Peak fall color in Southern California: Lower elevations in the San Bernardino and San Jacinto mountains

Idyllwild in the San Jacinto Mountains is hitting its color peak right about now, as this photo from Oct. 27 shows.
(Alena Nicholas)

Say so long to the color show in the Eastern Sierra for this year and hello to an autumnal palette in the the San Bernardino and San Jacinto mountains.

That’s the word from, whose motto is, “Dude, autumn happens here too.”

Lower elevations of the San Bernardino and San Jacinto mountains, around the 5,000-foot mark, are lighting up with yellows, golds and oranges. Lake Arrowhead, Grass Valley Lake, Lake Gregory and Oak Glen will be the hot tickets in the San Bernardinos; look to Idyllwild and Lake Hemet for color thrills in the San Jacintos.

Fremont cottonwood in the Sespe Wilderness.
(Lance Pifer)

The Piedra Blanca Trail in the Sespe Wilderness in Los Padres National Forest near Ojai also is nearing peak, the color report said.

The leaf spectacular in the Eastern Sierra is over. The splashiest hues can be found now in the Western and Northern Sierra and in the Cascades.

Big leaf maples and black oak are showing their best stuff in Yosemite Valley, and the color report predicts, will continue to do so for a couple of weeks, if the weather holds.




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