Big Bear showing its fall colors

Fall colors come to Southern California, but usually a month later than the rest of the nation. So as November settles in, look for news from color spotters in the Big Bear, Lake Arrowhead and the San Gabriel Mountains.

Dan McKernan of the Big Bear Lake Resort Assn. says not all species of trees up his way have fully shown their full colors. As with most California color, prime time for leaf peepers depends on elevation.

McKernan notes that while some higher-up regions at Big Bear have peaked, areas down near the village are ripening now, as are hiking trails around the lake.


“Some of the hiking trails I suggest are the Pine Knot Trail located at the Aspen Glen Picnic Area and the Grout Bay Trail/Grey’s Peak Trail located in Fawnskin at the Grout Bay Recreation Area,” McKernan says.

He recommends Snow Summit’s Scenic Sky Chair for good visuals during the leisurely ride up and down. Guests can also choose to be dropped off at the top of Snow Summit for a hike or mountain bike trek through the fall foliage.

“Another suggestion to get a grand view of the fall colors is to take a helicopter tour with Helicopter Big Bear to see an amazing display from above,” he says.

Steve Caloca reports a brightening of fall color around Lake Arrowhead, according to the California Fall Color website.

One of Southern California’s most spectacular locations for fall color is Aspen Grove near the San Gorgonio Wilderness in San Bernardino National Forest, the website says.

Closer to Los Angeles, the Switzer Falls trail off the Angeles Crest Highway, about 30 minutes from Glendale, is showing some yellows, oranges and golds along the creek route.

Even closer, the L.A. County Arboretum in Arcadia, about 25 minutes from downtown Los Angeles, is coloring up with Chinese pistache, California wild grapes, and Nyssa sylvatica, color spotter (and resident botanist) Frank McDonough reports.

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