Fall colors are outstanding in the Sierra Foothills. Read our tips on how to catch the best views with lots of rich color.
This week, Fall presented itself with crisp, cool temperatures and a welcome rain shower, just what we needed to kick off one of the most beautiful times of year in the Gold Country and High Sierra. It’s time to pack your camera, paints and pencils and 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 at the higher elevations around Big Meadow and Bear Valley are aspen groves.
Rather than the huge forests of color that are found in the northeast, here the visuals are more subtle, which makes it all the more fun to go out and discover them for yourself. Let these images from around the county inspire you to go explore.
Closeup of a dogwood leaf and its patterns. You’ll find plenty of these on the Arnold Rim Trail, Big Trees State Park or anywhere in the woods between Arnold and Camp Connell. | Jason B Smith
A long view in Calaveras Big Trees State Park | Jason B Smith
Dogwood leaves carpet the forest floor on a morning bike ride on the Arnold Rim Trail | Jason B Smith
Wild berry vines and oak trees near Vallecito in the fading light | Jason B Smith
Take a walk through a vineyard to explore the wild colors of the grape vines – some varietals are more colorful than others – these are petite sirah. | Jason B Smith
A cold fall morning brings the steam off a meadow in Avery, highlighting the golden tones of the grass. | Jason B Smith
An afternoon workout framed by golden aspen trees in Big Meadow, near Spicer Road in eastern Calaveras County. | Jason B Smith