Fall Colors in Mammoth Lakes

Aug 10, 2023

Fall in the Mammoth Lakes area is an unreal time of year. The Eastern Sierra region is laced with rugged canyons carved by rushing streams which are home to groves of aspens that produce some of the finest fall color viewing anywhere. We bet you didn’t even know there was fall color in California! You can even find gorgeous fall colors right in Mammoth Lakes. Check out these top fall color viewing spots easily accessible from town.

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Fall Colors in the Mammoth Lakes Basin

Deciduous trees in the Eastern Sierra tend to grow close to water sources, so the tree-lined lakes and creeks in the Mammoth Lakes Basin are perfect for spotting fall colors when the weather gets cold. Relax next to one of the drive-accessible lakes in the Mammoth Lakes Basin or hike to one of the many alpine lakes from trailheads in this area. The higher in elevation, the sooner the leaves will start to turn, so plan to hit high elevation lakes early in the season and work your way down in elevation as the temperatures get cooler.

READ MORE: Hiking in the Mammoth Lakes Basin

Fall Colors at Mammoth Creek & Sherwin Creek

The aspen and willow trees that grow along Mammoth Creek and Sherwin Creek make for vibrant fall color hot spots right here in town. Drive down Sherwin Creek Road or wander along the Town Loop through Mammoth Creek Park and trails near Sherwin Creek Campground to explore these fall color groves.

Please note that from August 24 through September 29, sections of the Multi use path (MUP) will be closed between the Waterford Bridge and Juniper Springs Lodge for fuels reduction. Please review the project maps for scheduled closures and detours. Be aware that tree work is extremely dangerous, so please stay out of the project area for your safety and the safety of the crews.

Fall Colors at Snowcreek Ponds

Also located along the Town Loop, the ponds at Snowcreek Resort are another great place for leaf-peeping in the fall. You can hop on the paved path from anywhere along Old Mammoth Road, or take a longer walk from Mammoth Creek Park toward the Snowcreek Golf Course, where you’ll see the fall colors at Snowcreek Ponds. The fall colors in this area can be seen from the paved path without having to access the golf course.

Fall Colors in Reds Meadow

When you’re in the mood for a full-day fall color excursion, Reds Meadow has plenty of options for fall color hikes. Depending on the time of the season, you can find fall colors on the trails to Devils Postpile National Monument and Rainbow Falls and around Sotcher Lake and the San Joaquin River. 

READ MORE: Hiking in Reds Meadow

Fall Colors on the Mammoth Scenic Loop

As the name suggests, the Mammoth Scenic Loop is perfect for a scenic drive. In the fall, aspen sprinkled throughout the forest make this area a great place to enjoy fall colors from your car as you’re coming in or out of town.


Meghan Miranda

Meghan has been living and playing in Mammoth Lakes since 2016. She enjoys any outdoor activities that her dogs can tag along for. See more of Meghan's adventures on her blog Meg Moves Mountains.

More Blog Posts By Meghan Miranda