June Lake Loop can be found a few miles south of the small town of Lee Vining, Some of the Sierra’s best autumn color can be found along the gravel road that follows Bishop creek. Many access points along the stream lead to colorful compositions with solid aspen groves. Quiet ponds provide yellow reflections. Every autumn is different because of changing weather conditions. A dry summer or an early cold snap will speed up the color change or push it off to the middle of October. A few days of strong winds can remove all the leaves, and a few days of snow can turn all the yellow leaves to brown or black. When all the aspens have dropped their leaves, cottonwoods start to turn color in the Owens Valley, to the south. Most of the tallest trees along U.S. Route 395 are cottonwoods. The peak of cottonwood autumn color typically arrives from mid-to-late October.
It’s time to start planning an Autumn Color trip down Highway 395 on the east side of the Sierra Mountains.
Notes and images from Bob Hitchman.