Dan's Outside

I go, I see, I do, I walk, I think, I like…

Sierra Fall Color Season About to Start

The autumn color season in the Sierra Nevada should start very soon. Actually, if you count – as I do – the dry grasses and the high elevation ground plants going dormant, it has already begun. But the real show is the turning of the aspens, mostly in the eastern Sierra, starting around the very end of September and likely peaking during the first week of the month. If conditions are right, it can last as long as the middle of October, but earlier is always better.

Several web sites have posted fall color guides in the past, and since timing is so critical it is a good idea to follow the as the time approaches. One site that is new to me is a US government site that reports on fall colors nationwide. Another that I’ve often followed in the past is the California Fall Color site, though it doesn’t (yet) appear to be active. In addition, I’ll summarize what I know and what I hear about Sierra fall color once the curtain begins to rise on this year’s show.


September 14, 2008 - Posted by | Events, Sierra Nevada


  1. Yay Dan! Thank you for this post too! And while I am limited to when I can schedule vacation time because of production schedules at work, it makes me feel that my vacation to the Eastern Sierras in two weeks will come at a great time for photography. I can’t wait! I will be following your links and I might buy one more piece of equipment. I’m thinking of a camera bag sling, something that will be easy to carry a couple of cameras, etc., out of the way while I am photographing with a third camera on the tripod. I’ll be looking at your laready posted reviews for recommendations there as well as trying bags out at K&S or SJ Camera. Anyway, Eastern Sierras here I come! YAY! :-)

    Comment by cynthialeeder | September 15, 2008

  2. Hi Cynthia:

    If you do decide to buy one of the bags I review on the gear page or elsewhere at my site, if you decide to order on the Internet instead of from one of the local shops – and I don’t discourage patronizing the locals, by the way – you can order from B&H through the links at my site and it helps support the expenses of running the site.

    I got an email from Carol, who runs the California Fall Color site, and she says that it will be updated this season, and that the updates should start soon.


    Comment by Dan Mitchell | September 15, 2008

  3. Hi Dan,

    I did buy a bag from B&H after clicking the link on your photography website to take me there. Soooooo, they better give you your cut! :-)

    Anyway, I ordered the Lowepro Slingshot 300 AW. I don’t know if it will be over kill but I want to have access for up to three cameras without having to go back to my car. Most of the time I will be shooting digital with my 4oD but from time to time I will be shooting film with both my old Canon Elan 7ne and my XPan. One of my photography hero’s, John Barclay, has some nice XPan shots here:

    I’m really looking forward to trying this camera out and I have high hopes for it. I still need to get a film scanner that iwll handle the format though. The expense with this hobby is never ending. But it sure is fun!

    Comment by cynthialeeder | September 15, 2008

  4. Hi Dan, have you seen this yet?

    Canon has announced the update to the 5D. It will be awhile before I can afford one but right now I am thinking this will be my next camera.

    Comment by cynthialeeder | September 18, 2008

  5. Hi Cynthia:

    First, thanks so much for making that purchase via my B&H links. Yes, I do get a small percentage of any sale that comes though links on my sites. It isn’t a lot – unless you want to buy a 1DsM3! – but it helps defray the costs of running this site. I’m very grateful!

    As you probably know from reading my photography web site, I’m a big fan of the Lowepro Slingshot AW bags, especially my Slingshot 200 AW. As you know, the 300 is a bit larger. I find them very convenient for flying with a subset of my gear, doing urban photography, and for certain day hikes. Congratulations on getting one – I think you’ll like it.

    I hadn’t read that particular article about the 5DII yet, but I did see the announcement earlier this week. (I wrote something about it at my photography blog.)

    For folks who do the types of photography I do, this really looks like a great camera. If you shoot subjects where rapid frame rates aren’t a huge issue, where maximum IQ is critical, and where size and weight are issues, the new 5D looks like a real winner.

    I shoot the older 5D myself. I have a “rule of thumb” about upgrades: if megapixels are important in your work (e.g. – you do landscape and print large, etc.) small increases in MP count are not significant, but when you get to around a doubling of photosites it is significant.

    Compared to the (excellent) 12MP 5D – which can certainly produce very high quality prints at 16 x 24 and even larger – the 21MP sensor of the new model seems compelling. I won’t be the first in line to get one when they hit the market, supposedly in late November, but I will likely move in that direction in the next six months or so.


    Comment by Dan Mitchell | September 18, 2008

  6. Hi Dan,

    You are welcome! It’s not much of a purchase in the scheme of things but I will try to make a point of buying all my future B&H purchases through your link. And if I end up buying the 5D Mark II through B&H, that ought to be a more noticeable contribution. And the upgrade will make great sense for me when I do it. I love my little Canon 40D but this will be more than double the pixels and full frame sensor to boot. What a deal. The trouble is I will probably have to wait at least 6 months before I can afford it myself. Oh well. :-)

    Comment by cynthialeeder | September 18, 2008

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