite today, and he reports that there had been a few copies at Whoa Nellie Deli, but that they were sold out, too, as of this weekend. (John had a copy, and I was flattered when he asked me to sign it. :-)

You should be able to order a copy from Amazon, or you can contact Heyday Books in Berkeley, the publisher. (If you go to my webiste, you can also find links in the left sidebar.

I was in Yosemite for the past couple of days. The main excuse was to attend the reception for the Yosemite Renaissance 32 exhibit at Gallery Five in Oakhurst. One of my prints – a photograph of Mono Lake — is in that show. I also managed to get in two days of photography at locations between Oakhurst, Yosemite Valley, and Tioga Pass. A quick condition report follows:

Right now there is a lot of color along highway 41 between Oakhurst and Yosemite Valley. I photographed dogwoods — thick in a few places — but there are also excellent big leaf maples and black oaks. These trees are also looking quite good in Yosemite Valley right now. It felt to me like the color was coming on a bit earlier than usual in the Valley, where I usually photograph fall color around Halloween. I only went as far east as Tioga Pass, not dropping down on the east side at all this time. This means that I was not anywhere near the main aspen groves. However, several small groves along Tioga Pass Road were colorful, notably the small number of trees near Yosemite Creek.

Nice work on the photo above.

Take care,

Dan



Oct 23, 2017 at 07:07 AM







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