Trip Report: Eastern Sierra Fall Colors 2011-Oct-13

Note – A update to this post with photographs and additional location is in my follow-up post: HERE

Destination: Rock Creek Area, Aspendale, North Lake

I’m updating from my hotel/condo for the night in Mammoth, a little annoyed that Auld Dubliner is closed for remodeling.  If an establishment notes that their Guinness on tap is adjusted precisely for its high altitude, I want to try it.  But alas, I was denied!

Anyhow, my parents love the fall colors but really haven’t had a chance to see a full blown one up close and in person.  So I offered to take them out on a two day outing to the Eastern Sierras to not only see the fall foliage, but also Mono Lake.

No photos updates until late Friday or Saturday.  Sorry.  My netbook can’t handle my RAW images so I wouldn’t even think about processing them via Lightroom.

Rock Creek:  I had high hopes for Rock Creek as it hasn’t been mentioned much in any reports online and it’s next up from the Bishop Creek Area going from south to north.  Reality set in when I saw brown and blown down leaves from Rock Creek Lake and above from the snow storm last week.  The campgrounds below the lake are much more promising.  The colors on the north side of the road have turned earlier than the south side of the road, where many of the trees are still green or barely yellow.  Noteworthy is Big Meadow campground where it is at least 50% yellow with patches of orange.  The campgrounds immediately up the road from Big Meadow are also worth stopping for.  I would guess this area of Rock Creek will be in full color by early next week.  And then there’s the green tree mostly on the south side of road in the Big Meadows area.  Those are at least a couple of weeks off.

Aspendell:  Really impressive colors here.  At least 75% yellows.  The area from Aspendell to the turnoff for North Lake is really coming into color, averaging 75% yellows.  The best show is a grove of beautiful yellow aspens just down the hill from the last houses in town.  The grove is to the south/right as you are going down the hill and pass the last house.  Brilliant yellow.

North Lake:  Some parts of the tree tunnel area has turn brown or dropped due to the storm, but there were quite a few trees that were green two weeks ago and now they have turned a brilliant yellow.  It’s a little difficult to isolate out certain areas that are now brown or barren, but the tree tunnel is at close to 100% or past peak now.  The grove of aspens on the “far” side of the lake (northwest) is at 75% with large swaths of yellow and orange.

Ok, I’ll post some images, but it’s of the previously uploaded sandwich from Erick Schat’s famous Bakkery in Bishop, CA.  I had another Mule Kick sandwich and it was good.  We also stopped by Mountain Light Gallery for some inspiration.
Erick Schat Bakkery, Logo
Mule Kick Sandwich

All photos.  © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.

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