It’s been more than 15 years since my family started going to the Eastern Sierras every July. At first it was just a few days. Then slowly we inched our time to one week and then two. Well, a few years ago, my mom decided to visit again in September for a day or two. That has since turned into a week and she’s working on planning a trip for the spring next year! Needless to say, we’re head over heels in love with the area and I especially love catching early fall in the Eastern Sierras.
One of the most fascinating things to me about the Highway 395 corridor (check out these photos HWY 395 from Reno to Antelope Valley) is how easy it is to miss all the area has to offer. Along the highway, you’ll see wide open areas of rocks, trees, and shrubs. All those small turnouts and cutoffs, however, usually lead to some fairly epic sights and trails! Even without getting out of your car (though you should), you’ll see glorious views just a few miles off the highway.
Rock Creek Canyon
One of our favorites is Rock Creek Canyon. You cut off at “Tom’s Place” (an unincorporated community) and slowly climb your way to 10,000 feet in elevation.The Rock Creek Canyon trailhead is a popular stop for those looking for a day hike, to fish, or to get into the eastern sierras for a few days!
It’s a very popular trail in the summer and, we recently discovered, pretty popular in the fall as well!! In late September, the fall colors are just starting to appear in the Eastern Sierras. This year we saw yellow flowers growing really well along the highways and up here at higher elevation. There’s also some beautiful red leafed plants and some purple coming about – not usually colors you associate with fall, I know!
Fall in the Eastern Sierras
Fall in the Eastern Sierras is absolutely beautiful and not crowded. Sneaking in between the summer vacationers and the winter skiers and snowboarders, you’ll get to enjoy the region without running into too many people!! The days are usually sunny and comfortable (70s) and the night and early mornings can be pretty chilly (20s-40s).
Last year we visited Yosemite in the Fall on our trip. While the colors weren’t as visible up there, it was an absolute dream to visit a favorite place when it wasn’t crowded and to see some animals that aren’t usually to keen on human interaction!
Next year our visit will be about one week later, so I’m hoping to catch even more colorful changes in one of our favorite areas!