Suggestions for Aspens in Sierras : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I live in the SF Bay Area, and haven't been in California long enough to know where the best, and most convenient aspens will be in the coming weeks.

2 questions:

Where are the best aspens to photograph, when they start turning colors?

Where is the closest aspens, given my location?

I was in the high sierras last weekend, near Tioga Pass and Mono Lake, but I suspect there might be more aspens closer to the Lake Tahoe area.

Thanks in advance for your responses!

-- Andy Biggs (, September 05, 2001


The Eastern Sierra from Bishop up north to Bridgeport is probably the best area. Plan to be there around the 2nd week of October. Peak time varies from year to year. Check CalPhoto excellent webpage for frequent updates: My favorite locations are around Mono Lake: Conway Summit, Lundy Canyon, June Lake Look. Mono Lake and Bodie also add to the photo opportunities. As in the past few years I am heading there with other members of our camera club (Contra Costa C.C.). Many photographers head up to Mono Lake in October so it's a good idea to book a motel room in advance. Camping sites are also available.

-- Georges Pelpel (, September 05, 2001.

Aspens are Aspens are Aspens! Tioga/ Mono lake is hard to beat! Go south on Hwy 395 and take the June lake loop. Go back towards Lee Vining and before you get to 120, take the road that leads into the Horse Meadows Wilderness reserve then take off on foot. Go back up 120 towards Yosemite about 3 miles from 395 and take the only dirt road that goes up the morane (sic?) to the right. Sign will say Boy Scouts of America I think. Go up the switchbacks to the plateau and follow to large groves of very large mature trees. This is private property on either side of the road, so give due respect. Farther north there's a road that takes off by lake Topaz and climbs up to Markleeville. Continue on to Hope Valley, Luther Pass, and finally Hwy50 at lake Tahoe. This just scratches the surface so buy lots of Velvia! At the "craft fairs" in the eastern sierra communities, everybody's aspen pictures look like everybody elses. All shot within about 4 feet of their car parked along HWY 395. Put your back pack on and get something different. Good shooting! Jim

-- Jim Galli (, September 05, 2001.

Thanks for the responses, so far.

Are there any decent places to go on the west side of the sierras? It looks like my work schedule will necessitate only day drives from the Bay Area.

Thanks, again

-- Andy Biggs (, September 05, 2001.

Not many aspen trees on the west side of the Sierra. Nevada City has some maple trees worth the trip from what I heard. Yosemite Valley could be nice too but nothing as spectacular as the Eastern side. It's really worth the trip to cross the mountains. Seeing the mountain covered with gold, oranges, and some reds can be quite spectacular in a good year.

-- Georges Pelpel (, September 05, 2001.

It's Sierra, not Sierras. Sierra is already plural.

-- J. Wolfe (, September 06, 2001.

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