As much as we love summer camping and winter skiing and snowboarding, there’s nothing quite like fall colors in Mammoth Lakes.
Thanks to a combination of altitude, weather, and beautiful mountains, Mammoth Lakes has some of the best fall colors in California. Today, the Mammoth Bound team is breaking down when and where to see the best fall colors in Mammoth Lakes. Keep reading to see more, and then use Mammoth Bound to find the best deals on rentals and lodging in Mammoth Lakes!
The Best Places to see fall colors in Mammoth Lakes
Thanks to being in the heart of the Eastern Sierras, you can see beautiful fall colors from just about anywhere in Mammoth Lakes. However, some of the most beautiful and most accessible fall colors are right next to the Village in the Lakes Basin.
The Lakes Basin is a natural area full of lakes, paths, and trailheads for some of the best hikes in the Mammoth Lakes area. Thanks to its roads and paved walking and biking paths, the Lakes Basin is one of the best places to see fall colors in Mammoth.
If you want to hike further into the beautiful wilderness around Mammoth Lakes then the Lakes Basin is also full of trailheads that lead into the mountains and alpine lakes where you’ll see spectacular fall colors.
McGee Canyon has some of the best views in the Eastern Sierras year-round, but during fall the combination of the Aspen trees near the creek that runs through the area and those on the mountainsides surrounding the trail creates an unforgettable view.
McGee Canyon is outside of Mammoth Lakes, so you will need to drive to reach the trailhead, but don’t be put off by the drive or the length of the trail. You can hike as much or little of the trail as you want and still see beautiful fall colors thanks to the canyon’s stunning surroundings.
There are a ton of beautiful alpine lakes surrounding Mammoth Lakes, so to say that Convict Lake may be the most beautiful is saying a lot. Still, when fall colors cover the mountain slopes and reflect off the calm water in Convict Lake, it’s hard to ignore.
Plus, Convict Lake has plenty of developed areas near it to make for a great full day trip!
The Best Time to See Fall Colors in Mammoth
Mammoth’s elevation, cool weather, and mountain slopes means that fall colors tend to appear at the top of the tree line in mid-September.
From there, the color comes down the mountains with the cool air. The colors tend to be their brightest, or at their peak, during mid-October. However, the weather can have a say and make the intensity of the colors brighter or duller. Dry warm days with cool nights tend to make for the brightest fall colors!