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Bishop bursting with fall colors -- a peek of them at their peak

Virginia Lakes road

Flaming gold and orange trees along Virginia Lakes Road off Highway 395, north of Lee Vining and Mono Lake.

(Alicia Vennos)

Fall is popping quickly in parts of the Eastern Sierra. If you don't know where, just head north on Highway 395. Once you hit the town of Bishop, you'll find turnoffs (see below) that will take you to the fantastic golds and oranges of autumn that are reaching peak colors in some areas.

South of Lake Sabrina. (Jared Smith)

The high-elevation lakes in Bishop Creek Canyon are at full peak, according to California Fall Color.

But if you want the full fall color show, go now. The website says the area "jumped from patchy to peak last week."

Now places like Weir Pond, Parcher's Resort and Lake Sabrina are past peak, though some spots have retained their colors.

"There are areas of color that are absolutely going off in full peak color, right next to areas where the color is quickly diminishing, right next to areas containing lots of green still developing color…it’s very difficult," Jared Smith at Parcher's Resort told California Fall Color.

Trees along the road to Lake Sabrina. (Jared Smith)

From Highway 395 in Bishop, turn west on California 168 (also known as West Line Street) and drive up the canyon. You can turn left to go to South Lake, straight ahead to go to Lake Sabrina and right to go to North Lake.

On the road to North Lake. (Jared Smith)

You'll find the lakes area jammed with photographers and leaf-peepers, so be prepared to park the car and walk a ways to get good views of the colors. Aspens here provide the gold tones.

Sabrina Lake. (Jared Smith)

California Fall Color reports too that the Rock Creek and Hilton Lakes area are still ablaze with color. Continue north on Highway 395 from Bishop and you'll see turnoffs to Rock Creek Canyon and Hilton Lakes.

Much farther north go to Conway Summit and turn on Virginia Lakes Road. This will take you to the canyon with turning aspens and cottonwoods.

Weird Pond, just below the dam at South Lake. (Jared Smith)

To find directions to these Sierra spots, download a copy of the Eastern High Sierra Fall Color Guide and check out the latest at the California Fall Color website.

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