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Places to Fawn over Fall in California

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Fall is fast approaching which means crisp air, clear skies and new beautiful colors gracing the California landscape. Whether you're North or South there are plenty of places to enjoy the fall foliage. The key is to pick your spot and make a day of it. Don’t settle for whipping of the highway for a photoshoot in the median.

We’ve made a list of some of our favorite places to get you autumn on.

Yosemite National Park


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Yosemite is a no-brainer when it comes to breathtaking seasonal nature. Located in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains, YNP lies in East-Central Cali, North of Fresno. The park is famous for its towering Sequoia trees, sweeping mountainsides, and abundant waterfalls. You’ll be sure to peep plenty of reds and greens in the fall.

Bishop Creek

bishop creek

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Bishop Creek is perhaps the most picturesque stream of water one could find. Clear water rushing over jagged rocks, surrounded by color changing trees? Yea, it doesn't get much better than that. And the creek runs around 10 miles long. You can find it in the Inyo National Forest, which expands over 2 million acres. Bishop canyon offers camping and hiking opportunity. Be sure to fuel up before you head into the canyon, as there are no stops along the way!

Devil’s Postpile National Monument

devil's postpile monument

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Not only is this natural stone monument an incredible sight to behold, but it is also surrounded by pines, aspens, and willows. This is another Eastern California spot, located near Mammoth Mountain. This is a great spot for anyone who wants to take a scenic hike to a wonderful view. There is also a nearby visitors center and camping ground.

San Bernardino National Forest

san bernardino national forest

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For those of you searching for your nature moment in SoCal, San Bernardino National Forest is a great option for you. The forest is a 36-minute car ride from Palm Springs and includes scenic driving, hiking trails, camping, and recreation centers. It includes two mountain ranges and tons of coniferous trees to fill your heart with happiness. With 823,816 acres to explore, be sure to make a day or better yet a week out of this excursion.

North Lake Tahoe

north lake tahoe

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Lake Tahoe draws people from all over the globe to bask in fresh waters, mountains, and resorts. Another spot in the Sierra Nevada mountains, North Lake Tahoe straddles to California Nevada border. With so many amenities for travelers, NLT is a good option for a weekend away out in the mountains. An interesting feature is that Lake Tahoe is the largest Alpine Lake in North America, meaning the elevation is above the treeline, sitting at 6,225 ft. This is also a great spot for those who love combining mother Earth with the finer things. Check out the many restaurants, bars, and resorts nearby.

Mount San Jacinto Wilderness State Park

It’s hard to find that foliage in the south but Mount San Jacinto Wilderness State Park hosts a lovely hike on the Panorama Point Interpretive Trail that’s short, manageable, and ends with a beautiful view. This mile-long loop through the conifers begins at Stone Creek Campground.

mount san jacinto

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However, if hiking isn’t your game, within this park you can enjoy the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway and ogle at nature from above while you sit in your cute tram car. The aerial track reopens for the fall starting October 1st!

Avenue of the Giants

avenue of the giants

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Searching for your romantic - windows down, wind in your hair, head scarf flying as you whiz through the trees - moment? The Avenue of the Giants is your place. Avenue of the Giants refers to Highway 254 which runs right along the Humboldt Redwoods State Park on the Northwest edge of Cali. This 31-mile portion of the highway is a breathtaking cruise that features hiking spots, picnic areas, fishing and more so pack a bag and plan some stops along your way.

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden

rancho santa ana garden

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Looking for a little solace in the city? Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Gardens is a haven in an urban landscape located in Claremont, a little over 30 miles east of Los Angeles. This spot is a local, native Garden dedicated to California nature is sponsored by a non-profit. With 86 acres available, you’ll be able to take in multiple biomes and garden themes. Be sure to stop by at the end of October for their fall plant sale and take a bit of seasonal foliage home with you!

Oak Glen

oak glen

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For those of you sticking around the L.A. area, San Bernardino borders the lovely town of Oak Glen. Oak Glen is a census-designated place home to acorn harvests, apple orchards, and rustic storefronts. There are city parks, a wildlife conservatory, retail stores and farms to peruse but our personal favorite feature has got to be the apple orchards! What’s more seasonal than that? Pick yourself a basket full and take them home to bob at your Halloween party or cover with caramel to satiate a sweet tooth.

Napa Valley

napa valley

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What’s a lush outdoor Cali weekend without a trip to the Napa Valley? We all know you can get your grape squash on and see the valley from the skies in a hot air balloon but for those of us nature freaks searching to fix our fall frenzy, Napa Valley is also a wonderful place to hit the trails. The Napa outdoors guide can help you find your ideal trail. However, it should be noted that the true fall colors don’t move into this area until about November. However, the wineries are noted for also changing with the season, as grape leaves take on beautiful yellows and red.

Krista Doyle