Fall colors are glorious at Mono Lake right nowSeptember 29th, 2016 by Nora, Lead Naturalist Guide
Fall is officially here! Crisp air, blue skies, and multicolored aspen groves bring visitors from all over to enjoy the Mono Basin and soak up the beauty of the area as the aspen trees turn from glittering green to gold, clementine, and crimson.
Why do leaves change color in fall? The short story is that after spending all summer photosynthesizing and storing sugars for new growth next spring, leaves eventually get blocked from transporting nutrients in and out towards the branches and buds, and the chlorophyll (the green pigment that is essential for photosynthesis) degrades, so yellow and orange pigments that have been masked in the leaf all summer are revealed. Sugars that are trapped in the leaf trigger the production of a red pigment in some leaves. How cool is that?
The Mono County fall color guide is a good place to check which places in the area have good fall color. Right now they’re reporting peak or near-peak fall color at Parker Lake, Walker Lake, Tioga Pass, and Virginia Lakes. Autumn is a very busy time in the Eastern Sierra, so if you explore these areas, please practice Leave No Trace principles to protect these groves for future enjoyment.