Move over, Sierra. We have pretty awesome fall color in Southern California too.
That’s the news from CaliforniaFallColor.com, whose motto is, “Dude, autumn happens here too.”
The website, which focuses on reporting and photographing displays of color all over California (and sometimes beyond), reported this week that the Aspen Grove Trail in the Sand to Snow National Monument (San Gorgonio Wilderness) was almost at peak and that color could last as long as two weeks. Great news about an area that was devastated in a 2015 widlfire.
Reaching the grove requires a 1.4-mile hike, and the U.S. Forest Service recommends a permit, which you can find at sgwa.org. It’s free.
But the Forest Service is cautioning color spotters about hazards on the trek along the Forest Road. “Hikers must do so at their own risk and be watchful of logging and vehicles along the road,” Zach Behrens, spokesperson for the Forest Service, said in an email. Some trees in the grove also are in danger of falling, he said.
Meanwhile, now that hues have faded above 8,500 feet in the Sierra, the big color show will be below 8,500 feet. When that fades, you can turn your attention to lower altitudes, including the June Lake Loop in Mono County. Right now, the loop is “patchy,” CaliforniaFallColor says. The area is about 325 miles north of Los Angeles.
This story was updated at 11 a.m. Friday to include cautionary information from the Forest Service on the hike to see the aspen grove. This article was originally published at 3:30 a.m. Friday.