Last weekend I made a long overdue excursion to Mono County, my favorite part of the world that’s an easy half-day drive from home. The east side of the Sierra Nevada provides some of California’s most colorful fall foliage — mostly aspen trees and willow bushes, bright yellow with the occasional hint of orange. October is the time to go see it. My first stop: Virginia Lakes, at the headwaters of Virginia Creek, in Toiyabe National Forest.
Aspens, Dunderberg Peak, and Virginia Lake
It’s been a dry summer here and warm until just last week, so the fall foliage displays are off to an uneven start and it won’t be a great year. But autumn, in any year, is my favorite time in these mountains.
Looking north across Red Lake to Dunderberg Peak
Red Lake, like all the others in this area, fills a small basin scooped out by Pleistocene glaciers.
Willows crawl up the slopes toward Black Peak from Red Lake
Looking up the canyon from Virginia Lake
Tim Messick Photography • Graphics
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