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The Famous Fall Colors of the Bishop Creek Canyon 


Bishop Creek Canyon Fall Color Report

Report & Photos Updated 9-30-15

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

Out of all the years Iíve been doing fall color reporting for the Bishop Creek Canyon, this has been by far the most difficult to put into a rating scale. There are areas of color that are absolutely going off in full peak color, right next to areas where the color is quickly diminishing, right next to areas containing lots of green still developing colorÖitís very difficult. Still, while some areas in the higher elevations were better last week than they are today, there are more areas of peak color than not at the higher elevations so I went with a peak rating. The highlights this week is the South Fork of Bishop Creek near Willow Campground and between Parchers Resort & Weir Pond. On the other side of the canyon, the area between Sabrina Campground and the Sabrina Dam is stunning, and North Lake has tons of peak color shots to be had.

We have some weather scheduled to blow in this weekend, including both some wind and a chance of snow, letís all cross our fingers that the color withstands the cold front.

My next report will be Wednesday 10-7-15

Overall Conditions Between 7500ft & 8500ft Elevation
Patchy (10% - 50%)

The yellow continues to develop, along with a few patches of orange and red, but the green is holding strong, at least for the next few days. Look for this elevation to be in near peak condition or better by next weekís report. The best color is showing near Cardinal Village on up towards Cardinal Mine. A few small patches of brilliant color near Intake II also.


Peak - Go Now! (75% - 100%) - Sabrina Campground to Sabrina Dam (9000ft)

Some of the red shown over the past few weeks is gone, but without skipping a beat, the color within the campground on up to the approach to the Sabrina dam is absolutely spectacular. Especially beautiful are the views of the winding road across the bridges.


Peak - Go Now! (75% - 100%) Ė Willow Campground (9000ft)

The few days will be the primo color in and around Willow Campground. A few of the trees already have lost their leaves but the vast majority of the color is just now at or extremely close to peak. The color on the mountain above the camp and also along the old road between Willow and Parchers is really stunning.

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

This area continues to give me fits as a reporter, since parts of the shoreline are naked, parts are bright red, and the famous grove lining the road between the first parking area and the campground is about as gorgeous as it ever gets, a far cry from last week when there was still green dominating that spot. Anyhow, there is enough peak color here, and enough areas that are at their best, for this to get a peak rating still. But seriously, GO NOW, I doubt it will be this good next week. I did notice that the willow is almost completely naked now, a sure sign that the color wonít hold out for much longer at this location.

Past Peak (but still impressive) - Weir Pond (9650ft)

As expected, Weir Pond isnít quite as stunning as it was last week with much of the scrub aspen on the hillside above the pond having gone naked. Lots of color has developed along the road and the color is still beautiful surrounding the pond itself. Any photographer visiting the area should check this spot out Ė itís still very much worth the trip.

Past Peak (but still impressive)
- Parchers Resort (9260ft)

There is a bunch of color still around the resort, especially along the back trail towards South Lake and below on the way to Willow. However, the best color has started to falter, especially higher on the mountains where the smaller aspen have given up. There is some especially brilliant color along South Lake road next to the resort as well as on the canyon wall to the west wall of the canyon that is hanging tough and very much worth a look.

Past Peak (but still impressive)  - Table Mountain Camp (8900ft)

The color higher on the mountain and within the campground is showing past peak conditions. Lots and lots of color along the stream though, anywhere between the Stiny Loop and the campground.

Past Peak (but still impressive) - Surveyors Meadow (8975ft)

Color-a-plenty can be found in the area between Surveyors and the Tyee bridge, but last week was better than this week so it gets the past-peak rating.


Past Peak (but still impressive) - Lake Sabrina (9150ft)

The color in the back of the lake is gorgeous orange, yellow and red and a walk along the trail that skirts the west shore of the lake offers some pretty impressive views. The east shore is less so, and given how far the color is along here, I doubt much will remain after the weather this weekend.



Near Peak (50 - 75%) - Stiny Loop above Mt. Glen Camp (8600ft)

Iím not sure how much peak color weíre going to see here as the color seems to disappear as fast or faster than it appears.

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

Finally a bit of progress in the color this week with a lot more yellow showing up around the waterfall and in the groves between there at Mt. Glen Campground. This will likely be one of the highlights of next the report next week if I had to wager.

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

Very little yellowing, but he green is getting very light so Iím expecting patchy or better color within the week.

Patchy (10 - 50%) - Groves above Cardinal Village (8550ft)

The aspen blanketing the hillside from Cardinal Pinnacle down are pretty much toast, but the now that that is done, the color all down the creek from the North Lake turnoff winding down the canyon past the mine towards Cardinal Village is showing yellow. Iím looking for a great report from this area next week if the weather doesnít do too much damage.


Just Starting (0 - 10%) - Four Jeffries (8000ft)

Nothing but a few yellow branches showing right now. The aspen have lightened considerably though over last week.

Patchy Ė (10 - 50%) - Intake II (8000ft)

The canyon wall is mostly stripped now but there are some very nice patches near the dam, and a couple of the large aspen along the shoreline are starting to yellow quite nicely.

Just Starting Ė (0 - 10%) - Big Trees Campground (7800ft)

Nothing but green here right now.

All photos taken by Jared Smith - GM Parchers Resort

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 Parchers Resort

5001 South Lake Rd

Bishop, CA 93514


Call Parchers at: 760-873-4177