First Inklings Of Fall Colors – June Lake, CA
We’ve made it to the Sierra’s and the show is about to begin! The weather is crisp and bright, the lakes are brilliant blue, the mountains bold and beautiful and the aspens are about the make their grand exit in a brilliant display of yellows and orange. We are at the very edge of the change, probably a week or so away from “full color”, but I can already tell it’s going to be good.
For whatever reason the Sierra’s, and in particular Hwy 395, never seem to attract RVers the way the other fall color spots do. It’s really an odd phenomenon and I can’t quite explain why. Granted the fall display isn’t as famous and varied as what you get on the east coast, but it’s still pretty darn fabulous and there are so few people here. This totally surprised me last year, but I can’t say I’m complaining. This is absolutely the time to be here -> few other tourists, gorgeous weather and a fall show with miles of hikes in the mountains all to yourself. I mean, what’s not to like?
This year we’re exploring a couple of new sites which we didn’t manage to get around to in our tour last year. In particular we’re spending at least a week (possibly more) in the lovely June Lake Loop area, a horseshoe-shaped canyon nestled in-between Mono Lake and Mammoth Lakes at ~7,600 feet. Carved by glaciers in the Pleistocene Epoch, this scenic little enclave is sometimes called the “Switzerland of California” because of its juxtaposition of valley, lakes and high mountain peaks.
The entire loop is only ~14 miles around, but manages to pack in a ton of “stuff”. It has a cute little town and resort, ski area, multiple camping spots, and 4 mountain lakes. It even manages to throw in a few “oddities”, a balanced 150-ton boulder (right in the middle of town), a reversed creek that flows back towards the mountain (interesting little geology there) and the “Tiger” bar that holds one of the State of California’s two longest standing alcoholic beverage licenses (how about that for weird trivia?). It also happens to be a hidden gem for good fall color, sporting many steep, but lovely trails lined with groups of oh-I’m-just-waiting-to-change-and-dazzle-you aspens.
We arrived a few days ago and set-up the beast next to a couple of trailers (we are, yet again, the biggest rig in the forest) in the very scenic Oh Ridge! forest service campground (thanks Suzy & Jerry for the recommendation!). We’ve basically been lazing around the lake and hiking trails ever since, enjoying perfect fall mountain weather and the very first sprinkling of color. I’ll be taking a ton more pictures (no doubt) as the color change progresses and we’ll add-in several day-trips to new spots as well. Our buddies Lu & Terry are on their way to join us too, so we’ll be hanging some social time as well. Good friends, good weather, lots of space and the first inklings of fall color…I am SO ready for the show to begin!