Bishop and the Owens Valley in the Eastern Sierra hold title as Peak of the Week for spectacular stands of Fremont Cottonwood that are glowing yellow and orange along the Owens River. The higher reaches of the Eastern Sierra including Bishop Creek Canyon, Mammoth Lakes and June Lake are now all past peak and gearing up for winter.
The Shasta Cascade has swung from Patchy to Near Peak across the northeast corner of California. Riparian areas of Shasta Trinity National Forest Peak areas are filled with delicate color, big maple leaves and forests full of yellow, orange and red. At peak are Siskiyou County, Plumas County and Lassen County. Approaching peak are Shasta, Tehama, Butte, Modoc and Trinity Counties.
The Redwood Highway is near peak between Willits and Laytonville where a beautiful canopy of yellow, green and orange oak trees drapes the highway.
Color continues to descend through the Western Sierra, now peaking around 3,500 in elevation.
Road Trip of the Week is to drive Newton Road from Placerville to Pleasant Valley, then continue north to Sly Park and hike around Jenkinson Lake. The fruit orchards and vineyards at Apple Hill near Camino are near peak.
The towering urban forests of Sacramento in the Central Valley and Danville in the East San Francisco Bay Area are near peak and will continue to drop leaves through Thanksgiving Day. Tilden Park in Berkeley is still mixed and patchy.
In Southern California, Angeles National Forest is now past peak, as are Big Bear and Lake Arrowhead, though black oak surrounding Lake Gregory are now peaking. In the San Jacinto Mountains, Idyllwind is now past peak, though Mountain Center and Lake Hemet are peaking. Cottonwoods in the camgrounds along the shore of Lake Hemet are beautifully colored golden. Mt. Laguna and Mt. Palomar in San Diego County remain patchy with a mix of color just emerging.
EASTERN SIERRA/LAKE TAHOE
Bishop and the Owens Valley (Peak 75-100%) Stands of towering Fremont Cottonwood are brightly yellow from Lone Pine to Bishop along US 395. GO NOW!
Bishop Creek Canyon (Past Peak) YOU MISSED IT.
Rock Creek, Convict Lake, Mammoth Lakes, June Lakes, Walker River, Antelope Valley (Past Peak) All areas of Mono County are now past peak. YOU MISSED IT.
Alpine County/Hope Valley/Lake Tahoe (Past Peak) YOU MISSED IT!
Shasta county (Near Peak 50 75%) Riparian areas beside the Sacramento River seen from I-5 and urban forests in Redding and Anderson are at full peak with black oak, cottonwood and willows colored yellow, orange and red. GO NOW!
Plumas County (Peak 75-100%) Plumas County continues at peak. Bigleaf maple are dropping huge yellow leaves in the Indian Valley. The Road to the Round Valley Reservoir is flanked by trees covered with yellow and orange oak and maple leaves. Indian Rhubarb are losing their red-orange intensity, though the North Fork of the Feather River is now being drapes with yellow. Youll find color along the Arlington Road, near the Hideaway Motel in Quincy, surrounding Greenville and along the Round Valley Road. GO NOW!
Tehama County (Near Peak 50 75%) Tehama is forecast to peak this or next week. Many of the cottonwoods flanking the Sacramento River are heavy with gorgeous yellow- orange leaves. GO NOW!
Butte County (Near Peak 50 75%) - Downtown Chico, the CSU Chico campus, Paradise, orchards along CA-99 and Bidwell Park are the places to find the most color in Butte County. A favorite mid-November road trip is to Chico for lunch at the Sierra Nevada Brewery Restaurant (top rate), a tour of the brewery, fall color viewing in Chico and at Bidwell Park, visits to Orient and Flume Art Glass and Chicos many exceptional art galleries. GO NOW!
Modoc County (Near Peak 50 75%) The Modoc people called this land at the extreme northeast corner of California, The Smiles of God, for its beauty and bounty. In autumn, Modoc National Forest is where people head to see its fall color and majesty. The forest is renowned for its western juniper the largest unbroken expanse in the world, though it also has mountain mahogany, white-barked quaking aspen and purple sage that in autumn provide beautiful color. More than 300 species of wildlife pass through the region including many migratory waterfowl, Rocky Mountain elk, wild horses, mule deer, and pronghorn antelope. Peak is about to occur and should last almost to Thanksgiving Day. GO NOW!
Trinity County (Near Peak 50 75%) Quite a bit of change has occurred in the past week with the Trinity River now brightly colored with yellow bigleaf maple, chartreuse wild cucumber and orange black oak surrounding Weaverville and along CA-299. GO NOW!
Lassen County (Peak 75 - 100%) Fall Color has about another week to show in the Susanville area and Bizz Johnson trail, Mountain Meadows Reservoir and northeastern Lake Almanor haare exploding with fall color. GO NOW!
Siskiyou County (Peak 75 100%) Siskiyou County peaked last week and is now moving toward past peak. Beautiful color is found in Mt. Shasta, Weed and McCloud from both native and exotic trees. GO NOW!
Ukiah Valley (Near Peak 50 -75%) Vineyards surrounding Ukiah are mix of colors from orange to red with yellow. Some have peaked, while others are still a week away. GO NOW!
The Redwood Highway US 101 (Near Peak 50 75%) - Color is best along the Redwood Highway between Willits and Laytonville. GO NOW!
Eel River (Peak 75100%) Willows and cottonwood along the Eel River now approaching past peak with yellow and gold tones decreasing. GO NOW!
WESTERN SIERRA/GOLD COUNTRY
Yosemite National Park (Near Peak 5075%) Peak will likely occur in Yosemite Valley this weekend and the following week with black oak turning orange, though many oaks are late turners and should provide color to Thanksgiving Day, weather permitting. Bigleaf maple and dogwood have peaked at Fern Spring. Yosemites peak should last another week. GO NOW!
South Fork, American River (US 50) (Peak 75 - 100%) The American River above Camino is peaking with orange-yellow black oaks, golden willows and grasses carrying color. GO NOW!
Apple Hill (Near Peak 50-75%) The fruit orchards and vineyards surrounding Camino are approaching peak color with yellow, gold and green. GO NOW!
Gold Country (Patchy 1050%) Elevations below 3,000 in the Gold Country are showing color, but they still have a week or two before nearing peak.
Lake Camanche (Near Peak 50-75%) Monument Campground at Lake Camanche is speckled with red, yellow and lime as exotic trees and cottonwood near peak. GO NOW!
Sacramento (Near Peak 50 75%) Towering London Plane Trees throughout Sacramento and other majestic boulevard trees are near peak throughout Sacramento and in Land Park. Valley oak and black cottonwood along the American River Parkway are patchy. The color should continue through Thanksgiving Day. GO NOW!
Walnut Groves (Patchy 1050%) Central Valley walnut groves near CA-99 continue to develop, turning more golden by day.
Salinas River (Near Peak 50-75%) Cottonwood along the Salinas River in King City are full of lime, yellow and lime. GO NOW!
SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA
Tilden Park (Patchy 10-50%) The East Bay Regional Parks Botanic Garden in Berkeley is showing patchy color with a mix of turned and unturned trees.
Danville (Near Peak 50-75%) Landmark sycamores in downtown Danville are nearing peak.
Angeles National Forest (Past Peak) The trail to Switzer Falls in the Angeles National Forest northeast of Los Angeles has peaked, though the forest floor is carpeted with spent orange pine needles, golden bigleaf maple and orange black oak leaves. YOU MISSED IT.
Mt. Palomar (Patchy 10-50%) Black oaks on Mt. Palomar have a way to go before peak. Some trees were stripped of last weeks wind and rain, particularly those on south-facing slopes. Riparian foliage including berries, box elders and dogwoods provide bright spots of red, pink, yellow and green. Black oak are near peak close to the observatory.
Lake Hemet (Near Peak 5075%) Large cottonwood and oaks in the campground beside Lake Hemet are providing yellow color, GO NOW!
Los Angeles County Arboretum (Just Starting) Exotic and native trees at the Los Angeles County Arboretum continue to turn, though will not peak until late November.