Where to See the Best Fall Colors In Plumas County
August 8, 2018 by: Sharon Roberts
We know it’s still summer, but it is never too early to start planning a fall escape. Autumn is truly a spectacular time in Plumas County. The region features some of the most beautiful fall colors in all of California, making it a must-see destination for nature lovers and photographers from all across the country. The moment you step out the door, you will be greeted with a spectacular array of bright yellows, deep golds, and rich reds. Keep an eye out for Mountain Dogwood, California Black Oak, Big Lake Male, Indian Rhubarb, and more. You can see the changing colors from Late September until November. During this time, you will also enjoy blue skies, crisp air, and smaller crowds. Read on for more information about exploring the autumnal splendor of Plumas County.
Lassen Volcanic Park and Lake Almanor
There are many wonderful drives in and around Chester where you can experience the magnificence of fall without leaving your car. Cottonwoods and domestic maples line the highways leaving Chester as well as the tranquil banks of the Feather River. Following Highway 36, you’ll find miles and miles of colorful dogwood before you turn onto Feather River Drive, also known as “fire hall” because of its glowing birch and aspen trees. You can also take the roads to Warner Valley, Benner Creek, Deer Creek, and Juniper Lake for equally marvelous views. Once you are in Lassen Volcanic Park, you will have many wonderful chances to see quaking aspen, thermal pools, and stunning autumnal landscapes. We especially like the views from Hat Creek Meadow, pictured on the header image above. But wherever you go in Lassen Volcanic Park and Lake Almanor, you really can’t go wrong.
Feather River Canyon
The Feather River Scenic Highway stretches from Oroville to Quincy along Highway 70. On this breathtaking 75-mile drive, you’ll be treated to striking clusters of golden oak, blazing dogwood, and Big Leap maple lining the mountainsides. The fall colors pop even more thanks to the dark evergreen trees mixed into the landscape. Take Highway 70 all the way to Quincy for more lovely sites but don't forget to stop along the way for some great marked hikes.
Quincy/Bucks Lake Area
Start your journey in downtown Quincy, where stately mpales, sycamores, locust trees, and Virginia creeper surround the historic courthouse and neighborhood homes. Rows of majestic maples also line the front of Quincy High School. Then take Quincy Junction Road to Chandler Road to see a magnificent oak and cottonwood filled valley. From there, follow Buck Lake Road past impressive masses of dogwood and Big Leaf maple all the way to Bucks Lake, where you will find several gorgeous groves of aspen and creek willow.
This is one of the most awe-inspiring drives in all of Plumas County. Beginning at the intersection of Highways 70 and 89, you’ll head north towards Greensville. Along the way, you’ll enjoy spectacular views of hillsides covered with orange oak, red chokecherry, and colorful dogwood on one side and the rushing waters of a willow and Indian Rhubarb-lined stream on the other. As you near Taylorsville, you will have wonderful views of the valley and Mt. Hough. The oak and aspen covering the mountain ravines have been likened to “saffron waterfalls.” If you’d like to continue your journey, you can drive to Antelope Lake and beyond, or turn around and take Highway 89 to Round Valley Lake, where you’ll find more groves of dogwood, Big Leaf maple, and cottonwood.
Planning a trip to Chester, California? Book a stay at the historic St. Bernard Lodge, located just minutes from Lake Almanor and Lassen Volcanic Park.