Aspen leaves turning yellow with a mountain peak in the distance.

Fall colors barely starting in the Mono Basin

As nighttime temperatures have begun to drop into the mid-30s at the higher elevations of the Mono Basin, we’re seeing some fall colors start to show up.

Aspen groves near the top of Tioga Pass have some yellow leaves, but the best spot to visit this weekend is Sagehen Summit, which is southeast of Mono Lake out Highway 120 East. Mono County Tourism’s fall color report describes Sagehen as having 10–50% patchy color: “Lots of orange near the summit with colors cascading to green near the road.” Just north of the Mono Basin, the Virginia Lakes area is showing some changing leaves as well, also described as 10–50% patchy color in the fall color report.

Aspen starting to turn color along a dirt road.
Sagehen Meadows Road on September 18, 2021. Photo courtesy of Jeff Simpson, Mono County Tourism.

Mono County Tourism updates their fall color report every Wednesday, and it’s an excellent source of information about current fall color conditions. The California Fall Color blog is a good source as well, especially the Eastern Sierra category. Keep an eye on our Mill Creek webcam as the fall color season progresses—you’ll see the aspens and cottonwoods along the creek turn golden in the next few weeks. And you can always call us for an update as well: (760) 647-6595.

It’s a(nother) beautiful season in the Mono Basin. We hope to see you out here soon!

Top photo courtesy of Jeff Simpson, Mono County Tourism.