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  • Fall Colors in the Sierra Nevada Mountains

    Fall Colors in the Sierra Nevada Mountains
    The Sierra Nevada Mountains run north to south in California, and produce great fall colors, which makes for great hiking and scenic drives. The eastern side is considered far superior to the west for fall foliage.


    Aspen trees are dominant in the Sierra Nevada mountain range and the colors range from yellow to orange. Some other hardwoods are spread around, so there is some variety of color, but yellow is the primary color. A few locations with a lot of aspens are Carson Pass, Hope Valley and Monitor Pass, along highways 88 and 89. Lower elevations tend to have more variety of colors with other hardwoods.

    Time Frame

    You may see colors from mid-September until as late as December, depending on the weather. The peak is usually in mid-October. Areas may peak at different times, so it is good to check local listings available at a visitors bureau and other community websites.


    U.S. Highway 395 runs almost the entire length of the eastern Sierra Nevada range and is considered a great scenic drive any time of year. In the fall, the aspens make the drive even more spectacular, starting around Bishop and heading north. The southern part is the most spectacular, but any area along this highway will provide beautiful scenery.

    Article Written By James Jordan

    James Jordan has been a writer and photographer since 1980. He has worked for newspapers in Arkansas, Tennessee, South Carolina and Kansas, winning state press association awards for writing, photography and page design. In 1995 he received his master's in Christian education and completed two years of Ancient Greek at the graduate level. Jordan holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism.

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