IF ONLY WE HAD SOME SORT OF GUIDE... People who "chase" certain events in nature know the value of on-the-ground or in-the-water information. We're talking about those who love to see a lightening storm in play, or find the most surfable waves, or admire hidden waterfalls during the couple of weeks a year they might run. Leaf-peeping, or the seeking of fall foliage, is not often paired with "chase" or any other breathless term, but that's a bit of what autumn aficionados do: They chase down rumors of what groves of aspens are turning yellow in what mountain-snug valleys and they act on the intel they've received. Because if you love brilliant leafage you know that a week can change things, drastically, especially if a wind swirl kicks up or early snow falls. Some of the more foliage-rich places in our state want to lend a hand in the intel department, though, which is a major help to the leaf chasers -- er, leaf peepers. Mono County is at the forefront of the foliage wave each late summer, posting photos of when and where crimson-bedecked branches are showing up and offering a link to its free downloadable foliage guide.
WALKER CANYON TO JUNE LAKE: All of the hot spots for autumn action are listed on both the guide's main page and in the guide itself, with percentage updates as to what's starting to turn where. As of early September everything is still looking green, green, green along Highway 395 and into the Eastern Sierra, but Mono County Tourism posted some snapshots from the Rock Creek area. For sure, emerald leaves still dominate, but in a week when much of the state is still rocking temperatures in the 80s and 90s, it is cooling to see those golden signs of fall peeking through.