California in Autumn
Highways winding along a river gorge, laced with trees who's leaves are changing to brilliant golden colors. Take the time to enjoy what little bit of the fall season that California has to offer. Plenty of places for picnics & hiking. Take a weekend away from everyday routine. Relax, enjoy & see the seasonal beauty.
- Biking these
days couldn't be better! Cooler temperatures & slight breezes
make riding very pleasant. Grab that mountain
bike & head for the local hills.
- Camping is still great
in the desert,
areas, but temperatures are really starting to drop in the mountains.
- Hot Springs
are nice to visit this time of year. There are plenty of types
to choose: from primitives to resort spas.
- Explore the California backroads
& get that SUV a little dusty! Plenty to see along these
remote paths that lead to the ultimate in seclusion. Bring a
picnic lunch &
make a day of it.
California Towns with Autumn Leaves!
Most mountain towns have creeks that are lined with fall colors in early season. Aspens are more likely is Northern California & the Eastern Sierra, while Cottonwoods tend to appear more in SoCal. Some of the oak foothills region of the countryside have a mixed variety of trees that do change colors. A hike through such an area is a beautiful sight. Pack up a picnic lunch & head to the nearest town. Then relax in a local cabin for the evening.
Cool Overnight Stays, in Fall Color
More Autumn Destinations in California
Autumn Scenic Drive in NorCal
Northern California's Scott Valley is a nice drive in October. Perfect visuals for fall colors in the Autumn months. Take a self guided driving tour. Take the Gazelle - Callahan Rd, off of I-5 (N of Weed), over ridge and into Scott Valley. This valley is a pallet of golden colors with oranges and browns complementing. Continue driving from Callahan north to Etna, Fort Jones and over Forest Mountain to Yreka California.
Hwy 168 W of Bishop - Alpine Lakes & Aspendell
US 395 N of Bishop - Pine Creek Canyon
US 395 N of Bishop - Lake Crowley
US 395 N of Bishop - Rock Creek Canyon
US 395 SE of Mammoth - Laurel Lakes Road (dirt)
Hwy 158 N of Mammoth - June Lake Loop
Hwy 49 N of Grass Valley - Yuba River Downieville
Hwy 120 W of Mono Lake - Lee Vining Canyon
Hwy 120 Yosemite NP - Yosemite Valley
Hwy 89 Burney Falls - Lake Britton Dam
US 395 SW of Bridgeport - Twin Lakes
US 395 S of Bridgeport- Green Creek Rd (dirt)
US 395 S of Bridgeport - Dunderburg Meadow Rd (dirt)
Driving Directions: Map out one destination to another, specify directions and alternate routes, travel options. Check CalTrans for road conditions.
GoogleMaps, Yahoo Maps, MapQuest are NOT the most dependable source for rural back roads destinations, so make sure to get some other printed maps to cross reference your journey.
These campgrounds are located in or near aspen groves & are simply spectacular during the fall months. The higher elevation terrain (7000'-9000') will change earlier in the year (as soon as September), whereas the lower countryside may wait until late October. Pack warmly, cuz the cooler temps at night (20-30 degrees) is what makes these aweome, little autumn leaves change colors. The change can happen very fast (in days), when the early season snows move in - usually a minimal dusting by October.
free camping in California
Primitive camping can be especially nice in Autumn. Less crowds means you'll most likely get the best camp site, no matter how late you arrive. Hunters and fishermen are out in force, so use extra caution on where to pitch a tent. Temperatures will be dropping, so bring your winter bag. See amazing free camping in high elevation aspen trees: Green Creek, W Fork of Coyote Creek on Coyote Flat, Baker Creek, Levitt Lake, Parker Lake Road #1S25a.
NOTE: a campfire permit is required to have a fire on the back roads. California camp fire restrictions are higher in late summer thru to winter months. Visit the nearby ranger station or call ahead to verify conditions and restrictions.
Autumn in Northern California
From the Sacramento River from Castle Crags State Park, this
area offers amazing colors in the fall season. Small town charm
& great fishing is just some of what the area can offer.
Visit Yosemite with Autumn Colors & No Crowds
Yosemite for Fall: This is one of the best times of year to visit this popular park. The summer crowds are gone & the winter snow has yet to fall. Warm autumn colors against the granite walls are a spectacular sight to see. Night are getting chilly & day temperatures are perfect. Bike rentals are available with paved paths winding throughout the park. October can often bring an early snow, so be sure to check the weather.
- bike rides
- rock climbing
- river cabins
- mountain lodges
California Autumn Road Trip Photos
June Lake Autumn 2000
Autumn Fishing Trip 2004
Early Autumn 2009
Snowy June Lake 2010
Eastern Sierra Autumn 2012