Thanks for posting these! This was my third year in a row to head to the eastern Sierra in October, and I owe much to you for getting the word out about where to go/not go. We don’t really get the seasons in San Francisco, and as someone who grew up where we had all four seasons, it means a lot to me to be able to get out and experience fall, even if just for a long weekend. Here’s my report:
I traveled between Bodie to the north and June Lake to the south. In general, while there were lots of colors, there was also a lot of green, so if you can’t make it up until the weekend of the 19th, you should be OK.
- Highway 395 just north of Conway summit: the large grove west of 395 was beautiful, but still had significant areas that were green/starting to turn
- Virginia Lakes: the first two miles or so to Virginia Lakes were spectacular and pretty much close to peak, probably just a couple more days left if that, with mostly barren trees after that; about 1.5 miles or so in, as you’re getting to the top of the hill and the road bends left, there’s one grove of red aspens you’ll see at the bottom of the hill to your right that’s absolutely spectacular; I’d say it was at peak this weekend, but there are still a few trees that were green and just starting to turn red at the top—get there as soon as you can!
- Lundy Lake: lots of yellows, at peak the first couple miles in and surprisingly got greener as you got closer to the lake
- Lee Vining Canyon: same story as Lundy—lots of yellows closer to 395, but still plenty of green further up the canyon
- June Lake Loop: the big grove above Grant Lake looks like it’s at or slightly past peak; along the road, there’s a good mix of yellows and plenty of trees just not turning between Grant and Silver Lakes so you should be fine if you can’t make it until this weekend, and maybe even beyond.