Lots of people have been writing in to ask me “What’s Yosemite like in October?” Well…brown. Oh sure there’s a lot of plants that turn rich yellows and oranges but unfortunately it never makes a large display of color. Mostly everything is brown.
But, good news! With just a short drive over Tioga Pass you can catch a beautiful scene like this one! I took this in Lundy Canyon a favorite spot of both Ansel Adams and Galen Rowell. In fact, the whole eastern side of the Sierra is LOADED with aspens that turn beautiful yellow in the early fall.
If you want to see lots of color I advise starting at Lee Vining Creek. Take Powerhouse Road at the foot of Tioga Pass and follow it back into the pass. There’s a large meadow you can stop by and take some great shots. Then turn around and head down to 395. Head south to the June Lakes Loop and follow the loop. The colors are fabulous! When you hit 395 again in June Lake backtrack back up past Mono Lake and Tioga Pass. Check out Lundy Lakes and Virginia Lakes. Mucho color!
If you still have a full tank of gas head on up to Highway 88 and Monitor Pass. If you’re stout hearted follow Highway 4 over otherwise stay on 88 until and follow the signs into Lake Tahoe. Be sure to top off your tank and use the restrooms in Bridgeport. It’s a long drive without a gas station.
If you’re planning on doing this route drop me an email and I can let you in on some good places to spend the night.