Travel

Want to find the best fall colors in California? This map shows you where to look

It’s October in California, which means it’s time for pumpkins, Halloween decorations, power shutoffs, and peak fire season.

It’s also time to look at some autumn leaves — which, yes, California has in spades.

CaliforniaFallColor.com, a website run by travel writer John Poimiroo, hosts a crowdsourced map that shows where you can go in California to see the fall foliage. The website’s tagline is “Dude, autumn happens here, too.”

The map key shows where the leaves are just starting to change, where fall colors are patchy and where they’re out in full force.

As of mid-October, much of the fall color is concentrated in the Sierra Nevadas, from around Kings Canyon National Park up to the Lake Tahoe area, according to the map. Fall colors are also patchy in the northern and southern parts of the state.

In addition to the map, CaliforniaFallColor.com also offers “color reports” from around the state, which include pictures of the foliage and descriptions of what people can expect to see.

The reports and photos on the website are all provided by “volunteer color spotters, public lands agencies and destination marketing organizations,” according to the website’s About page. “We are unable to confirm the accuracy of any report and are dependent upon our color spotters for their veracity.”

CaliforniaFallColor.com also cautioned that different people perceive leaves differently, meaning that what looks like peak color to one person may look like past-peak color to another.

“When in doubt, look at the date a photograph was taken as guidance to that location’s degree of color change,” the website said.

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Gabby Ferreira is a breaking news and general assignment reporter at The Tribune in San Luis Obispo. A native of Houston, Texas, she was a reporter in Tucson, Arizona; Indianapolis, Indiana; and Palm Springs, California, before moving to San Luis Obispo County in 2016.
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