Fall Colors: Where to Leaf-Peep During the Shutdown

Where should you go to see the brightest yellows, reds, and golds?

UNRESTRICTED NATURE: The natural wonders and vista-packed destinations of the Golden State can feel endless at times, or perhaps the more romantic word is boundless. Boundless parks for exploring, boundless valleys to hike across, and boundless beaches to wile away a summer's day. But with the government closure on Tuesday, Oct. 1, a few boundless spots suddenly had boundaries. Yosemite National Park asked visitors to leave and other parks around the state had to quickly change things up in terms of reservations, future plans, and outlooks. That this is happening at the height of fall's leaf-peeping season has sent many a traveler back to the guidebooks and internet, to find new places to head out. But just because a few spots that are autumnally blessed happen to have hung up the "call back later" sign doesn't mean all spots have. There are many good places to see the season's red-and-golden show, like...

MONO COUNTY: A new fall color guide & map has been released by the county, a county that is home to several wonders that remain open in the shutdown (both Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve and Bodie State Historic Park are accepting visitors, as are several other destinations managed by the state park system). Headed for the area, though probably not by way of Yosemite at this time? Check out the guide first. And/or...

NEVADA CITY... It's one of the jewels of Gold Country, and the Golden State, and it should be getting some deep hues later in the month. Plus? Funky dining, funky movie-watching, and general chillaxing is something that Nevada City just does well. You want this, right?

JUST KEEP AN EYE... on the California Fall Color Facebook page if you're really keen on seeing valleys full of aspens or cottonwoods. The masterful leaf-peepers behind the foliage-loving site plan on keeping fellow fall fans in the loop as to what federal destinations are closed.

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