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Fall Color "Preview" hike and exploration trip

According to recent reports coming out of the Bishop area the aspen trees in the High Sierras are turning color much quicker than normal.  In fact, the trees above 8500 feet have already reached 75 to 100 percent peak conditions. That’s the bad news for those of you hoping to see the fall colors in a couple of weeks. The good news according to the latest reports are saying that the colors this year so far are very good with lots of orange and red at the higher elevations. So, if you can’t make next week-end or would prefer to go this week-end to see the trees at their peak you now have an opportunity to do so.

Here is the plan…I will be leaving on Friday morning around 7:00 a.m.  to camp at Browntown campground in Bishop for Friday and “maybe” Saturday night. After sitting up camp I will drive up to South Lake and do a bit of hiking towards Bishop Pass while taking pictures near South Lake which offers some of the best fall colors in the Sierras. On Saturday morning we will meet at the campground store around 8 a.m. and carpool up to North Lake and first take pictures. After taking pictures we will hike in the North Lake area, “probably”, either towards Piute Pass or Lamarack Lakes. Both hikes are located at high elevation, over 10, 000 feet, and involve moderate to “somewhat” strenuous hiking conditions due to the elevation and distance. Piute Pass is about 11 miles round trip and Loch Leven, is I believe around seven. Depending on who goes and the weather we might explore Humphries Basin which is located beyond Piute Pass.  Because these hikes are located at high elevation and it is fall in the High Sierras you can expect very cool weather especially in the mornings at the higher elevations. Bishop this time of the year generally hovers around the mid forties while it is below freezing at 10,000 and above, “in the mornings”.

North Lake last week-end

Important Note: I have listed this as a proposed trip and may cancel the trip if there is not enough interest. Also, because of the early peak in fall colors there probably won’t be another fall color trip on the week-end of October 12th if the trip on October 5th is cancelled due to bad weather because I anticipate most of the leaves will either have fallen or the vast majority of the leaves will have turned brown or black due to the early change of season this year. I will play it by ear and may do a later hike if there are other areas in the Sierras where the aspen trees are peaking. Finally, if you would like to read some of the reports about the fall colors in the High Sierras I recommend checking out the following website which is located at


*** WAIVER OF LIABILITY *** The Organizers and members in this group are not professional leaders, guides, or mountaineers. The function of the member or organizer is only to organize the trip. Each person who shows up for a trip/meetup (and their guest or guests) is responsible for his or her own safety. By attending a hike, or any other event organized by this group, you are acknowledging that you and any guests that you bring are aware that Kern River Valley Hiking Club events involve risks, and could result in injury, illness, death, and damage or loss of property. The dangers include but are not limited to: the hazards of traveling in remote areas without medical services or care, the forces of nature, the inherent dangers involved in participation in sports, wilderness travel, and social activities, and the negligent actions of other persons or agencies. You agree to freely accept and fully assume all such risks, dangers and hazards. You further agree to release and discharge the Organizers, Members of the Kern River Valley Hiking Club - Tulare-Kern Peakbags & Hikes from and against any and all liability arising from your participation in the group activities.

*** PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY *** No one in the group is a guide or in any way responsible for your comfort or safety. Please be prepared with adequate gear and supplies for the trip. Please remember that going out into wilderness has risks associated with it and you should be aware and prepared to address any changes in weather, road conditions or to look out for/avoid random acts of nature, including insects, wild animals and natural hazards. It is your responsibility to evaluate the difficulty of any activity you participate in, and decide whether you are prepared by having the experience, skill, knowledge, equipment, and the physical and emotional stamina to safely participate.

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  • Linda

    I will leave Camarillo Friday morning and would also like to meet up with you at the campground. Will we be able to share a camp spot or do we need to get our own?

    September 25, 2013

  • Gisa W.

    this cold snap should produce a nice color change. Bill I have Fridays and Saturdays off so I will leave Bako on Thursday and am hoping to catch up with you on Friday morning at the Browntown camping place. Please let me know if there are any changes.

    September 25, 2013

  • Ted M.

    Very sad that I cannot go. Must attend my brothers engagement party. Colors look like they are going to be spectacular this year. Have a great time, and keep and eye out for those sly camera eating Marmots near the North Lake parking area.

    September 24, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I would love to attend, but have two events that weekend.
    Here's hoping the weekend of Oct 4 is still a go.

    September 23, 2013

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