The California Fall Color Report has issued several "go now" alerts in the Eastern Sierras and beyond for leaf-peepers intent on finding the golds and oranges of autumn.
The Fall Color website reports that many places above 9,000 feet have already peaked but that there are plenty of other spots that haven't.
John Poimiroo, who created the website and keeps close tabs on the color report, says hitting the sweet spot for fall colors takes timing — and patience. Not everything changes at once (high elevations usually go first), so you have a window of time to plan a trip.
That said, Poimiroo flags certain spots with a "go now" alert, indicating colors that are at peak and that will soon vanish. Here are five places worth seeing this weekend and into next week.
You'll find these places off Calfornia 395 — and many more autumn destinations at California Fall Color.
Aspendell, a small community in Bishop Creek Canyon near Bishop, lives up to its name. There are houses here, but the area's stands of aspens haven't fully turned from green to gold. Keep your eye on this spot, as it could pop this weekend and into next week.
Green Creek and Summers Meadow in the Virginia Lakes-Bridgeport area of Mono County make the "go now" list. Reds and oranges dominate on the mountain side of Summers Meadow, which should last for the coming week too.
Lundy Lake-Lundy Canyon north of Lee Vining have a ways to go but the falls in this area should have good color this weekend. The lake is one of those beauty spots where you can work on photographing fall colors reflected in its waters.
McGee Creek Canyon between Mammoth Lakes and Bishop is an Eastern Sierra gem best seen on foot. Follow McGee Creek Road to its end to find the trail. It doesn't take long before you'll see a ribbon of gold down the canyon's center from the aspen trees along the creek. It's 50% to 75% near peak and on the "go now" list, the website says.
Farther north, Lake Tahoe also is near peak. Best views if you're going now are the aspen groves that line the western shore in South Lake Tahoe.