CRYSTAL BALLS, scrying devices, and mysterious objects that foretell the future? They're best stowed for another time, at least when it comes to predicting when peak foliage will arrive around Mono County. For prognosticators look to other signs to see when the shimmering show of golden leaves, mellow afternoons, and bright blue skies will grace a region already famous for its year-round beauty. But one of the best bets for predicting when peak prettiness will arrive around Bishop, Mammoth Lakes, June Lake, and other areas that are easily accessible from Highway 395? Seeing what locals are saying, and the devoted leaf peepers at the California Fall Color blog, too. And, yes, having a sense of past years, and when fall hues were brightest.
THE MIDDLE OF OCTOBER, and into the third week of the month, tends to be notably beautiful around the Eastern Sierra, and that was confirmed on Oct. 15, 2020 when Mono County Tourism proclaimed it is "peak week round one!" Monitor Pass is looking marvelous, and Virginia Lakes was incredibly vivacious as of Oct. 14. Both Lee Vining and the June Lake Loop are on their fast and steady way to pure peak goodness, but you can find all of the leafy loveliness you want on this page, which is updated often. Need some autumnal joy right now? Foliage aficionados, the Eastern Sierra has the bright sights you seek, but peak moments won't last for long.
Pictured: A past autumn in the Eastern Sierra