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Home » Blogs » Adventures with Candace » Leaf Peeping on the East Side: Lee Vining Creek, Lundy Canyon, Dunderberg Meadow, McGee Canyon

Leaf Peeping on the East Side: Lee Vining Creek, Lundy Canyon, Dunderberg Meadow, McGee Canyon

We headed over to the east side of the Sierra to check out the fall color. I know, we did the same thing last week, but we went to different areas and found the most beautiful orange aspens to share with you.

Distance: About 300 Miles Roundtrip

Dificulty: Easy

Elevational Range: 7,200′ to 9,960′

Date: September 28, 2015

We drove east over Tioga Rd., making a stop at the 9,000′ elevation sign just east of Ellery Lake. There is a wide spot there, across from the trailhead to Warren Canyon and we walked down the old, abandoned road to see how the color had changed from our stop at this spot last week. There was some change.

Looking toward Tioga Pass area from the Warren Canyon 9,000′ pullout area. Deeper yellow and oranges this week.

Next, we drove down to the pond near the lower campground to see how the water level was looking.  It wasn’t looking so good but we did capture some nice reflections in what was left of that pond.

Lower Lee Vining Creek

Lower Lee Vining Creek

Lower Lee Vining Creek

Lower Lee Vining Creek

We continued on our way to Lundy Canyon. The color reports that we had pulled said that it was 10 to 50% with fall color. I don’t know who came up with that percentage but it was way high. The good news is that the color around the beaver dam is yet to happen.

Lundy Canyon Beaver Pond

Lundy Canyon Beaver Pond

Lundy Canyon Beaver Dam

Lundy Canyon Beaver Dam

Lundy Canyon Beaver Dam

Lundy Canyon Beaver Dam

We headed back up Virginia Lake Road because the color reports said it was looking good and it was.

Virginia Lakes Road

This time we headed over to Dunderberg Meadow. There is a dirt road that has a sign on it before we got to Virginia Lakes and we turned north on it. We just drove along, stopping when we saw nice color. Wow is about all I can come up to describe the aspens in this area.

Aspen Leaves Dunderberg Meadow

Orange Aspen Tree Reaching up to White Puffy Clouds

Aspen Leaves Dunderberg Meadow

The wind would come up at times and the aspen leaves glimmered as the moved.  They also made a subtle sound all of their own in that wind. If you excuse the wind noise, I took a little video for you to experience those leaves moving with the wind.

Of course, were all taking pictures, trying to capture the gorgeous colors.

Taken at Dunderberg Meadow

Gail Taking Pictures at Dunderberg Meadow

Taken at Dunderberg Meadow

Debra Taking Pictures at Dunderberg Meadow

Candace Taking Pic Aspen

Candace Taking Pictures Dunderberg Meadow (Photo by Debra Sutherland)

I looked a little closer and there was also beauty in the trunks and in the fallen leaves.

Taken under the aspen trees at Dunderberg Meadow

Engraved Aspen Trunk With Fallen Leaves at Dunderberg Meadow

As much as we would have loved to stay in this area and explore up the road, we decided that we should find a good spot to have our lunch. Gail came up with a great spot along Big Virginia Lake. There was a light wind, which didn’t allow for reflections on the lake.  But every once in a while that wind would stop and I could capture the reflections of the yellow aspens in the lake.

Big Virginia Lake Aspen Tree Reflections

It was time to head for our last stop of the day. We drove south of Mammoth Lakes to McGee Canyon.  The color reports said it was 10 to 50% color.  I found out the next day that this color was several miles up the trail and not near the trailhead where we were.  The fall color was barely starting but it was still very pretty.

McGee Canyon

That fall color is happening at the higher elevations.  I just love this time of the year and love chasing that color down the hill.  I am looking forward to seeing what surprises fall has in store for me next.

Prior Blogs in the Area:

Leaf Peeping on the East Side: Tioga Pass Area, Green Creek, Virginia Lakes

Hiking With Sally and Raven to Green Creek October 13 2014

Leaf Peeping Along the Eastern Sierra October 3, 2014

Leak Peeping in Lundy Canyon October 5, 2013

Sources:

California Fall Color Eastern Sierra

Mono County Fall Colors

 

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