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The Famous Fall Colors of the Bishop Creek Canyon 


Bishop Creek Canyon Fall Color Report

Report & Photos Updated 9-24-14

Overall Conditions Above 8500ft Elevation
Peak (75 - 100% - Go now!)

It is absolutely go-time for fall color chasers in the upper reaches of the Bishop Creek Canyon. While it was difficult to grade the color this week as some areas are slightly past peak, many areas are at peak, other areas are near peak and a few areas are just patchy, but with some of the best and most popular views in at the higher elevations are peaking now or getting close or are at peak. Because of this I went with a peak grade for the overall conditions. The roadside aspen are just now yellowing while the red, orange and yellow hues are now dominating the canyon walls to the east and west of South Lake Road and Hwy 168 at the higher elevations. One thing that concerns us is that the forecast is calling for 3 straight days of sustained wind followed by 2 days with a chance of rain/snow showers so it will be interesting to see how well the existing color holds up to the elements. Having said that, with us finally having some season appropriate cooler weather, it should really set off the color down canyon which could make next week a real treat.

Overall Conditions 7000ft to 8500ft Elevation
Patchy (10 - 50%)

The lower reaches of the canyon are still mostly patchy with small yellow patches and bright lime green hues the prevalent colors. With cooler weather ahead, I wouldn't be surprised if some of the better views below the 8500ft level start to really pop next week and develop some more brilliant color.

Saturday Update 9-27-14
Well the foretasted wind showed up big time Wednesday night and all day Thursday with top gusts estimated at 60 mph in the high country. It's now died down to a breeze in most areas so we went out this morning to make sure the color wasn't stripped from the canyon walls. Thankfully, it looks like most of the color persists and weathered the wind storm quite well on the South Fork of Bishop Creek. With a dusting of snow expected above 8500ft over the weekend, the next 3 - 5 days could be that perfect combination of snow and color. Time will tell. Stay posted for another report next Wednesday with highlights from around the canyon.



Peak (75 - 100% - Go Now!) - Weir Pond (9650ft)

The hillside to the west of the pond is fully turned now with a few aspens giving up for the season. The aspen on the west side of the pond have really progressed quickly making for some exceptional reflection shots with green grass contrasted with gorgeous yellow, orange and touches of red. The view from the outlet is stunning with a great view of the Sierra Crest and the grass-lined pond below with color on either side of the small lake. There is still some green yet to turn, especially along the road, but I would guess that the next week will be the best of the best for this location weather permitting.


South Lake Road just above Weir Pond

Last Week

Near Peak (75 - 100% - Go Now!) - Parchers Camp (9260)

Parchers Camp is probably closer to the 75% mark with some lower lying aspen yet to turn, but the hillsides surrounding the resort are on fire to both the east & west. The color here at the resort tends to stick around a while so we're hoping to get at least another week of good color here if Mother Nature can behave herself, a tall order in late September and early October. Fingers crossed.


So. Fork Bishop Creek at Parchers Camp

Last Week

Near Peak (50 - 75%) - Willow Campground  (9000ft)

There is still enough green along the road and in the campground to keep this location at the near peak level but things are moving quickly with select trees showing nothing but green last week  now showing peak color. Especially brilliant are the trees on the right hand side of South Lake Road just past the campground with a nice dark granite backdrop behind them.


Last Week

Near Peak (50 - 75% - Go Now!) - Sabrina Campground (9000ft)

The aspen along Hwy 168 are at peak color with lots of red and orange to go along with yellow and some green from the pine. Inside the campground however things are not quite there yet. There is a lot of yellow near the entrance to the campground and some red/orange hues on the hwy side of the campground but there is still quite a bit of green yet to turn along the middle fork of Bishop Creek. Let's hope the wind, which can be especially strong here, doesn't strip the friendly aspens of their foliage too early.


Last Week 


Peak (75 - 100% - Go Now!) - Table Mountain Camp (8900ft)

Our favorite views from this area are on the canyon walls above and around the campground, both of which are as brilliant as they're likely to get this season. Still quite a bit of greenery within the campground but it's changing incredibly fast. This is certainly a "go now" spot.



Last week


Peak (75 - 100% - Go Now!) - Surveyors Meadow (8975ft)

Some green is still hanging tough along the road but most of the aspen in this area have turned. One of the better areas in the canyon to spot some orange and red, the mountain to the west of South Lake Road and the trees along the creek are especially brilliant.


Last Week 


Peak (75 - 100% - Go Now!) - Lake Sabrina (9150ft)

Color towards the back of the lake near the main inlet is going off in a big way right now with lots of orange to go along with yellow, some patchy red and a bit of green. The east shore, especially the aspen lining the high mark of the reservoir are also showing some orange and red. We're hoping the color sticks around a bit here but this location is the most susceptible to wind so we'll have to wait and see. Thankfully just below the dam there is plenty of color yet to change and the slow moving stream and pond below the lake can be nearly as spectacular as the reservoir when the color pops.



Last Week 


Peak (75 - 100% - Go Now!) - North Lake (9255ft)

This was a difficult area to grade with some significant green lining the famed road just past the lake and along the shoreline of the lake, but the vast majority of the fall color is here now with the hillside directly above the lake, the road approaching the lake, and the campground really looking spectacular. Some red, orange and yellow all found here. The outlet creek is a great place to view North Lake. Go Now!

9-23 & 9-24-14


Patchy (10 - 50%) - Steiny Loop above Mt. Glen Camp (8600ft)

It's safe to say that about half of the color has started to go between Mt. Glen campground and the end of the Steiny Loop below Table Mt. Camp, possibly a touch more, but with the amount of green dominating the hillside at and below the campground, I'm still calling this patchy. The roadside aspen are really starting to turn making for a most scenic drive up canyon. More to come from this area.

Mt. Glen Camp 9-24-14

Patchy (10 - 50%) - Mist Falls and the groves above Bishop Creek Lodge (8350ft)

The color at the falls is a bit of the ordinary this year as just a few trees turned and are now losing their leaves while the vast majority of the color isn't showing at all yet, just some lime green. This is a really good thing as regardless of what weather we see this weekend, this area should maintain its leaves allowing for the transformation to continue in the coming weeks.


Mist falls and the groves above Bishop Creek Lodge

Last week 


Just Starting (0 - 10%) - Aspendell (8400ft)

Pretty much the same report as last week although the lime green hue is lightening somewhat. Very few yellow branches within this small community as of now.

Peak (75 - 100% - Go now!) - Groves above Cardinal Village (8550ft)

The color above Cardinal Village is in full effect with yellow painting the mountain from Cardinal Peak down to the mine. There is still quite a bit of green at Cardinal Village and below to Aspendell so I would expect more good stuff to come from this beautiful area.



Last week 



Just Starting (0 - 10%) - Four Jeffries

Not much change this week, which again is probably a good thing with the weather coming. The more green we have, the safer we are in expecting good fall color well into October.

Just Starting (10 - 50%) - Intake II

Some nice color developing below the spillway at the Intake and some decent yellow on the mountain east of the lake, but the aspen surrounding the lake itself remain primarily green, although lightening somewhat over the past week.

Just Starting (0 - 10%) - Big Trees Campground

A few early-bird trees are starting to go but barely any color here yet. This is another late blooming color location which hopefully will pop come October.

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Here are a just a few of our favorite images from color reports in past years....







 Parchers Resort

5001 South Lake Rd

Bishop, CA 93514


Call Parchers at: 760-873-4177