Tracking fall colors is an art that locals know well. But to find fall colors takes patience. Some years fall colors creep up on you like a playful scamp and take you by surprise, ruffling green leaves with a dusting of yellow as early as late August. Other times, fall colors explode on the scene in unison, as if by plan. However fall unfolds in Calaveras and the Ebbetts Pass corridor, it is always a site to behold.
With fall colors come crisp, cool temperatures and welcome smatterings of rain whose fragrant hues add to the colorful sensory festival that is one of the most beautiful times of year in the Gold Country and High Sierra. To get in on this delectable fall color action, it’s time to pack your camera, light layers, and delectable warm beverage of choice as you prepare to head out for some glorious fall color.
The secret to experiencing the changing hues in this part of the country is to slow down and be ready for the unexpected. Among the evergreen conifers of the Arnold Rim Trail and Calaveras Big Trees State Park, you’ll find bursts of color in the dogwood trees, and swathes of lemon yellow at the higher elevations around Big Meadow and Bear Valley among the aspen groves.
Maximize Fall Fun:Whether getting cozy at a local winery or restaurant between fall color expeditions, make sure to explore Calaveras’ fall itineraries and biggest fall events such as the Calaveras Grape Stomp and Street Faire (Sat Oct. 6th 2018), Mark Twain Wild West Fest (Sat. Oct. 22nd 2018) and Murphys Day of the Dead Sat. (Nov. 3rd 2018).
Rather than the huge forests of color that are found in the northeast, here fall colors change the familiar sights and smells of otherwise evergreen trails, adding visual depth and dimension that leaves you asking yourself if you’ve ever visited these trails and roads before. Each year the visual nuances change in subtle waves, making it all the more fun to plan to hunt fall colors at least twice in the season to notice the nuanced changes first hand. But don’t take our word for it, go out and discover the subtle magic of these shifting colors for yourself.
Looking to get creative outdoors? Let these images from around the county and Ebbetts Pass corridor inspire you to capture your own.
Looking for dogwoods? Find the gorgeous fall color dogwoods show from yellow to orange, to red, and then to a near translucent pink (as pictured above) just before the leaves fall, anywhere from Avery to Calaveras Big Trees State Park. The best trails to find dogwoods are at Big Trees, on the Arnold Rim Trail and at White Pines Lake.