The What and Where of Eastside Autumn

mattinsonfallFall Color can be quite amazing here in the Eastern Sierra, with brilliant colors buttressed up against the grey and tan of the area. The issue is not really where to go but when to go. The where of the equation is easy, so here are examples of some of the most popular and less popular locations on the east side:

Lake Sabrina – Very, very popular with easy vehicle access and great fall color (out of Bishop)
South Lake – Very popular with easy vehicle access (out of Bishop)
North Lake – Not as popular because you must traverse a dirt shelf road to reach it (out of Bishop)
Pine Creek – Not as popular but a paved road and located in a spectacular Glacier valley (north of Bishop)
Rock Creek Area – Very, very popular with great vehicle access and numerous fall color opportunities
McGee Creek – Less popular with a section of dirt road and a good hike; excellent fall color
Convict lake – Very, very popular and lots of fall color around the lake and stream
Laurel Lake – Not as popular as it requires an off road, high clearance vehicle; well worth the effort (near the Town of Mammoth)
June lake loop – Very, very popular, offers spectacular fall color
Lundy Lake – Very popular with spectacular fall color
Conway summit to Virginia lakes – Not as popular but offers great vistas with splashes of color
Green lakes – Not as popular; requires all wheel drive or four wheel drive; (the dirt road is off HWY 395 near Bridgeport)

Now when to go is a bit trickier. Barring weather issues, the later you go the better for fall color. I try to reach these areas in mid to late October but this can be risky as weather conditions change day to day. If you are traveling from afar, then start in early October to be on the safe side. There is no guarantee of success to capture the “perfect” fall color. But following these guidelines and locations should give you a good chance at getting that GREAT image.

Dennis Mattinson
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