Fall 2019 in the Eastern Sierra Mountains


Eastern Sierra, Hike Reports / Friday, October 25th, 2019

Here’s a collection of spots I have visited up and down the 395 hwy in the last month. The Fall foliage is in the Eastern Sierra mountains is still around but disappearing quickly so check it out soon before the colors are all gone!

McGee Creek – Mammoth Lakes, CA

Date visited: Oct 18-19, 2019
Fall foliage status: peaking
Trail recommendation: McGee Creek Trail – in the first mile alone, there were a ton of colors along the creek, trail and in the mountains! You don’t have to hike very far to get the beautiful IG-worthy Fall colors photos and it’s an easy, flat trail.

*Bonus* McGee Creek Campground is full of colors when I went! The campground itself is closed now but it may still be worth checking out for Fall photos. It’s also right by a creek 😉

Rock Creek Canyon/ Lake – Mammoth Lakes, CA

Date visited: Oct 18, 2019
Fall foliage status: past peak but still worth driving up to Big Meadow Campground
Where to go: this is one of the first areas to peak in the Fall season and I’d recommend going earlier in the Fall season. I went last year on the last weekend of Sept 2018 and the fall foliage was peaking.

This year, I went mid-Oct and there were zero colors up by Rock Creek Lake but there were some colors closer to the beginning-middle half of Rock Creek Road… still a lot of colors around Big Meadow Campground last weekend!

backpacking girl autumn eastern sierra
*photo of Rock Creek Canyon from Sept 2018*

June Lake – Mammoth Lakes, CA

Date visited: Oct 18, 2019
Fall foliage status: not much colors
Where to go: drive through the entire June Lake loop. There’s some colors further back in the mountains near Rush Creek and Silver Lake, and along the road (158) near Grant Lake but we just drove around.

Mt Whitney Trail – Lone Pine, CA

Date visited: Oct 16-17, 2019
Fall foliage status: peaking only in certain areas
Where to go: within the first mile of the Mt Whitney Trail and only the first mile, there’s still some surprise burst of colors! You can hike this section up to Lone Pine Lake without Mt Whitney permits!

Lake Sabrina – Bishop, CA

Date visited: Oct 6, 2019
Fall foliage status: peaking (when I went)
Where to go: Hike Sabrina Lake Trail – at only 5-10 minutes, you’ll get a beautiful view of Sabrina Lake and all the Fall foliage surrounding it! I hear the colors were still there last weekend so it’s probably worth checking out still.

*Bonus* the road to South Lake (S Lake Rd) was one of the prettiest I’ve seen this season. It was full of colors throughout the entire road with many pullouts for photo opportunities – just be careful with cars!

Lundy Canyon – Bridgeport, CA

Date visited: Oct 5, 2019
Fall foliage status: supposedly peak but I’m not sure
Where to go: Hike Lundy Canyon Trail – there was only a small section of the trail that was peaking when I went earlier this month and the canyon had colors dispersed a bit higher. This small section on the trail was only maybe 1-2 miles in and full of golden Aspen trees with a half-frozen waterfall at the end which makes the trail alone worth checking out.

I hear Lundy Lake was lit up with colors last weekend so it might be worth checking out still. The lake you can drive right up to, you can hike a little further down the road at Lundy Canyon Trailhead.

Other places I’ve visited in the past that’s worth checking out during the season (just not sure about current status) are Big Pine Lakes, Convict Lake, and Rae Lakes Loop on the west side of the Sierra in Sequoia.

For the most updated Fall colors conditions in the Eastern Sierra, visit Mono County’s tourism page here 🙂

Thanks for reading!

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please leave questions, comments and suggestions in the comments section below
& DON’T FORGET TO PRACTICE LEAVE NO TRACE
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4 Replies to “Fall 2019 in the Eastern Sierra Mountains”

  1. Well done! I really appreciate your blog and post. I am injured right now and couldn’t go on my Sierra cross county – Crescent Meadows to Mt Whitney. I like to go off trail like ”Pants Pass” and other cross county pathways, so it was a bummer, but comforting to see and read of the wilderness I missed. Thank you, Lovely, I send mirthful chi. #earthcompanion #packitinpackitout

    1. Hi thanks for the kinds words and sorry to hear about your injury but remember, the mountains will always be there. I’ve always wanted to try cross country trails but get nervous to forge my own path, would appreciate any tips!

    1. Yay! Got to get a head start for Fall 2020 but there’s still some time if you want to catch the colors this season. Enjoy 🙂

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