From the Eastern Sierra to Southern California, lakes are aglow with fall colors. Here are places not to miss this weekend

Who doesn’t want to be drifting in a raft on Silver Lake to see these fall colors? You can head to June Lake this weekend; the leaves are at peak and temperatures will be mild.
(Josh Wray /Mammoth Lakes Tourism)

Eastern Sierra lakes are still aglow with fall colors, if you know when to go. So are Southern California lakes in the San Bernardino Mountains, such as Lake Arrowhead and Gregory Lake. The key to catching nature’s show is to go now, before the colors fade.

Eastern Sierra

Most trees ringing the four lakes along the June Lake Loop will be at or near peak this weekend, according to

You’ll find gold and orange aspens reflected in lake waters on the drive along California 158, about 325 miles north of Los Angeles. The website issued a “Go now!” recommendation Thursday for anyone who doesn’t want to miss nature’s show.

The website also offers this insider tip: “The most iridescent color is seen when trees are backlit. Because this is a loop, drive it in both directions to see the best light and color.”

June Lake also is expecting mild weather this weekend, with a forecast high of 70 degrees and sunny or partly sunny days.

Photographer Josh Wray (top photo) captured a visitor enjoying the scenery from a raft on Silver Lake, one of the loop’s lakes, an inspiration to try something new on your leaf-peeping trip.

Other Sierra lakes where the colors will be shimmering:

The reflection of willows at Beaver Ponds in Lundy Canyon. Josh Wray / Mammoth Lakes Tourism

--Lake Tahoe, where cottonwoods and aspen put on a show of gold and yellow in a series of meadows from Tahoe City to Kings Beach on the North Shore. The West and South shores also are good bets.

--Lundy Lake and Canyon, north of Mammoth Lakes, where you’ll find leaves at peak at the campground and the lake, as well as the Beaver Ponds.

Lake Arrowhead
Two weeks ago, trees were just starting to turn at Lake Arrowhead. Now they are at peak. Alena Nicholas

Southern California

Closer to home, Lake Arrowhead, Lake Gregory and Grass Valley Lake, all in the San Bernardino National Forest, are near or at the peak of fall colors. All are within a two-hour drive of Los Angeles.

For more details on locations and color updates, go to

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Twitter: @latimestravel

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