The California Bucket List: Your daily guide to the best adventures and experiences in the Golden State

In the Sierra, the autumnal color palette intensifies

As noted Thursday, U.S. 395 is full of fiery yellows and reds as the leaf-peeping season moves into lower elevations. The way to see all this is to take the 395 north toward Mammoth, then take some of the canyon roads west.

Here are a couple more worth mentioning:

The June Lake Loop is spectacular right now. Clear skies and daytime temps in the 60s make for great hiking and photography. Best June Lake stretch is just past the village and down past Silver Lake, where tunnels of aspen line the road and deer come out to feed just before dusk.

Walk the roads. Stop to listen to the aspen leaves clicking in the wind. When the late sun hits the trees, they glow like campfires.

Another popular offshoot is farther north at Lundy Canyon, where the trees are a little past peak but still worthy of a trip. Be sure to make your way to the far side of the lake, where a memorial to the area's settlers says, "Lundy's page of Mono County history reads wild, rugged and raw but her gold was rich and yellow."

Just like its trees.

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