Top Ten Fall Forests
No less a connoisseur of the outdoors than GORP founder Bill Greer had this to say about Inyo National Forest: "If you want wilderness amidst 14,000-foot peaks, birding at the endangered sanctuary of Mono Lake, a look at some of the world's oldest life, wild trout running in mountain and desert streams, you'll find it all within an hour of the Mammoth LakesBishop area. GO!" (Read more of Bill's eastern Sierra adventures.)
From mid-September through early October, this eastern High Sierra paradise has the added attraction of some of the best fall-foliage displays in California. Particularly good hot spots are the Lee Vining area near Mono Lake and Yosemite, and Rock Creek down near Mammoth Lakes.
Fall Classics: Eastern Sierra
Into the Woods: One of the Sierra's sublime experiences is a multi-day trek into the John Muir or Ansel Adams Wildernesses; Rock Creek Canyon, brilliant in the fall, offers several routes up into the John Muir. There's also tons of mountain biking, fishing, and birding in Inyo.
On the Roads: Lee Vining Canyon Scenic Byway (Route 120) climbs through dramatic and rugged Lee Vining Canyon, connecting the Great Basin landscapes with the high alpine meadows of the Sierra Nevada. To the south, Route 168 climbs through pinyon-juniper woodlands to the world's oldest living trees, Inyo's famous bristlecone pines.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication