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gdanmitchell
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Re: Eastern Sierra Fall color updates


bobby350z wrote:
Any recommendations for a first timer, who can't hike too much. I have 3-4 days available first week of October and would like to try my hands on shooting some fall color. I will be driving from Livermore, CA side.


One option that I use frequently is to travel over via Carson Pass and then Monitor Pass. There's a bit of low elevation color on before Kirkwood on the west side and quite a bit near the pass. There can be a lot of color on the east side of Carson in Hope Valley, and a lot of the trees are right next to the roadway. Trees in this area are often easily photographed from your parked car or along the roadway. There is a well-known grove of very colorful trees — if you arrive at the right time — right along the road near the old Sorenson's Resort, too.

Monitor has some very extensive groves right near the summit — and more before you get there. One feature of this pass is that it is very broad, and it gets good light in both the morning and the evening. Because of how it climbs and because it is east of the actual crest, this route offers a great combination of close-up, intimate views of trees and longer views of more distant mountains and valleys... and there are plenty of places to pull over for both.

Once you hit US 395 there is color in lots of place along the route, much of it visible (sometimes in the distance) from the highway. I'll leave out a lot of the details here.

If the color is good when you get there — and early reports indicate at least a bit of change already — it is easy to pull over near (just a tiny bit before) Conway summit before the road drops to Mono Lake. There are very large groves here that are easily photographable from 395. Depending upon your vehicle and level of comfort driving on varied roads (from paved to distinctly not-paved), there are other opportunities in this area. (The drive east to Bodie, which starts just north of here, is also quite interesting.)

Again skipping over a lot of things along the way...

There are a lot of quite accessible trees on the June Lakes loop a bit south of the turnoff to Yosemite. In general, I'd say that the best, most-accessible color is in the area roughly before and after Silver Lake, where there are quite a few trees close to the roadway, along with some impressive longer views.

Continuing, you'll be able to spot more trees from 395 as you head south. Bishop Creek above the town of Bishop (the North, South, and Sabrina Lakes area) has a lot of aspen potential... and is a very popular area. (Sometimes oppressively so on peak season weekends. If possible, I'd aim for a weekday in this area. )

Along this route you can stay around Bridgeport, Lee Vining (if reservations are still available on your dates), in the June Lakes are, at Mammoth Lakes, and in Bishop. Mammoth Lakes often seems to be a bit easier to reserve at this time of the year than I might expect. It is "between-seasons" there, as the summer season has wound down but the winter ski season hasn't yet ramped up. (Of interest, the road to Reds Meadow and Devils Postpone is less restricted this time of the year — though I think that there may be construction work this fall that may interfere with that. Check first.)

If things proceed as usual, some good color should appear by (or a bit before) October 1 up high — for example at the upper end of the Bishop Creek area. It continues to increase over the first week or so of the month. By the second week it is starting to decline at the upper elevations but is still very good in the middle elevations and starting down low. By the third week a lot of the higher trees will be bare, but there is good color in some of the lowest, best protected groves. In general, it isn't a bad idea to target a time frame round one week into the month, plus or minus a few days.

Of course, the trees and the weather have the final say... and those things are not fully predictable.

Also, this is just a sort of quick overview and a lot of details have been omitted. If only there were a book about this. Oh, wait, there is! ;-)

Good luck.

Dan



Sep 23, 2022 at 07:48 AM
gdanmitchell
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Re: Eastern Sierra Fall color updates


bobby350z wrote:
Any recommendations for a first timer, who can't hike too much. I have 3-4 days available first week of October and would like to try my hands on shooting some fall color. I will be driving from Livermore, CA side.


One option that I use frequently is to travel over via Carson Pass and then Monitor Pass. There's a bit of low elevation color on before Kirkwood on the west side and quite a bit near the pass. There can be a lot of color on the east side of Carson in Hope Valley, and a lot of the trees are right next to the roadway. Trees in this area are often easily photographed from your parked car or along the roadway. There is a well-known grove of very colorful trees — if you arrive at the right time — right along the road near the old Sorenson's Resort, too.

Monitor has some very extensive groves right near the summit — and more before you get there. One feature of this pass is that it is very broad, and it gets good light in both the morning and the evening. Because of how it climbs and because it is east of the actual crest, this route offers a great combination of close-up, intimate views of trees and longer views of more distant mountains and valleys... and there are plenty of places to pull over for both.

Once you hit US 395 there is color in lots of place along the route, much of it visible (sometimes in the distance) from the highway. I'll leave out a lot of the details here.

If the color is good when you get there — and early reports indicate at least a bit of change already — it is easy to pull over near (just a tiny bit before) Conway summit before the road drops to Mono Lake. There are very large groves here that are easily photographable from 395. Depending upon your vehicle and level of comfort driving on varied roads (from paved to distinctly not-paved), there are other opportunities in this area. (The drive east to Bodie, which starts just north of here, is also quite interesting.)

Again skipping over a lot of things along the way...

There are a lot of quite accessible trees on the June Lakes loop a bit south of the turnoff to Yosemite. In general, I'd say that the best, most-accessible color is in the area roughly before and after Silver Lake, where there are quite a few trees close to the roadway, along with some impressive longer views.

Continuing, you'll be able to spot more trees from 395 as you head south. Bishop Creek above the town of Bishop (the North, South, and Sabrina Lakes area) has a lot of aspen potential... and is a very popular area. (Sometimes oppressively so on peak season weekends. If possible, I'd aim for a weekday in this area. )

Along this route you can stay around Bridgeport, Lee Vining (if reservations are still available on your dates), in the June Lakes are, at Mammoth Lakes, and in Bishop. Mammoth Lakes often seems to be a bit easier to reserve at this time of the year than I might expect. It is "between-seasons" there, as the summer season has wound down but the winter ski season hasn't yet ramped up. (Of interest, the road to Reds Meadow and Devils Postpone is less restricted this time of the year — though I think that there may be construction work this fall that may interfere with that. Check first.)

If things proceed as usual, some good color should appear by (or a bit before) October 1 up high — for example at the upper end of the Bishop Creek area. It continues to increase over the first week or so of the month. By the second week it is starting to decline at the upper elevations but is still very good in the middle elevations and starting down low. By the third week a lot of the higher trees will be bare, but there is good color in some of the lowest, best protected groves. In general, it isn't a bad idea to target a time frame round one week into the month, plus or minus a few days.

Of course, the trees and the weather have the final say... and those things are not fully predictable.

Good luck.

Dan



Sep 23, 2022 at 07:45 AM
gdanmitchell
Offline
Upload & Sell: Off
Re: Eastern Sierra Fall color updates


bobby350z wrote:
Any recommendations for a first timer, who can't hike too much. I have 3-4 days available first week of October and would like to try my hands on shooting some fall color. I will be driving from Livermore, CA side.


One option that I use frequently is to travel over via Carson Pass and then Monitor Pass. There's a bit of low elevation color on before Kirkwood on the west side and quite a bit near the pass. There can be a lot of color on the east side of Carson in Hope Valley, and a lot of the trees are right next to the roadway.

Monitor has some very extensive groves right near the summit — and more before you get there. One feature of this pass is that it is very broad, and it gets good light in both the morning and the evening.

Once you hit US 395 there is color in lots of place along the route, much of it visible (sometimes in the distance) from the highway. I'll leave out a lot of the details here.

If the color is good when you get there — and early reports indicate at least a bit of change already — it is easy to pull over near (just a tiny bit before) Conway summit before the road drops to Mono Lake. There are very large groves here that are easily photographable from 395.

Again skipping over a lot of things along the way...

There are a lot of quite accessible trees on the June Lakes loop a bit south of the turnoff to Yosemite.

Continuing, you'll be able to spot more trees from 395 as you head south. Bishop Creek above the town of Bishop (the North, South, and Sabrina Lakes area) has a lot of aspen potential... and is a very popular area. (Sometimes oppressively so on peak season weekends.)

Along this route you can stay around Bridgeport, Lee Vining (if reservations are still available on your dates), in the June Lakes are, at Mammoth Lakes, and in Bishop. Mammoth Lakes often seems to be a bit easier to reserve at this time of the year than I might expect.

If things proceed as usual, some good color should appear by (or a bit before) October 1 up high — for example at the upper end of the Bishop Creek area. It continues to increase over the first week or so of the month. By the second week it is starting to decline at the upper elevations but is still very good in the middle elevations and starting down low. By the third week a lot of the higher trees will be bare, but there is good color in some of the lowest, best protected groves. In general, it isn't a bad idea to target a time frame round one week into the month, plus or minus a few days.

Of course, the trees and the weather have the final say... and those things are not fully predictable.

Good luck.

Dan



Sep 22, 2022 at 10:57 AM





  Previous versions of gdanmitchell's message #16051133 « Eastern Sierra Fall color updates »