Fall leaf color season

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SSSdave
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Fall leaf color season

Post by SSSdave » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:44 pm

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Today is Monday September 17. The equinox is 4 days away and with that fall leaf color season along the eastern Sierra Nevada that will progress over the following 4 weeks. When colors occur depends on a list of factors with elevation and exposure two key factors that determine when color first occurs and then peaks that is modulated by weather and the nature of root water resources. Fall color usually begins at highest aspen grove areas near 10.5k mid September and I've already seen images showing that to be the case.

At similar elevations, first changes tend to be in the Bishop Creek drainages versus areas to the north. Thus upper Bishop Creek areas are often a good bet during the last week of September for starting color change while those to the north a week or two later and lowest areas that are down to about 6000 foot elevations along streams last. Almost all groves are best reached by day hiking as they are at lower elevations than backpacking destinations as most are below wilderness boundaries.

For those that have never experienced the magic of our Eastern Sierra quaking aspen groves during that time of fall, I would highly recommend doing a short road trip when such occurs at locations easily reached on paved roads. The first week of October is a safe bet to see roadside color in all the Bishop Creek canyons, Rock Creek canyon, June Lake loop, lower SR120 Lee Vining canyon, Lundy Canyon, and Conway Summit-Dunderberg. The Bishop Creek areas are also good choices for fishermen at that time as numbers of large Alpers trout are dumped into the streams.

I'm planning on a one or two night backpack into one Bishop Creek canyon after a wind event from a trough in the Northwest pushes east Monday. Also will do another road trip late in the cycle targeting one specific grove north of Mono Lake.

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SSSdave
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Re: Fall leaf color season

Post by SSSdave » Fri Sep 21, 2018 9:00 am

First good Eastern Sierra fall leaf color report on below link with several images is worth a look at if one will be there this coming week like this person. Most usual locations read as still very green. One needs to be an experienced expert at this time to understand where good early color is even with the above report and capable of doing some off trail hiking in unpleasant places. I am certain to find much to keep busy. Will be driving out east myself after this weekend. Big rock concert this evening. Likely will hit lonely Sagehen Summit along SR120 my first morning that always peaks very early. Then will drive down to Bishop for a 2 night wilderness permit. Weather forecasts look excellent with sunny mornings through Thursday and very light breezes that is necessary for shooting aspen leaves up close without movement. Thursday and Friday afternoons may have clouds above as a trough moves off our coast. That diffuse light could afford work down inside aspen groves.

https://www.californiafallcolor.com/

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Re: Fall leaf color season

Post by oldhikerQ » Fri Sep 21, 2018 11:28 am

Thanks for the update, as well as the link, SSSdave.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost

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SSSdave
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Re: Fall leaf color season

Post by SSSdave » Sun Sep 30, 2018 10:10 am

Back home now after 4 days about the North Fork of Bishop Creek areas. Mid week there were always each afternoon open camp spots at the INF Sabrina and North Lake public campgrounds. I used the North Lake #11 site over 3 nights for just $36 total (senior). Areas in Bishop Creek above 9k are at or near peak while lower groves still green. North Lake much better than average this fall. Higher aspen groves to north on US395 also more advanced than usual at end of September while lower groves likewise green. Groves at 6k to 8.5k are about 1.5 to 2 weeks away from peak. I'll likely do a second road trip about northern areas like Conway Summit after the 10/6-7 weekend.

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Re: Fall leaf color season

Post by overheadx2 » Tue Oct 02, 2018 12:57 pm

Dave, headed up this Thurs to trailer camp. We will be camping at Alabama Hills Thurs, Friday and Keogh Hot Springs on sat and Sunday. Looked at getting a campsite up higher, but the weather report says 30s overnight over 7500' so we decided to stay lower and drive up. Was planing to hike up and take some photos at Whitney trail or cottonwood on Friday and then head up to bishop and mammoth for Sat and Sunday. I was planning on a nice long day hike out of North Lake to fish and take some photos on Sunday. Any suggestions as to where else I should go for maximum colors.

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maverick
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Re: Fall leaf color season

Post by maverick » Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:51 pm

Heading up Thursday morning for 6 days, should receive a good dusting of snow along the Sierra Crest with this in-coming system and the next one, which will make for some great backdrops for the Fall colors. :nod:
If you plan on being at North Lake on Sunday, I should be at the North Lake Campground, silver Honda Civic, but may be out shooting in the morning hours, but should be around mid-day. :)
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Re: Fall leaf color season

Post by rlown » Tue Oct 02, 2018 3:57 pm

Good luck on your trip..

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Re: Fall leaf color season

Post by maverick » Tue Oct 02, 2018 4:11 pm

Good luck on your trip..
Gracias Russ. :)
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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 leaf color season

Post by overheadx2 » Tue Oct 02, 2018 5:39 pm

Sounds good Mav, Ill keep an eye out. Thinking of easy day hikes with the wife (foots still a little sore) out of South lake up to Long lake area Sat, and North lake to Lamarck/Wonder lakes area on Sunday. Is there much in the way of color in the Whitney or Cottonwood area?

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Re: Fall leaf color season

Post by maverick » Tue Oct 02, 2018 6:38 pm

Sometimes, but haven't heard anything about it this year. McGee is looking pretty good though. :nod:
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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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