If you felt like summer passed you in a blur of smoke and haze, you didn’t imagine it —autumn is already well underway.
Temperatures are falling at night and days are filled with crisp, fall air. If you missed the blue skies of summer and find yourself longing for some vibrant colors before a blanket of white covers the mountains, fall in the Sierra Nevada isn’t to be beat.
Here are some of outdoor reporter Amy Alonzo’s and photographer Jason Bean’s favorite places to view fall colors in the region. Some involve hiking or biking while others require a scenic drive. But all are worth visiting — at least in our opinion.
By foot, mountain bike or horse
Marlette Lake near Spooner Summit is a standout hike or mountain bike ride with aspen trees lining the trail and the east shore of Marlette Lake. The area is reached via a five-mile-long trail, but even if you never make it to the lake, views along the path remind you what season it is.
Sitting atop the highest year-round accessible pass in the Sierra, Tahoe Meadows on Mt. Rose Summit offers easy access to golden hues. A 1.3-mile nature trail leads around the meadows, offering a convenient way for families and those looking for a shorter hike to enjoy the season.
Located in southwest Reno off Mt. Rose Highway, Thomas Creek, Jones Whites and Dry Pond trails offer short walks or all-day hikes resplendent with fall foliage. The best places to view the colors are near the Dry Pond and Thomas Creek trailheads off Timberline Dr.; the areas surrounding Churches Pond and Dry Pond; and on the backside of Jones Whites.
This portion of the article is shared as part of our collaboration with the Reno Gazette-Journal. This story was originally published on October 6, 2021, and written by Amy Alonzo.