Fall Photo Opportunities Around Mammoth Lakes That Will Make Your Friends Jealous

Aug 26, 2022

As the summer season winds down and Mother Nature begins to hint at the upcoming winter, Mammoth Lakes explodes in a dazzling array of colorful fall foliage. Spectacular golden aspen and willow contrast against the deep greens of old-growth pine forests and rusty reds of the Sierra Nevada’s massive eastern flanks. The ethereal colors of the autumn season make it the ideal time to capture and share epic photos of this mountain wonderland. While a visit to this mountain playground is enough to make your friends jealous, photographs of the region’s iconic locations bathed in fall colors are certain to make everyone envious.

From breathtakingly scenic overlooks to exhilarating singletrack trail and serene trout-filled streams, the Eastern Sierra has a desire-inducing photographic adventure for every visitor in the autumn. After capturing your inspiring memories, make sure to give this incredible place the recognition it deserves with the #VisitMammoth hashtag. With so many opportunities to share fall’s brilliance in photo and video, a visit to Mammoth Lakes should be on your to-do list. For more information, visit the Fall Colors page or stop by the Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center on your way into town for suggestions and advice from a National Forest Service representative.

Old Mammoth and Mammoth Creek

Only minutes from sunsets, streams, and scenery

In the autumn, the deciduous trees within the town of Mammoth Lakes erupt in a brilliant display of golden yellow, auburn red, and flaming orange. For one of the west’s most convenient and unforgettable fall photo opportunities, walk or take the free shuttle bus (Red Line/Town Trolley) to the meadow at the corner of Minaret and Old Mammoth roads (bus stops 3 and 4). At this location, the cool waters of Mammoth Creek wind through a flat grassy meadow sporting endless stands of bushy willow and shimmering quaking aspen.

In order to make your friends incredibly envious, visit this vantage point in the evening around the time of sunset. Expect to discover foliage-lined stream banks in the foreground and the massive Mammoth Mountain Ski Area in the background surrounded by a kaleidoscope of pastel colors courtesy of the setting sun. In addition, the elevated bike path provides a perfect photographer’s vantage point, especially from the bridge over the creek.

By Bike or Car: June Lakes Loop and Minaret Vista

Unforgettable lakes, leaves, and leisure.

For those interested in hitting the open road, whether it be via two or four wheels, the magnificent June Lakes Loop and the mesmerizing scenic viewpoint of Minaret Vista cannot be missed during the fall foliage season. With hundreds of different aspects providing shots of gorgeous yellow and golden trees against backdrops of glacially-carved valleys studded with alpine lakes, these autumn tours of the Eastern Sierra will make every acquaintance jealous.

The June Lakes Loop (California State Route 158) is located only minutes north of Mammoth Lakes off of Route 395. This paved highway travels by several deep blue lakes encircled with brightly colored deciduous aspen. Reversed and Rush creeks, both fantastic trout fisheries, connect the lakes as they wind through endless expanses of majestic trees brimming with fall’s colorful radiance. No matter where you decide to stop and explore, an unforgettable photo opportunity awaits on the June Lakes Loop.

The Minaret Vista is arguably the most iconic overlook in the Eastern Sierra. Perched high above the town and the Devils Postpile National Monument near the end of State Route 203, this location has drawn generations of photographers with its inspiring and unforgettable views. From Minaret Vista a panorama of sinuous brilliant yellow foliage unfolds, enshrouding the San Joaquin River as it courses beneath the shadows of the world-famous Minaret Range.

For the Fishermen and Hikers: Convict Lake

Fantastic fishing, foliage, and frolicking.

Fishermen and hikers alike are continuously amazed by the majestic display Convict Lake presents visitors each autumn season. Immense vertical walls of rust-brown and gray rock rise thousands of feet above the lake, protecting the deep, dark waters like ancient sentinels. Along the shoreline, large stands of quaking aspen and the occasional cottonwood provide yellow, gold, and auburn in striking contrast against the dramatic surroundings.

On the far end of the lake, a river of shimmering aspen foliage spills into the lake, creating one of the most awesome photographic opportunities in the Eastern Sierra. Capturing a photograph of the reflection of fall’s brilliance upon the blue waters of one of the Eastern Sierra’s most famous lakes is a sure fire way to make your friends, followers, and families jealous. Add a picture or two of some massive late-season trout or a shot hiking up into the mouth of rock wall flanked Convict Creek Canyon for icing on the envy cake. Convict Lake is located only 5 minutes south of Mammoth Lakes on Route 395. For more information and for current fishing conditions, visit www.visitmammoth.com or stop by the Convict Lake general store when visiting the lake.

Jason Abplanalp

Jason Abplanalp first discovered the Eastern Sierra lifestyle six years ago and after brief tenures in Colorado and Idaho, Jason returned to the mountain town he truly loves, Mammoth Lakes, CA. As an avid skier, mountain biker, hiker, and fisherman, Jason believes there is no better place for his family to call home. Jason has…

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