Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

The Hunt For Red October

The spectacle is fierce but also fleeting, so why not quest for the best?

September 30, 2007|Avital Binshtock | Special to The Times

It's officially fall, and the delicate, ephemeral dance that transforms summer's deep greens into autumn's sunset-colored hues has begun across the nation.

As the days get shorter and less sun-blessed, deciduous trees gradually stop producing chlorophyll. This allows other pigments, including carotenoids (yellows and oranges) and anthocyanins (reds and purples), the short-lived chance to shine -- or, rather, glow.

At the same time, droves of travelers gear up for the chance to soak in the season's dramatic spectral array. If you are among those seeking a kaleidoscopic foliage experience, here are several vibrant vantage points from which you can see nature awash in all its glory.

WHERE: Pohono Bridge, Yosemite National Park, California STARS OF THE SHOW: At the far west entrance to Yosemite Valley, this arched bridge crosses the Merced River. Arrive by way of California 140 or 120.The plentiful dogwood trees flaunt pinks and crimsons, while maples and black oaks become a brilliant yellow.

Color peak: Oct. 12 to 19

MORE INFO: (209) 372-0200, www.nps.gov/yose or www.yosemitepark.com.

--

WHERE: Independence Pass Road (Colorado 82), southeast of Aspen, Colo. STARS OF THE SHOW: A 44-mile, high-altitude scenic route in White River National Forest (Aspen Ranger District). Aspen trees' quivering leaves, translucent when lighted by the sun, turn a shimmering gold. Cottonwoods get an orange-tinged yellow, and scrub oaks gleam red. In a state with "color" in its name, it doesn't get much better than this. Color peak: now to Friday

MORE INFO: (970) 925-3445, www.fs.fed.us/r2/whiteriver or www.aspenchamber.org.

--

WHERE: Great Smoky Mountains National Park, south of Gatlinburg, Tenn. STARS OF THE SHOW: In the mid-elevation levels (2,000 to 4,000 feet) of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.About 100 diverse plant species, including sugar maple, scarlet oak, sweet gum, hobblebush and the hickories extend from pink to purple. Color peak: Oct. 18 to 31

MORE INFO: (800) 588-1817, www.gatlinburg.com/fall-foliage.asp or www.nps.gov/grsm.

--

WHERE: Atop Camelback Mountain, Big Pocono State Park, northeast Pennsylvania STARS OF THE SHOW: From the summit, you'll see color in eastern Pennsylvania, the gorgeous Delaware Water Gap and parts of New Jersey and New York.The view encompasses maple, birch, poplar, sycamore, oak, hickory and dogwood trees -- a stunning canvas painted with bright reds, oranges and yellows. Color peak: Oct. 12 to 17

MORE INFO: The Poconos' 24-hour Fall Foliage Hotline: (570) 421-5565; www.dcnr.state.pa.us, www.800poconos.com or www.fallinpa.com.

--

WHERE: Mt. Greylock, northwestern Massachusetts

STARS OF THE SHOW: On the Appalachian Trail in the Berkshires, east of U.S. 7.On the lower slopes, maples and red oaks are a deep scarlet; at higher elevations (the summit, at 3,491 feet, is Massachusetts' highest point), yellow birches and mountain ash steal the spotlight. Hiking trails take you up through the majestic spectrum. Color peak: Monday to Oct. 8

MORE INFO: (617) 626-1250, www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/mtGreylock.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|