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Autumn Is Peaking in the Eastern Sierra; Here’s How to Catch the Colors Before They’re Gone

Fall colors are seen Oct. 6, 2019, above the Cardinal Village Resort in Inyo National Forest, west of Bishop. (Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

Fall colors are seen Oct. 6, 2019, above the Cardinal Village Resort in Inyo National Forest, west of Bishop. (Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

With temperatures in the Los Angeles area dipping below 70 degrees this week and pumpkin spice lattes on the menu, you may be longing for some fall foliage to complete the seasonal transition.

Luckily, autumn is already peaking in the Eastern Sierra, and the best time to catch the rich display of gold, orange and russet is within the next two weeks, according to tourism officials in Mono County.

The county boasts that the area’s aspens, cottonwoods and willows put on the best fall show in the western U.S.

Yellow aspen leaves are reflected in North Lake, in in Inyo National Forest west of Bishop, on Oct. 6, 2019. (Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

Yellow aspen leaves are reflected in North Lake, in in Inyo National Forest west of Bishop, on Oct. 6, 2019. (Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

From L.A., you can reach an autumnal paradise near Bishop in about four hours by heading north on Highway 395 from the 14 Freeway. Here are some of the best spots the plug into your GPS (or scroll down for a map):

  • The area surrounding Aspendell in Inyo National Forest is the closet cluster of peaking colors to L.A. Take Highway 168 west from Bishop.
  • Little Lakes Valley including Davis Lake, Hilton Lakes, Rock Creek Lake and the Little Lakes Valley Trail. Head north 20 miles from Bishop on Highway 395, then turn left onto Rock Creek Road.
  • ย Crater Meadow Trail south of Mammoth Mountain, accessed from the Horseshoe Lake Trailhead. Mammoth Mountain opens to winter sports in a month, on Nov. 9.
  • Heading further up Highway 395 past Bridgeport, drives along Lobdell Lake Road and the Sonora Pass are promised to dazzle. Suggested hikes in the area include Molybdenite Canyon, McGee Creek, Parker Lake and Lundy Canyon.

Get more details on the Mono County Tourism website, or click here for a guide of scenic drives.

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