The June Lake Loop
June Lake Loop
The June Lake Loop road is found just south of the town of Lee Vining on Hwy 395. This is where Highway 120 and the Tioga Pass lead out of Yosemite National Park. It is one of the Eastern Sierra most famous fall colour locations. The road itself is only 16 miles long, looping back to Hwy 395 just 6 miles after where it starts.
Many of the cottonwoods and aspens were at their absolute peek the day we were there even though it was the third week of October. Usually colour peaks here in early October. We just got lucky.
I have this thing for dead trees, especially when they're contrasted with the vibrant fall colours and reflection in Silver Lake.
Remarkably, there are still spots in the Sierra which in late October hadn't lost their snow from the previous winter. The shinny spot on the left is such an ice field.
Any other time of year and one would have driven by this mountainside without a second glance. But for a few days during the third week of October 1999 the extreme colour of the aspens and the cottonwoods made it a magical place.
A wonderful study in texture and contrasts. Not more than a week later the splash of colour on the hillside will have disappeared, but the pines will remain unchanged for quite a while and the rock for a whole lot longer.