I started the day in the early afternoon, heading first to June Lake, but I figured there would also be time to head out to Convict Lake as well. It was a good afternoon!
I love the June Lake Loop Drive (Highway 158). The best color depends on finding the best week to go exploring. My first drive on this scenic byway, the leaves were long gone, but even barren aspen trees are pretty. Last year was a pretty good year. This year, I visited in the second week of October. Some pretty fall colors were out there, waiting to be appreciated!
I do love aspens!
Views of Grant Lake
Heading back to the hotel, I took a short drive out to Convict Lake. I had not driven this road before. Since it was just a short jaunt to the lake, I wandered on down the lane. It’s an area that is worthy of more time and attention.
This inquisitive little guy stopped to say hello.
I’ve never really enjoyed fishing, but this does look like a great way to spend an afternoon.
GREAT RESOURCE: As I planned this year’s trip, I stumbled onto California’s Eastern Sierra Fall Color Map (Inyo & Mono Counties). It highlights 22 scenic spots where fall color is likely to be found. I visited some new spots this year, but have more places to see in future years.
“Go spend time with the aspen trees. They’ll tell you how it works. They’ll tell you to look to your roots for energy. They’ll tell you there’s warmth below the surface.” Kaya McLaren
Aspens have always fascinated me. I love the yellow leaves in the fall, especially when they blow in the wind. But the black and white trunks fascinate me as well—they somehow exude strength and dignity. But the truth about aspens is even more remarkable than how gorgeous they are.
Each individual tree is actually part of a greater whole, a larger organism called a cluster or clone. All the trees in a grove share the same root system. Even if all the visible trees are damaged or cut down, the root system lives on, sending more trees up into the world. In fact, each tree is really an identical replicant of all the other trees on the stand. If any specific tree needs a bit more help than the others—like more water or nutrients—the root system helps make that happen. Talk about one big family!
The world’s oldest living aspen clone is in Utah, and it has lived more than 80,000 years. That’s older than Sequoias and Ancient Bristlecone Pines.
ASPENS ARE TRULY REMARKABLE!
I loved watching the leaves dance when a gentle breeze blew through.
The photos in this blog were taken on my recent drive along Highway 120 over the Tioga Pass and along the June Lake Loop off Highway 395. To learn more details about aspens, visit these two blogs: Life is an Aspen Tree and Aspen: So Much More Than a Tree.
The first time I drove to Bishop, California, to look for fall colors was years ago with my dad. We had a lot of fun wandering on some of the country roads. Now, whenever I go on this trek, I think of Dad. I figure he is with me on these drives, enjoying the fall colors once again. Last year on my trek, there was limited color; it was apparent I was a bit too late for the best viewing.
This year, I opted to go on this Nature Trek the third week in October rather than the first week in November. Just a little change in timing, but the color was much more impressive. My main goal was to drive the June Lake Scenic Loop, but I also traveled some other country rounds along Highway 395 near Bishop.
It was a beautiful, colorful autumn day!
JUNE LAKE SCENIC LOOP (Highway 158)
Views of June Lake
Quick View of Silver Lake
Along side Grant Lake
Back at Highway 395 with a View of Mono Lake
CROWLEY LAKE ROAD
STRETCH OF LOWER ROCK CREEK ROAD