Fall colors in northern California are beautiful, colorful, and don’t last very long. While leaf peeping in northern California is just one of many weekend getaways in northern California, it may also be the highlight of Autumn.
As the leaves change colors along Highways 88 and 89 in the Sierra mountains near Tahoe, the trees dress in their royal colors of red, yellow, and orange. Hope Valley and Markleeville are two amazing places to see the Fall colors display their colorful leaves in all their glory.
While Hope Valley is the popular destination to see the changing of the leaves for Fall, Markleeville may be the true Cinderella of this Autumn ball.
Tucked along the Highway 88 and 89 corridor, Markleeville is a small town in the northern California Sierras. While this community of 200 people comes to life during summer days, it may be its most elegant and beautiful on Fall afternoons.
While many people walk down the main street to visit the restaurants, lodging, and general market, many people may only see the colors in the background. Numerous people snap photos of the Markleeville courthouse as the trees wear their brilliant yellows. Like any small town, the beauty of its community – and its Fall colors – is found wandering the back streets and neighborhoods.
Wandering the residential neighborhood on Montgomery street, I discovered the creek that runs through town. While the gentle rumbling of water over the rocks are a peaceful lullaby to the ears, the trees roll out the red carpet to display their splendor. Stroll past the library and the children’s park for brilliant yellows and reds and then wander to the end of Montgomery street for the most spectacular view of all.
As I reached the end of the street, I paused to catch my breath as I was stunned at the view of the mountains overlooking the fields, streams, and colors of Fall. As much as I tried to capture the beauty of what I was seeing, the beauty of this place is best appreciated by the experience. However, I did my best to share a little of its Fall beauty.
Throughout the back streets and lanes of this neighborhood, majestic views of mountains and gorgeous red, yellow, and orange leaves blanketed the town. Yet I only saw a few friendly locals enjoying this royal colored Autumn landscape. Head to the top of town on School street with its old school house, jail and museum, and experience what it must be like to look down upon this sea of Fall colors from Heaven.
Fall leaves and colors in northern California don’t last very long yet its royal tapestry of red, yellow, and orange is remembered all year long. Hope Valley may be the popular king of Fall colors in northern California but Markleeville may be the one that deserves the crown.
Check out more hiking destinations with this northern California hiking guide. Find the best places to hike, waterfalls, family hikes, and more!
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