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Photo: Elliott McCucken

“Notice that autumn is more the season of the soul than of nature.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche.

Bishop’s big backyard has one of the most enchanting fall color seasons in California. It is long, it is vibrant, and it’s easily accessible. Drive, hike, or bike the many roads and trails and immerse yourself in the magic and mystery of fall in the Eastern Sierra.

Even before the color change begins high up in these mountains, the feeling of fall is palpable everywhere. Mornings are crisp and refreshing and the light is brilliantly blue. The daylight hours are slowly diminishing, but the bright sunlight still warms the valley. Evenings are languid and lustrous as the setting sun shakes off its last drops of golden sunshine.

Fall is traditionally the season of the harvest. It is a time for celebration and festivals. It is also a time of beauty and the promise of rebirth that fills our souls. We witness the end of a life cycle and yet we are reassured that growth will return. The mystery of life is presented in stunning, vivid color and it appears magical no matter how many times we see it.

There is much science in the nature of fall and still it seems mysterious.

The Autumnal Equinox is considered the official start of fall. It is the day when the sun crosses the celestial equator. It is usually on or about September 22nd every year in the Northern Hemisphere. This year it happens on Monday, September 23rd. The name equinox is Latin for equal night and it is believed by many that this is the day where most of us on earth enjoy an equal day and equal night. It is not. The day we each experience that, depends on the latitude at which we live or where we happen to be. The date of equal light can be many days removed from the equinox. It is called the equilux, and it is rarely exactly equal, but it’s very close. Here in Bishop at a little above 37deg north our equilux falls on September 26th this year.

But well before either of these dates, in early to mid-September, when the light and heat of the sun become less and less, the trees that live high the mountain canyons begin their slow preparation for a cold, snowy winter. Green gives way to yellow and gold. Then as the season moves beyond the equal day and equal night the oranges and umbers may burst through. And finally, as the nights grow longer and darkness exceeds daylight, the reds and russets might explode in a final celebration of a season well lived.

Golden reflections. Photo: Gigi de Jong

And, all this time, the ebb of life washes down the mountain and out over the valley floor. The colors that appear high in the crags seem to flow down the ravines like buckets of spilled paint. Yellow and gold trickle down creek sides and creep into meadows. Then splashes of orange and red spatter the fields and sparkle in the dusky high desert like gems scattered from a broken necklace. Their colors are mirrored in the calm water of the streams and rivers and, eventually, when the last leaves fall, the landscape is washed clean in preparation for the slumber of winter.

Autumn is the vibrant illustration that allows us to notice not the passing of life, but the promise of rejuvenation. This is the gift from mother nature to our souls. Color floods our landscape and fills our hearts with joy. Our spirits soar in the presence of these bright, earthy tones. Our senses are bathed by fresh air, soft light, and the sound of murmuring water. We too are cleansed and released into the season of holiday cheer and loving celebration.

It all feels perfectly magical and yet it can be scientifically explained.

The Eastern Sierra has one of the longest fall color seasons in the US. The topography of the region means that fall begins early in the mountains where temperatures drop sooner and quicker at these high elevations. The season wanes slowly down the mountainside. The warmth dissipates following the steep contours of the escarpment and finally the air in the wide-open valley cools and winter prevails.

The weather in summer and autumn has a significant effect on the colors that will appear. The hues, their intensity, the rate of change, and duration are all greatly influenced by the balance of temperature, water, and sunlight. Science explains why the leaves change color, where it is most likely to happen, and more-or-less when it all occurs. The natural world has a natural order, but what we see is its magic and what we feel is its assurance.

Map of Fall Color Hotspots

The exact start and end of the season, and the precise color palette that will surface, are difficult to predict, but we keep a close watch on it every year. We have created a Fall Colors guide page that is packed with information, maps, photos, links, and everything you need for a fabulous fall color experience. During the color season we monitor the fall color hotspots regularly and post updated color reports. Begin your fall color search by reviewing our fall colors page here and come into the Bishop Visitor Center on 690 N. Main street, or call us on (760) 873-8405, and get your sharpie ready to take a free fall colors class with our friendly, knowledgeable staff.

From our own years of experience and countless reports from our guests, an adventure into our big backyard during fall color season is an intensely beautiful and rejuvenating experience.


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1 day ago

It’s spring. Wildflowers are blooming, roads are opening, and more folks are traveling and camping. It’s dry out there. Please please, please be careful with anything that could start a wildfire!!! 🔥 This reminder is for locals and visitors alike. It’s going to take ALL of us to prevent wildfires in the months to come.

#inyocounty #RecreateResponsibly #wildfireprevention
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So pretty. Wish I were there. <3

Beautiful

Beautiful photo!!!

I love that area!!

Beautiful

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2 days ago

In case you didn't get the memo: Mule Days is a GO this year!

In concert with health officials, they are planning for a safe event that fans and spectators will remember for years to come. In compliance with State guidelines, mandatory restrictions and capacity limits will apply to arena seating, so be sure to call now to get your reservations. Some of the popular indoor events have been canceled due to these limits such as the Concert and Opening Night Supper. Sadly, the parade is also on hold until 2022. Good news, though... Mule Days IS happening this year and is going back to the roots where Mule Days is all about the mule!

To read more, or buy tickets, visit: muledays.org/2021/04/16/2020-vision-through-the-eyes-of-a-mule-take-2/

#visitbishop #muledays
... See MoreSee Less

In case you didnt get the memo: Mule Days is a GO this year! 

In concert with health officials, they are planning for a safe event that fans and spectators will remember for years to come. In compliance with State guidelines, mandatory restrictions and capacity limits will apply to arena seating, so be sure to call now to get your reservations. Some of the popular indoor events have been canceled due to these limits such as the Concert and Opening Night Supper. Sadly, the parade is also on hold until 2022. Good news, though... Mule Days IS happening this year and is going back to the roots where Mule Days is all about the mule!

To read more, or buy tickets, visit: https://muledays.org/2021/04/16/2020-vision-through-the-eyes-of-a-mule-take-2/

#visitbishop #muledays

Comment on Facebook

I HAVE NOT BEEN TO BISHOP FOR 30 YEARS AND I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO A VISIT THERE THIS YEAR. I WAS BORN THERE AND I MAY HAVE A 60TH CLASS REUNION THIS SUMMER. WAITING TO HEAR IF IT'S GOING TO HAPPEN .

Yeah!!! The most fun you can have and still be legal? Or something like that. Stay well.

Thank you for being safe...

We will be there been going there for years Love it

They just approved The Reno Rodeo to full capacity as of two weeks ago and I do believe that the parade will happen as well

I know its a town thing & not affiliated with MD's but any word on the Craft Fair in the Park

No parade outside? Well that’s California for ya! At least there will be an event.

Yep Mule days is coming. this event is when the people are put on show and the Mules get to work out. Mules get to show how smart they are and the people get to show (well we will let you finish this sentence). Come as see for yourself what it is like to be here.

So glad to hear that!!! Miss Bishop soooo much!

The "Mule Days" bumper sticker has worn off the back bumper of the trailer.

Better something than nothing. Sorry to miss it.

Anything happening for 4th of July?

No parade?

what about the arts and crafts at the city park? is that still on?

Nick Chudilowsky

Whoo Hoo 👏

Becka Lynn Kelley

Awesome!

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5 days ago

Who’s hitting the trail this weekend?? Spring has sprung. We have some access to the high country, and warm (ok, maybe hot) temps down here in the valley. Flowers are blooming, snow is melting, and gulls are migrating north. Who loves this time of the year?

#visitbishop #mindfultraveler #RecreateResponsibly
📷 by Betsy Forsyth
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Who’s hitting the trail this weekend?? Spring has sprung. We have some access to the high country, and warm (ok, maybe hot) temps down here in the valley. Flowers are blooming, snow is melting, and gulls are migrating north. Who loves this time of the year? 

#visitbishop #mindfultraveler #RecreateResponsibly
📷 by Betsy Forsyth

Comment on Facebook

So beautiful and amazing picture thanks for sharing 🙂🙂❤❤

Just came home from there.

I DO,LOVE BISHOP FOR MORE THAN 40 YEARS

where are the flowers blooming right now?

Beautiful

Looking lovely!

Beautiful!!!!

Me!

Wish I was😢

BISHOP CA

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6 days ago

A question for our history-lovers!Inyo County has such rich history. What is your favorite historical site in Inyo County???

#inyocounty
Photo courtesy of Inyo County Shootout
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A question for our history-lovers!

Comment on Facebook

The Indian museum in Independence and Laws

I'm partial to the fish hatchery and it's history. Shame it has never recovered since 2008

I enjoyed Laws years ago with my son, also just enjoyed exploring the Owens valley in search of petroglyphs from indigenous people who lived there, sky rock, 13 moons, and many throughout the valley.

Manzanar

Whitney Hatchery..... not antique but old and wonderful

Look Chris Baird your favorite place . lmao

Schatt's for me.

Famous for Charlie

wasn't Manson held here for destruction of construction equipment years ago, thank God he is gone.....

Charles Manson walked down those steps.

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1 week ago

Here is a little mid-week break for you!! This is just past Aspendell, headed towards Lake Sabrina.
Happy Wednesday!!

Photo by Betsy Forsyth
#visitbishop #RecreateResponsibly #mindfultraveler
... See MoreSee Less

Here is a little mid-week break for you!! This is just past Aspendell, headed towards Lake Sabrina. 
Happy Wednesday!! 

Photo by Betsy Forsyth
#visitbishop #RecreateResponsibly #mindfultraveler

Comment on Facebook

Took that road every year we camped at Benton crossing.

Will be there soon for Mule Days

OMGoodness! Lucky to know that road so well! Love it, right, Robert Yanasak?

I’ve been there once... it’s beautiful.

Crisp mountain air! I can feel my lips chapping already!

How lovely!

Wish I was there right now! ❤️🛤

Love road shots

Beautiful!!

Love it

I visited there back in 2014! It was serene! Miss is ! Planning to take the kiddos when they can put up with a 4hs drive lol 😂

Looks Awesome.

Awesome.

Brings back wonderful memories living up in Adpendell

Up up & away!

HOME!

I love Aspendale

One of my goals is to buy a house out there one day.

I’ll be there next week Visit Bishop

Know the area so well.

❤️❤️

Hey “ hop- a - long” how we doing?.I’m going with the later “ Say What” ya?.

Beautiful 😍

Neal Tipton

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