Lobdell Lake Road Photos- California Aspen Trees In Fall

Wow, this spectacular, remote location (at the right time of year) truly is the eastern Sierra’s best kept secret. I made the arduous journey out here at the most opportune time, during the brief 1-2 week window when these aspen trees “come to life”. Here are my Lobdell Lake Road photos in fall…

Dirt Road Through The Aspens
Dirt Road Through The Aspens

Well, maybe “coming to life” isn’t the best way to put it. I suppose the irony is that the leaves are actually giving up on life (for the season, anyway). Haha.

Anyhow, I took the incredibly long dirt road out here in October, having learned that the area’s aspen trees might be at or approaching peak color.

I couldn’t help but wonder if I was going the right way…the eastern Sierra in this location is incredibly…well, boring. It was nothing but vast, wide open space for miles in every direction. Barely even any vegetation to speak of, though I guess what seemed to be a relatively recent wildfire in this region could be the cause of that.

Patches of vibrant color in these dreary hillsides - Lobdell Lake Road photos
Patches of vibrant color in the dreary hillsides

In any case, finally I noticed an distant oasis of color in a sea of these dark, bleak hills. Lobdell Lake Road gradually took me up into a canyon brimming with beautiful orange and red aspen trees. The contrast of this vibrant wonderland with the sparse, lunar-like landscapes on the way up was really night and day.

Dazzling "quaking" aspen leaves - Lobdell Lake Road photos
Dazzling, “quaking” aspen leaves

It was great to park the truck and hike along the creek…and into the aspen forest. These trees always make me think of an old friend from the Great Lakes region. He referred to these Sierra aspens as “quakies”, because the leaves would dance and “quake” in the wind.

I was fortunate to have some dramatic clouds start to roll in just as I arrived. Some of these colors may “pop” even more due to the contrasted lighting and shadows.

The Aspens’ Reds and Oranges – Lobdell Lake Road Photos

Fiery aspen tree colors of orange and red - Lobdell Lake Road photos
Some Dramatic Lighting Along With The Scenery

Up to this point, the dirt road was just enough to handle in my truck, though it’s not a 4X4. It’s rear wheel drive, and quite light in the back. This often results in my tires spinning out, but I was careful on this trip, and had no problems getting stuck.

Bird's Nest I Spotted High in an aspen tree - bokeh
Bird’s Nest I Spotted High in A Tree

However, from what I hear, the stretch of road from here up to Lobdell Lake itself is incredibly rough. I saw a group of heavy duty off road jeeps heading down from up there. I would definitely not attempt continuing up the road in my little truck.

For more info, the lake (which is a reservoir, actually) is part of the Sweetwater Mountains in Mono County. I believe my trip took place during the third week of October.

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About My Photos

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– Nathan Allen

About Me

Photographer Nathan Allen

I’m Nathan Allen, photographer / creator of YosemiteParkPhotos.com (Yosemite Photos) and international travel site I Dreamed Of This. In truth, I lived in San Francisco, New York, & Singapore…but nothing compares to life in the mountains. I share my experiences HERE.