Fall is my favorite time of year because of the changing light, cooler days and the kaleidoscope of colors that burst into the scenery. Over the last several years we have developed a habit of taking a longer trip in the fall. For the first few years, we headed down to the Mammoth area and enjoyed the fall color that makes the Eastern Sierra magical this time of year. Last year, we got a little more ambitious and made the trek down to Arizona. This year, we decided to both return to our ways and change things up yet again. First, we headed out to eastern Nevada, to enjoy the autumn scenery of the Great Basin. We enjoyed the Ruby Mountains and Great Basin National Park, both of which were fantastic. After that, we headed back to Mammoth Lakes for a few days in the Eastern Sierra. The scenery the entire was magnificent.
Aspens add subtle color accents to a beautiful Ruby Mountain sunset.
Golden aspens highlight the entrance to Thomas Canyon.
Numerous groves of colored aspens line Billy Joe Basin on the east side of the Ruby Mountains.
Golden aspens line the Lehman Creek drainage below Wheeler Peak.
Fresh snow blankets Laurel Mountain. Taken from a super secret spot at Convict Lake.
New snow clings to high peaks of the Sierra’s Sherwin Range.
Fresh snow and golden aspens reflect in a still beaver pond in Lundy Canyon.
Autumn color surrounds Lower Lundy Falls.
The weather on the trip was off and on, generally gorgeous but we had a night of rain in Nevada and a morning of snow in California. The latter, in particular, actually enhanced our visit, since the mountains were covered in the winter’s first layer of snow. It made for many memorable vistas throughout the Mammoth Lakes region.
The Hike Mt Shasta kids had a grand time, of course. Whether it was building dragon villages along Lamoille Creek, scampering over granite waterfalls or fishing out of beaver ponds (with success!), it was a terrific experience and an awesome first in depth exposure to the allure of the Great Basin.
A stop on the drive reveals Hat Creek still flowing strong.
Mom and son enjoy a morning view of Lamoille Canyon.
My younger son likes the waterfalls along Thomas Creek.
Can’t pull himself away from the water, even amidst the awesome fall scenery.
My older son caught a tiger trout out of a beaver pond in Lamoille Canyon. Catch and release!
Meanwhile, my daughter spent the early morning playing in the headwaters of Lamoille Creek.
The family could not resist slab scrambling while surrounded by fall color.
Onwards to Great Basin National Park, a hike through the bristlecone pines was a necessity.
The Wheeler Peak rock glacier is overwhelmingly massive.
Sunrise at Hot Creek, with the Sherwin Range rising majestically to the west.
Stormy in Little Lakes Valley…
… and clearing up in the afternoon.
My youngest, an avid Godzilla fan, enjoyed his sushi lunch at Gojira with his stuffed Mechagodzilla and Godzilla blanket. This was his favorite part of the trip!
Fishing in Hot Creek.
Two worlds, the mountains and the desert.
Sunrise fishing at Convict Lake.
An afternoon hike through the Enchanted Forest.
The kids found an impressive fort in the woods. It’s a lot bigger than it looks.
Mom and son enjoy the sunset at Mono Lake.
A frozen, beautiful sunrise in the shadow of the Crystal Crag.
Lundy Canyon is a great place for a sunny autumn morning!
One last hike through Lundy Canyon aspens before heading back to Mount Shasta.
I don’t know what next year’s trip will entail. A roadtrip to Dallas and back has been discussed. Another possibility that has been suggested is heading back to Arizona, but this time spending the preponderance of the trip in the Sonoran Desert, which was unanimously enjoyed by family last year. Perhaps we will head up to Steens Mountain in Oregon and points east. The potential is endless.
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Your photos are gorgeous! Your family is blessed to have you as a guide.
That is kind of you to say! I am fortunate to have a wife who wants us to go out and experience these things. Without her, I’d be lost!
That looks like an outstanding trip!
It really was a great trip! I love the Sierra, but on this go around, the Rubies were my favorite part. I was thinking about a lot that you had written about the Great Basin over the years. One of the first things I did when I got back was read through all the posts you wrote that were tagged for Nevada (I bought a calendar too!). Highway 6 between Ely and Tonopah was new territory for me too, and I thought the whole drive was gorgeous. I love that whole region. It is so vast and big. I hope you are able to compile a book someday!
Thank you for the calendar purchase, much appreciated! Yeah, Hwy 6 is my personal favorite, I really came to love that drive.
You captured the Autumn colours well.
Thank you. We timed it just right!