Mammoth Autumn: Go Now

Peak colors are achieving maximum peak-o-sity, leaf peepers.

PURE, PERFECT PEAK-O-SITY: Every pleasurable sport, pursuit, and pastime comes with its own lingo and highly specific terms. If you surf, you might drop "carving" or "gnarly" into conversation on a regular basis. Love to play role-playing games? A "natural 20" is something you're hoping to see after a roll of the die. And if you're into autumntime leaf-peeping, "peak" is a word that carries a lot of weight, and some urgency, too. For if a particular grove, or stand of lovely trees, or canyon is reported to be at peak, as in maximum fall foliage, you know you only have but a few days, or maybe a week or slightly more, to get to that spot, if it is a particular favorite. Predicting peak, like predicting a great wave or the roll of a dice, is tricky, of course, and while weather reports and past years can offer some guidance, watching what's happening live and on the ground is a smart plan. And on the ground around Mammoth Lakes? It's...

PEAK TIME, and the "Go Now!" call has been sounded by people watching the area. That means if you're a maven of the willows of Lake Mary, you best hightail it to the Eastern Sierra destination over the middle of October, for they're currently a "bright orange" as of Oct. 11, 2017. Lake George has color "on the west shore," and the aspen of Laurel Creek is "absolutely stunning," reports a Mammoth Mountain representative. As for Snowcreek Meadow? That's at 75-100% as the second third of October begins, which is extreme peakage, time-wise, so don't put off a road trip if you want to see the fall show. June Lake Loop, too, and other spectacular Mono County drives, are also getting their peak form on as we head into mid-October, so dally not, foliage fans, if you need some air, hue, mountains, peace, and extreme autumn in your world.

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