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Fall colors are popping in Northern California's Plumas County. Look for bright sugar maples and aspen gold

Fall colors are popping in Northern California's Plumas County. Look for bright sugar maples and aspen gold
Meadow Valley in Plumas County (Michael Beatley)

Fall colors have just arrived in Plumas County. Right now the sparsely populated swath of Northern California between Lassen Volcanic National Park and Tahoe National Forest is “spectacular, with purple, orange, red, yellow, vermillion, gold, lime, pink and green” colors.

That’s the word from CaliforniaFallColors.com, which tracks where and when the leaves are turning throughout the state.

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Aspens in Meadow Valley, Plumas County
Aspens in Meadow Valley, Plumas County (Michael Beatley)

Once you’ve located Plumas County on your map app, head to Meadow Valley near Quincy, the county seat, to see the colors from sugar maples, aspens and oaks.

Scenic locations on the “go now” list include Frenchman Lake, Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway, Antelope Lake, Feather River Canyon, Sunflower Flat Trail and Red Clover Valley.

A glorious sugar maple at Thompson Ranch in Quincy, Plumas County
A glorious sugar maple at Thompson Ranch in Quincy, Plumas County (Michael Beatley)

It’ll take you more than eight hours to drive there, mostly on Interstate 5. But you can expect a peaceful experience once you arrive. The county has just eight residents per square mile, compared with L.A., which has 7,544 people per square mile.

Apples on the tree in Oak Glen in the San Bernardino Mountains
Apples on the tree in Oak Glen in the San Bernardino Mountains (Alena Nicholas)

Closer to home, the San Bernardino Mountains show good color again this weekend in Big Bear, Green Valley Lake, Lake Arrowhead and Grass Valley Lake. Take time to visit Oak Glen, where you can add apple-tasting to your leaf-peeping.

You'll find gold canopies along the Lower Rock Creek Trail in the Eastern Sierra
You'll find gold canopies along the Lower Rock Creek Trail in the Eastern Sierra (Gigi de Jong)

Farther north, popular spots in the Eastern Sierra are past peak, but you’ll find gold aspens putting on a show along Highway 395 from Tom’s Place north to Topaz. Lower Rock Creek Trail is canopied in golden leaves, and aspens are glowing along nearby June Lake Loop. The area is about 320 miles northeast of Los Angeles.

Must-see fall color locations in Mono County this weekend include Lee Vining Canyon at 6,781 feet in elevation.

“Take Log Cabin Mine road for colors that will be good for the next two weeks,” the report said. And seek out Lundy Lake and Lundy Canyon at 7,858 feet.

For more details on locations and color updates, go to CaliforniaFallColors.com.

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