HOW MANY LEAVES... cover the trees that cover the mountains around Mammoth Lakes and the wider Eastern Sierra region? No one would dare task you with going out, with some sort of high-tech leaf-counting doodad, to discover the definitive answer to this admittedly absurd question. But ask a leaf-peeper visiting the areas along Highway 395, up around Mammoth, June Lake, and other Mono County towns, how many colorful, eye-popping leaves they saw and the answer will surely be "millions," if not "billions." That might be poetical license taken by someone who was recently blown away by natural beauty, it is true, but finding caboodles of colorful branch-tastic specimens around October is going to 100% happen in the area. Where they are, and the timing of it, is always the question mark, but the upper elevations of Mammoth were already beginning to pop earlier in September (yes, even ahead of that impressive snowfall on the final day of summer 2017). But where should you go, leaf lovers, now that October is nigh?
MONO COUNTY... recently updated its visitor-oriented Fall Color Guide & Map, so studying that is a smart move for anyone calling upon Mammoth and environs during the tenth month. Also? Regular updates on fall foliage are live on the Mono County site, with a few "go now" suggestions for the final day of September and very early October (Rock Creek, Sagehen Summit, and more). But so much foliage-tastic goodness is still to come in the area, though come quickly, it all will, and definitely in the window of October to early November, depending upon the elevation. So hem not, nor haw not, if you haven't seen the glorious fall display around Mammoth Lakes and the towns dotting Mono County. Fact: Autumn ends, and the snows will return. And opening day at Mammoth Mountain is just over a month away, on Nov. 9.