California: 5 places to see Eastern Sierra’s fall colors right now


“GO NOW!” That’s the word from the California Fall Color website that’s been closely tracking where and when leaves turn in the Eastern Sierra while the rest of us have been watching Dodger baseball.

Elevations above 8,500 feet along Bishop Creek Canyon southwest of the town of Bishop were peaking as of midweek, which means this weekend is the ideal time to see the show.

John Pomiroo at observes that leaves seem to be changing more quickly this year. “The drought has caused them to turn a little faster this year,” he says.


Here are five places on the website’s “GO NOW!” list:

--South Lake: The aspens along the roadway are turning gold while “red, orange and yellow hues are dominating the canyon walls to the east and west of South Lake Road and along Highway 168 at higher elevations.”

--Weir Pond (a half mile from Parchers Resort): “The aspen on the west side of the pond have really progressed quickly making for some exceptional reflection shots with green grass contrasted with gorgeous yellow, orange and touches of red.”

--Lake Sabrina: Oranges and yellows are going off “in a big way right now.” “The east shore, especially the aspen lining the high mark of the reservoir are also showing some orange and red.”

--Surveyors Meadow (along the road to South Lake): “Some green is still hanging tough along the road but most of the aspen in this area have turned”

--Willow Campground: “Especially brilliant are the trees on the right hand side of South Lake Road just past the campground with a nice dark granite backdrop behind them.”

If these places sound like foreign destinations, download a copy of California’s Eastern Sierra Fall Color Guide & Map and contact the Bishop Chamber of Commerce [(888) 395-3952] so you know how to get to these places and others. The Bishop area is about a four-hour drive north of Los Angeles on Highway 395.

Remember, too, the weather could change everything. The forecast in Bishop calls for windy days that could blow the leaves off the trees and possibly bring some rain and snow. The good news is colors haven’t begun to change at lower elevations, so the show should last into October.

Keep track of the changing trees at