Time to Start Planning for California Fall Color

Bright yellow aspens along Rock Creek Road in Mono County, October 2013. | Photo: Zach Behrens/KCET

"Could not believe it on August 1," exclaimed Richard McCutcheon. He had noticed some Indian Ruhbarb along Plumas County's Butt Creek that had already begun to turn color, so he snapped a photo and sent it off to the California Fall Color blog for its first post of the season.

California is not exactly known for fall color, but we're definitely blessed with it. While the East Coast's densely populated areas are already centered in arboreal environments, California's heavy urban centers are focused on the coast, away from the main attractions found in the Sierra Nevadas. It's not that you won't find fall color in our coastal cities, it's just not the spectacular event found out east. East as in the eastern California: Mammoth Lakes, Bishop, June Lake, Virginia Lakes, and so on.

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All that is to say it's time to start planning. And by planning, I mean mentally preparing to go at the drop of a hat. The bad news about fall color is that it peaks and dies off pretty fast. The good news is that with so many elevations -- the higher the location, the sooner the colder weather settles in -- some part of the state seems to be always peaking. So when you hear people like John Poimiroo of California Fall Color say, "go now!" you should probably do just that.

To get you started, give our guide to the seven best places in the state a look through and watch SoCal Wanderer for updates from Poimiroo and others.

Like SoCal Wanderer on Facebook and follow @SoCal_Wanderer on Twitter.

About the Author

Zach Behrens is KCET's Director of News, Region and State, working on digital and on-air news products that relate to Southern California and beyond.
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