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Saturday, 03 November 2018 12:55

California Fall Color Report

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Fly fishing on the Klamath River in Northern California Fly fishing on the Klamath River in Northern California Photo by Phillip Reedy

TASTE News Service, November 1, 2018 - Following is a summary of reports on autumnal change across California. It is compiled from reports and photographs submitted by a network of volunteer observers.

Below you’ll find an up-to-the-minute report on the state’s autumn beauty as it appeared In the past week.

Pelicans PicmonkeyWhite pelicans on Lake Hemet in the San Jacinto Mountains of southern California.    Photo by Alena Nichlas

California has much more of a visible fall season than many realize. To view more beautiful shots of California’s seasonal changes, visit CaliforniaFallColor.com.

Statewide Summary

Peak color has now shifted from the Eastern Sierra to the Northern and Western Sierra, Cascades and Southern California mountains. Presently, peak is now found between 2,500 and 5,000’ in elevation, depending on location and climate.

Peak of the Week is the Shasta Cascade region with Peak color along the Klamath River (CA-96), Coffee Creek (CA-3) and from Sims Flat north to Mt Shasta (I-5).

Plumas County is nearing the end of its peak; maple are now Past Peak. An exception is black oak which are putting on a Halloween-themed display of dark orange leaves draped from black limbs. The Feather River Canyon (CA-70) is a beautiful drive with peaking bigleaf maple, black oak and vines carrying yellow, orange and chartreuse foliage.

In Trinity County, Weaverville (CA-299) and Coffee Creek (CA-3) are full of autumn color.

In the Western Sierra, Calaveras Big Trees State Park (CA-4), Yosemite (CA-120, 140 and 41) and Kings Canyon National Parks are peaking. In Yosemite Valley, bigleaf maple cover Southside Drive with a yellow halo, pink-leaved dogwood brighten the Tuolumne and Mariposa Groves of Giant Sequoia and black oak will continue to carry orange color in the Valley and at Wawona for another couple of weeks, conditions permitting.

Southern California’s San Bernardino, San Jacinto and Laguna Mountains are at Peak and beautiful, though this is the last week to see them at peak. The best locations for peak color, presently, are at Lake Gregory (San Bernardino Mountains), Lake Hemet (San Jacinto Mountains) and along the Sunrise National Scenic Byway (Laguna Mountains).

Cottonwood Sespe Wilderness PicmonkeyFreemont cottonwood on Piedras Blancas Trail in southern California's Sespe Wilderness.       Photo by Lance Pifer

Past Peak: All prime areas of the Eastern Sierra are now Past Peak. Though, pockets of peak color remain to be seen at Topaz Lake, Coleville, Walker, Lower Rock Creek Trail and the community of Crowley Lake (Mono County); and, at Lower Rock Creek Rd., Round Valley, Pine Creek Canyon and in riparian areas of the Owens Valley (Inyo County).

In the Northern Sierra, CA-89 from the Indian Valley south to US 395 (including Quincy, Lake Tahoe, the Hope Valley and Monitor Pass) is Past Peak.

Coming Soon: Near Peak color is developing in the Sespe Wilderness, north of Ojai and along the Sierra foothills. These areas are good now, though will continue to improve in the coming week.

As peak descends and high elevation areas go Past Peak and those locations are dropped from the report, lower elevations, such as Central Valley orchards, vineyards, the Bay Area and Gold Country, are being added. This pattern will continue to Thanksgiving Day.

Specific reports and time-stamped photographs are found at CaliforniaFallColor.com.

Eastern Sierra

It was beautiful while it lasted.

In the past week, all prime areas of the Eastern Sierra went Past Peak. As such, reports from Inyo and Mono Counties have been consolidated and shortened to those few areas with remaining color.

Inyo County

•             Lower Rock Creek Rd (7,087’) - Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!

•             Round Valley (4,692’) - Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!

•             Pine Creek Canyon (7,400’) - Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!

•             Bishop (4,150’) - Near Peak (50-75%) GO NOW!

•             Owens Valley (4,000’) - Near Peak (50-75%) GO NOW!

•             Independence (3,930’) - Near Peak (50-75%) GO NOW!

•             Big Pine (3,989’) - Near Peak (50-75%) GO NOW!

Mono County

•             Walker (5,404’) & Coleville (5,141’) - Peak (75-100%) GO NOW! – A golden boulevard of towering cottonwood line US 395 and grow beside the Walker River in the Antelope Valley

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