Olsen Barn with trees in background full of fall colors

photo Vanessa Vasquez

Experience California Fall Colors

ANOTHER AWESOME AUTUMN HAPPENING NOW

Fall colors start to show throughout Plumas County, usually in late September, and last until mid-November. Plumas County has a diversity of trees, plants, and a wide range of elevations, creating some of the best “leaf peeping” in California. Plan a visit to Plumas County and enjoy an Awesome Autumn without the crowds. Check out our Fall Colors Traveler Guide to learn more about the best places to go and what to look for, along with this Map and Driving Directions.

UPDATE 11/7/2023

Awesome autumn has been lovely in Plumas County in 2023 and it’s not over yet. The cottonwood have finally decided to turn yellow behind Olsen Barn Meadow along the banks of the North Fork Feather River. Betty Bishop, who lives near the meadow, is an excellent photographer but hasn’t been able to get too excited about fall colors in her neighborhood yet this year. She was finally able to capture some good cottonwood colors a couple days ago and shared them with us. There is a flat, two-mile loop trail around the barn adjacent to the river if you want to get close to those cottonwood.

We also received this lovely photo from Jake Edwards (@Scenescapery) of a rainbow in Indian Valley a during a storm showing some beautiful yellow-orange cottonwoods.

Coming up the Feather River Canyon (check Hwy 70 road conditions) the oaks are still looking good. While Quincy has definitely reached it’s peak, there are still some nice looking yellows and oranges and it would still be worth your while.

Now is also the time to start planning for your holiday adventures in Plumas County. It has so much to offer this upcoming season, starting with Christmas Tree cutting, holiday specials in local shops, and fun community events.

Christmas tree permits are now easy to get online. Come up for a few days with your family and get your perfect tree for only $10. Come up on Thanksgiving weekend and enjoy the local shopping.

Christmas Tree Permit Information for both Lassen and Plumas National Forests.

Locally owned gift shops can be found in Quincy, Crescent Mills, and Chester. In many cases you’ll discover one of kind gifts you won’t find anywhere else–sometimes locally crafted right here in Plumas County. Join the Holiday Shopping Tour in Chester (and beyond!) November 10-11, and loop around to Quincy if you have the time.

If you are looking for Hallmark-type holiday events, join one of the Christmas tree lightings in one our festive mountain towns.

And winter is coming to Lassen Volcanic National Park and the Lakes Basin area near Graeagle:

UPDATE 11/3/2023

It seems as though our leaf peeping is winding down for this year’s Awesome Autumn. Next week we will be sharing more post that will segway into what Plumas County has to offer after fall colors.

This fall there were some fantastic colors and some disappointments. Right now there are still some good colors in the oak woodlands of Indian and Genesee Valleys, the Feather River Canyon, and along Deer Creek.

Here were some high points from this year:

Some low points this year:

  • The Aspen Grove near Haskins Bay at Bucks Lake lost most of its leaves before giving us their usual stunning yellow display
  • Cottonwood leaves at Olsen Barn Meadow in Chester didn’t turn their usual vibrant yellow before dropping
  • Oaks surrounding American Valley (Quincy) were more brown than their usual shades of orange

Here is a recap of some of our best Awesome Autumn photos this year, starting with the Virgina Creeper back in September:

We’d like to thank our incredible leaf peeper photographers that make these fall color updates possible. We couldn’t do it without them.

  • Jake Edwards (@Scenescapery) of the Lake Almanor area
  • Michael Beatly (Meadow Vally Design Photography), who also shares on CaliforniaFallColor.com
  • Mark Kidder of Quincy
  • Jeff Titcomb of Indian Valley and Quincy
  • Bob Blesse, who just moved back to Quincy and made several trips throughout the county to capture the most current fall colors
  • Karen Kleven, who tries to find little-known places for leaf peeping
  • Holly George, who hikes a lot throughout the county and is always glad to share
  • Britteny Donney (Britteny Donney Photography) of Eastern Plumas County
  • John Sheehan of Quincy
  • Lee Anne Schramel of Indian Valley
  • Liz Ramsey (Liz Ramsey Photography) of Quincy
  • and everyone else who shared their photos and updates with us!

And if you’re still not ready to give up leaf peeping, Highway 32 (west of Chester) and Genesee still have some great peak color:

UPDATE 10/31/2023—Happy Halloween!

Fall is more than just beautiful colors. It’s also Halloween, apple juicing, and Harvest and Hunter’s Moons.

The mountain towns of Quincy, Taylorsville, and Chester come alive with costumed kids getting their fill of treats. Here are some shots of Quincy Chamber’s Safe Trick-or-Treat event today:

There are many varieties of apples in Quincy, Meadow Valley, and Indian Valley—some planted years ago by pioneers. So what do you do with an abundance of apples? Make juice!

Now for your fall color updates: 

Downtown Quincy is past its peak but still quite lovely, especially if you like to shuffle through fallen leaves, but the surrounding area is covered with oaks that have turned beautiful shades of orange and yellow. It’s an excellent time for mountain biking on the South Park trails maintained by Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship. We still recommend the Cascades Trail for hiking, which is 5.1 miles from the Quincy airport to the road marked Old Highway. Turn right and follow the paved road 0.7 miles east past several homes. Then turn left onto a rough dirt road and go 0.4 miles to the parking area and trailhead.

Driving north on Highway 89 from Quincy to Indian Valley (Taylorsville and Greenville), Michael Beately, one of our favorite leaf peepers, stopped by Indian Falls to check out fall colors last weekend and wasn’t disappointed. He said Indian creek is lined with colorful wild grape, willows, big leaf maples, and grasses. Still at 100% peak. 

Victor at Pine Aire Resort in the Feather River Canyon says around each bend in the road the oaks are lovely. He mentioned that the construction stops weren’t too bad—15 minutes or so. Now is definitely the time to explore the Feather River Canyon!

In the Northwest part of Plumas County, Chester is still very showy with golden cottonwoods along the North Fork of the Feather River near First Avenue. Although the cottonwoods behind Olsen Barn aren’t colorful this year, it is still a nice place to stop and explore the barn and walk the loop trail. 

Leaf peeper Jake Edwards (@Scenescapery) reports that Deer Creek off of Hwy 32 is at peak.

UPDATE 10/26/2023

The Indian Valley area suffered substantially from the 2021 Dixie Fire, but right now it’s looking beautiful even with the burn scars. As you drive through Greenville, which was almost totally destroyed in the fire, you will see some wonderful signs of new life, just like you’ll see new signs of life in the surrounding charred forests. Places to stay are limited because several were destroyed in the fire, but Wild Plumas is still open for glamping. You can also find lodging in Quincy or Chester—both are an easy drive to Indian and Genesee Valleys. Here are some recommended routes and activities:

  • Genesee Road from Taylorsville west to Flournoy Bridge is great for driving or cycling. (Map)
  • From Flournoy Bridge, head up Nye Road for hiking or mountain biking with awesome autumn views of Genesee Valley. (Map)
  • Driving through Taylorsville, have breakfast at Grizzly Bite or a libation at the Taylorsville Tavern.
  • Grab sandwiches at Young’s Market and take them down the street to Taylorsville Campground for a creekside picnic.
  • Stop by The Spot in Greenville where food trucks gather and offer a variety of great food and beverages.

Check out these beautiful shots of Indian Creek, which runs from Genesee Valley down through Indian Valley and down into the Feather River Canyon:

As you can see above, the oaks are the prominent fall colors right now and will be for the next few weeks. Oaks can be found throughout Plumas County at elevations of around 2000-4000 feet. You can find oak leaves in a variety of colors from yellow to orange to red. 

For some great leaf peeping in oak woodlands:

  • Drive on Highway 70/89 from Graeagle to Quincy. (Map)
  • Mt. Hough trails are epic for hiking, mountain biking, and dirt bikes. (Note: the Mt. Hough Crystal Lake Road will be closed on Oct. 31 from approx. 7am-2pm)
  • In American Valley (Quincy), the surrounding hillsides are spread with oaks mixed throughout the conifers.
  • At Feather River College, there is a beautiful hiking trail that starts near the Athletics Building. (Map
  • Oakland Camp road and trails are gorgeous right now for driving, biking, or hiking. (Map)
  • Snake Lake is exceleent for walking, mountain biking, and ATV’s. (Map)
  • In the Feather River Canyon, Highway 70 has some delays due to road construction but the drive is beautiful right now. Always check road conditions before your trip.
  • Book a pet-friendly cabin at Pine Aire Resort right on the Feather River amongst the oaks.
  • Check our hiking page to find your perfect Awesome Autumn trails.

UPDATE 10/24/2023—AWESOME AUTUMN PEAK!

In Eastern Plumas County, there is still some beautiful aspen in higher elevations, like these hikers found along the Jamison Creek Trail.

As you can see below, the Quincy area is at 100% peak! Just about everywhere you look around town is bursting with awesome autumn color.

The oaks are starting to turn along Highway 70 in the Feather River Canyon and will continue to be showy for a few weeks. Highway 89 along Indian Creek is looking quite lovely despite burn scars from the Dixie Fire.

In Indian Valley and Genesee, maples and dogwood are still looking lovely and the oaks are starting to turn.

Stop by the Genesee Store (open Friday-Sunday) for a gourmet meal while you’re out leaf peeping.

Thank you Jake Edwards (@Scenescapery) for capturing these peak color shots around downtown Chester. Grab a warm fall beverage from Cravings to help sustain your autumn adventures.

UPDATE 10/19/2023

It’s truly an amazing autumn in Northern California, and Plumas County has been no exception. It’s not too late to enjoy the spendor of color here, and there are plenty of local events to keep you entertained. We’ve been focusing a lot on the South Central region of the county (Quincy, Bucks Lake, La Porte Road), but we’ve been receiving more photos that highlight Genesee and Chester, so let’s hone in on those areas.

Genesee Valley is located five miles east of the small mountain town of Taylorsville. It’s a About 10.5 miles past Young’s Market in Taylorsville, you’ll find the historical 900+ acre Heart K Ranch, one of several preserves owned by the Feather River Land Trust that are open for public access. The ranch house and red barn on the left side of Beckwourth-Genesee Road are a private residency, but we recommend a walk on the south side of the ranch. Cross the Flournoy Bridge, then turn right on the dirt road and park near the bridge. Walk the lower dirt road that runs along Indain Creek and is lined with beautiful cottonwood. This Saturday, the land trust is hosting a Fall Field Day and will lead tours of the ranch while discussing their approach to regenerative agriculture and fire recovery efforts.

Chester and Lake Almanor are also showing signs of The cottonwoods are turning along the North Fork of the Feather River. It is most evident along the loop trail at the Feather River Land Trust’s Olsen Barn Meadow preserve on the east side of Chester. From behind the historical barn (one of the oldest in Northern California) wander towards the river for stunning views of fall color along the river with Lake Almanor in the background.

A great place for driving, biking, ATV’s, walking the dog, and photography is out in Meadow Valley. About 9 miles from Quincy, take Schneider Creek Road towards the UC Forestry Camp. You’ll find fantastic maple, dogwood, ferns amongst large firs and pines.

Quincy is still looking lovely and many of the homes are showy with fall colors. Stop by Emily’s Garden on Main Street for a charming selection of fall treats and gifts.

Lodging update: Wild Plumas glamping near Greenville, Indian Valley will now be open year round!

Read our previous posts below for more places to drive, bike, walk/hike, take your dog out for some exercise, and get some great photos. Share them with us at info@plumascounty.org.

UPDATE 10/17/2023

While overall fall colors in Plumas County are close to peak, because it’s such a large county with elevations ranging from 1,000′ to 10,000′ and diverse ecological habitats the colors don’t happen uniformly. Most maples and dogwood are currently peaking, while aspens are fading, but the magnificent oaks are just beginning. For hiking and mountain bike trails, go to plumascounty.org/get-outside/activities.

Heading north from Truckee toward Graeagle and Quincy the aspen are past their peak, but our new leaf peeper Britteny Donney shared some lovely photos of the Eastern part of the county. In the Lakes Basin area near Graeagle, Bib Frampton Willis saw a lot of color on her hike to Spencer Lake.

Downtown Quincy is at about 80% peak. For lots of colorful maple and dogwood, take a hike up the hill behind the Courthouse on the Water District service road (park at the top of Coburn Street). If you prefer a flat, paved trail, the Gansner Park trail along Spanish Creek is quite nice.

Maples and Indian Rhubarb at Oakland Camp on the north side of American Valley (Quincy) are at about 75% peak, and the oaks there are starting to turn. There is a trailhead near the first beach there leading into the South Park Trail System with many great trails for hiking or mountain biking.

The Bucks Lake area has peaked and is receding. Big Creek Road leading up to the lake has brilliant patches of maple and dogwood along the first five miles out of Meadow Valley. The beginning of the Mill Creek Trail has great color as it meanders along the shore of the lake. There is still some nice color along the Bucks Creek Loop trail, especially on the north side. See the South Central section of our Hiking page for more information on these trails, or give us a call at 530-280-7187.

One of our favorite fall color hikes is the Cascade Trail. It is about 80% peak right now and full of maples, dogwood, huge patches of Indian Rhubarb, and waterfalls of Spanish Creek cascading along the trail. From the airport in Quincy, drive 5.1 miles west on Highway 70 to the “Old Highway.” Take that paved road 0.7 miles past several homes, then turn left onto a dirt road for 0.4 miles to the parking area and trailhead. There will be an easy, educational hike there this Saturday at 1:00 where you can learn more about the science behind fall foliage (see flyer). For more great fall events, view our Events page.

More color is emerging in Indian Valley, which is at 75% peak. The drive along Highway 89 between the Feather River Canyon and Greenville is still nice, though the areas burned by the Dixie Fire can still be jarring even if you’ve already seen them. Stop by the Grizzly Bite in Taylorsville and give their new Butter Chicken Pizza a try! Keep going to Genesee Valley and check out the beautiful cottonwoods along Indian Creek.

In the Northwest, take Highway 32 out of Chester. Just north of Elam Campground, take road 28N12 for some great displays of dogwood about six miles from the highway. The road continues on to Carter Meadows Trailhead in the Lassen National Forest and offers views of Lassen Peak higher up. If you have a report or photos of the cottonwoods behind Olsen Barn in Chester or along the North Fork Feather River, please send them to us at info@plumascounty.org.

UPDATE 10/12/2023

Where can you find Golden Aspen right now?

We love Aspen because they are beautiful year-round, but they are much more than that. We asked our friend, Kyle Merriam (US Forest Service ecologist), about the importance of aspen in the ecosystem. She said it was a keystone species, and “Even though aspen stands make up a small proportion of our forests, they play a disproportionately large role in maintaining ecosystem function and biodiversity across the landscape. Aspen stands support many species of birds, and other wildlife rely on aspen for food, nesting, and cover. Healthy aspen stands can also moderate fire behavior and reduce the risk of catastrophic fire.”

  • Take Highway 89 north from Truckee to Sierraville for colorful aspen along the Truckee River. From Sierraville, head toward Graeagle and Quincy.
  • The Gold Lake Road out of Graeagle is interspersed with 17 miles of aspen. Take a detour off the road to the Lakes Basin Recreation Area for more aspen and great trailheads.
  • Take the Silver Lake Road or Meadow Valley Cemetery Road out of Meadow Valley. Both have several spectacular patches of aspen.
  • Unfortunately, the Bucks Lake Aspen grove is a bust this year, but the Bucks Creek Loop trail near the summit has some aspen.
  • Antelope Lake has peaked, but the road is now closed seven days a week.
  • Beautiful aspen are peaking along the drive out of Chester on Hwy 36 near the turnoff to Mill Creek.
  • Call a ranger (530-595-4480) for the current status of Aspen in Lassen Volcanic National Park, but it’s still worth the trip.

Bob Blesse has been out soaking up Plumas County fall colors. Here is his report:

I drove all of Chandler Road [in Quincy], but there isn’t much along there. So, I headed down Hwy 70 and over to Indian Valley. Color is good along Indian Creek for Big Leaf Maples, but the grasses and foliage in the stream are still green. Taylorsville will really pop next week, but I got a couple of nice photos. I started toward Genesee, but not much was emerging, so I turned back. Returning to Quincy, I stopped along Indian Creek, near Dog-Face Rock, and got a few photos I was pleased with. Back in Quincy near sunset, I got the trees by the QHS that are about 75%.

Our pick for today’s best drive, walk, or bike ride is La Porte Road, just east of Quincy. Big leaf maple and the famous La Port Road sugar maple can be found just a few miles down this two-lane country road. Michael Beatley said the beautiful sugar maple was planted in the late 1800s.

From Highway 70, travel 4.5 miles down La Porte Road and reach a hairpin turn at Thompson Creek. There is a Forest Service dirt road here that is great for walking, mountain biking, ATVs, and especially leaf-peeping. The first mile is full of yellow maples with red dogwood scattered throughout. There is some wildfire damage further up the road, which continues up to Claremont Peak.

Before your leaf-peeping adventures, if you’re in Quincy, you can get a hearty breakfast at Patti’s Thunder, which is all decked out for Awesome Autumn. Try an apple spice scone or a pumpkin spice dirty chai. Or after you’re done exploring, stop by Leon & Roy’s, the new pizzeria, for some pumpkin spice twists!

We would love to see your photos if you explore these destinations. Send photos of yourself next to the fall colors to info@plumascounty.org. If you have any questions, you can call us at 530-280-7187.

UPDATE 10/10/2023

Plumas County has not peaked yet, but there are many beautiful places to explore this week. We’ll start in the eastern area near Graeagle and end up around Lake Almanor and Chester. If you are driving north from Truckee toward Sierraville, please send us photos of the beautiful aspens along the way! 📸 info@plumascounty.org

In Eastern Plumas County, Mark Kidder gave us a peek into the Lakes Basin area. There are so many trails and lakes with color-changing groundcovers and shrubs and aspen popping out from the pines and firs.

Hikers might want to explore the 3.7 Jamison Creek Trail. The trailhead can be found several miles up County Road A-14 towards Johnsville and takes you past Jamison Falls, Grass Lake, and on to Rock Lake and Jamison Lake–all which are lovely for backpacking if you don’t mind the chilly nights. There are beautiful aspen scattered along this trail. Here are some adventurous backpackers with their young daughter on the trail, one of our favorite photos this year!

From Graeagle, head west on Highway 70 towards Quincy, where the colors haven’t peaked, but there are some beautiful spots and many pet-friendly backcountry roads. Right before Quincy, drive down La Porte Road to see many colorful maples with evergreens in the background, and then head back into Quincy, where the dogwoods are turning bright red and maples are looking good. Right now, the Big Creek Road towards Bucks Lake is the best drive for those right now.

From Quincy, head north on Highway 89 towards Indian Valley. The drive along Indian Creek is still nice but the Dixie Fire did do some damage to that area. As you near the turn-off to Taylorsville, the hawthorns are turning a vibrant red. Take a ride into Taylorsville and stop for a pizza at Grizzly Bite (closed Wednesdays), (photo by Karen) or buy a yummy sandwich at Young’s Market (closed on weekends). Continue on to the Genesee Store (open for dining Friday-Sunday) and is quite a treat. Keep going another few miles and you’ll begin to ascend up the road to Antelope Lake (road currently only open on weekends due to construction). Antelope Lake is showing one of the best displays of quaking aspens right now which were captured by Jeff Titcomb, another avid leaf peeper, but fair warning–the road up to Antelope Lake has seen its fair share of forest fire.

One of our leaf peepers in Chester, Betty Bishop, said that the colors are just starting to turn on the North Fork of the Feather River that runs right through the town. A few miles outside of Chester, turn off on Highway 32 and drive along Deer Creek for some lovely scenery. And the aspen are still golden in Lassen Volcanic National Park and in other spots around Lake Almanor along with some very cool waterfalls, like the one on the Kings Creek Falls trail.

To go along with the turning of the leaves, Chester eateries are keeping current with the weather by offering an array of flavors and food suitable for the brisk fall mornings, days, and evenings.

Elegant Farmer Treats

Visit The Elegant Farmer at 525 Main Street in Chester and enjoy one of their daily hearty soups. You can start your day with coffee and a “made-that-morning” pastry…from scones to muffins to cookies. After a day of leaf peeping, have a glass of wine and choose from a great selection, or order a “cold one” to end your day.

Cravings just down the road offers a selection of fall flavors as well. Start out with a pistachio latte to enjoy with pumpkin waffles.

UPDATE 10/5/2023: More than Aspen

While Plumas County has many lovely groves of aspen, many other types of foliage turn from yellow to red and sometimes even pink throughout the fall. The maples are starting to turn, the dogwood is close behind and soon will come the spectacular oaks in late October.

Yesterday morning, one of our wonderful leaf peepers, Michael Beatley, drove Big Creek Road to the Bucks Lake area, about 16 miles west of Quincy. The drive is full of color-showing Bigleaf maples and red dogwood. Thompson Lake, which sits just above Bucks Lake, is a very small Sierra mountain lake, with aspens and Western Mountain Ash showing their colors at about 70-80% of peak. From Thompson Lake, Michael drove to Bucks Lake and the Mill Creek Trail, which starts on the west end of the lake at Bucks Creek and is a popular 11-mile hike to the Mill Creek Campground. “The trail hugs the north side of Bucks Lake and has Aspens, Lodgepole pines, Bracken ferns, Western Mountain Ash, Spreading Dogbane, California Buckthorn, and still a few wildflowers. “It is a beautiful hike. The weather is gorgeous as are the colors,” says Michael.

Bob Blesse, one of our Quincy leaf peepers, has been capturing photos around Quincy that make you want to stroll through town. Start at the Thieler Tree on Lee Way and head up through the neighborhoods toward the forest. Colors also look good on the bridge leading to Snake Lake, a few miles west of town. You’ll see a lot of vibrant red Virginia Creeper that was the first to turn red.

Introducing one of our Indian Valley leaf peepers, Lee Anne Schramel, who grew up in Indian Valley and recently retired from the U.S. Forest Service as Chief Information Officer. Here’s her update from Indian Valley, which includes the towns of Greenville, Crescent Mills, and Taylorsville:

Fall is just starting to tease the edges of beautiful Indian Valley! Look for touches of orange and red in the bushes and red/yellow in the locusts, maples, and cottonwoods around the valley. Enjoy a panoramic valley view from Mt. Huff Golf Course outside Crescent Mills, an easy 30 minutes along Hwy 89 from Chester or Quincy. Pick up nine holes with a glorious backdrop of passing clouds, or sit on the deck and enjoy delicious sandwiches, burgers, and a piece of homemade pie. Expect the color to deepen every day!

But if you are looking for those extraordinary golden aspens we’ve been sharing from our leaf peeper in the north, Jake Edwards, Lassen Volcanic National Park is best direction to head right now. Here are some places that should be very nice in the park, and you can also give the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center a call at 530-595-4480 for detailed information.

UPDATE 10/3/2023

Now that October is here, fall colors are starting to pop all over Plumas County. Start planning your trip now and stay a few days so you can explore the whole county.

In the Northwest region near Chester, Jake Edwards (@Scenescapery) caught some beautiful golden aspen on Highway 36 near the CA-172 turn-off to Mill Creek. Before you reach those aspens or on your way back to Chester, you might want to turn off on Highway 32 to catch some of the fall color along Deer Creek. This area has some nice places to stop for a picnic. If you keep going northwest on Highway 36, you’ll reach Highway 89 turn off to Lassen Volcanic National Park, where you’ll find more aspen. Thanks to Jake, we know they’re looking good at Manzanita Lake, but you can ask a park ranger where to find the best aspen.

Looking for a rustic historic lodge as your staging place? Check out the St. Bernard Lodge which is a few miles outside of Chester towards Lassen Park. The beds are so comfortable and breakfast is perfect to get you started on a full day of leaf peeping. There is also a diversity of lodging in Chester if you want to explore the north part of Plumas County.

Heading south towards Indian Valley (Greenville, Taylorsville) and then onto Quincy, more fall colors are beginning to burst forth. Michael Beatley caught some nice shots near Meadow Valley of cottonwood, alder, and cattails with Spanish Peak in the background. Take the Bucks Lake Road out of Quincy towards Meadow Valley (about 7 miles) and keep going until you see Spanish Peak on the horizon towards the north. Feel free to go another ten miles and you’ll arrive at Bucks Lake where the aspen haven’t quite turned yet but should soon.

The Quincy and Bucks Lake area is a central location for exploring the rest of Plumas County. There’s plenty of lodging in the charming mountain town of Quincy, and if you want a quaint place next to Bucks Lake, Haskins Valley Inn is the place. It would be a great option if you’re looking for very quiet natural setting close to the aspen trees and some nice hikes and drives.

Here’s just a peak at what you can be expecting in about two weeks from those amazing dogwood trees found interspersed with maples and evergreens. Dogwoods are just starting to show a few leaves turning red while the rest are taking their time, but they will all eventually turn and you will want to see them when they do. We’ll be including some stunning dogwood drives, hikes, and bike rides as they reach their peak. Stay tuned.

But fall isn’t just about fall colors but special fall treats like caramel apples, pumpkin spice drinks, and candy corn all found at Quincy Provisions (Carey Candy + Bell Lane Baked Goods + Brew Haha) in Quincy. So take a break from leaf peeping and say hi to Amy Carey who has been in business for over 30 years.

UPDATE 9/28/2023

Today we’ll introduce some of our leaf peepers who are starting to document 2023 fall colors in Plumas County.

Michael Beatley of Meadow Valley shared his first photographs of the season of this Indian Rhubarb found on Bucks Creek off of Big Creek Road heading toward Bucks Lake. Indian Rhubarb (Darmera peltata) is a fantastic broad leafed plant that dots many of the river beds in Plumas County and can turn a nice red color in the fall. This one is just starting to turn.

Bob Blesse of Quincy shared these photos of the Theiler tree (a Red Maple on the corner of Lee Way and West High Street in Quincy) which is at about 50% of its fall color right now. It’s been called the Theiler tree for years because Judge Theiler once lived in the house where the tree is located. If you want to stay a few days and watch this magnificent tree turn bright red, it is across the street from some of the cottages at Ada’s Place and right up the street from the Quincy Feather Bed Inn. Starting from the Theiler Tree, you can wander down the quiet streets of Quincy taking in the crisp fall air and blue skies.

Jake Edwards of the Lake Almanor Basin (@scenescapery) found these first aspens turning colors just north of Plumas County on Highway 44.

Our visitors don’t just pass through on their way to somewhere else but usually make a conscious effort to head this way. There are a few loop drives that we would recommend for leaf peeping, but once you get here check out our Fall Colors Travel Guide. If you’re looking for aspens this time of year, a great drive would be taking 89 north from Truckee to Sierraville following the Truckee River and then onto Quincy. From there, you can head south into the Feather River Canyon on Highway 70 (check road conditions) to Oroville, or you can head north towards Taylorsville and Greenville and then onto Chester and Lake Almanor. From Chester, you can take Highway 36 and Highway 32 to Chico. Plan on spending a few days enjoying the scenery, local hospitality and diverse lodging options.

Send us your leaf peeping updates to info@plumascounty.org!

UPDATE 9/26/2023

The main fall foliage trees like aspen, dogwood, and maple are still waiting to unveil their fall colors, but shrubs and groundcovers are beating them to it. The willows are starting to turn yellowish gold, and we are seeing tints of red on the Indian Rhubarb.

Start planning your fall visit to Plumas County today! With warm days and cool nights, it’s the perfect time to explore the area and enjoy local events like the Mountain Harvest Beer Festival in Quincy, the Community Scarecrow Contest in Chester, and the Taylorsville Quilters Fall Festival. It’s an opportunity to meet local folks and get some inside information on where best to see fall colors, whether you’re leaf-peeping by car, on foot, or by bike. Stay tuned for some upcoming events that are in the works, including a guided fall color hike and a big Halloween celebration.

See more Plumas County fall events here.

Willow and grasses turning yellow near the Mill Creek Trail at Bucks Lake

UPDATE 9/21/2023

Why are fall colors so spectacular in Plumas County?

Plumas County’s variety of species, microclimates, and elevations ranging from 2,000 to 8,000 feet provide the unique palette for this stunning transformation. The leaves generally begin to turn in late September, peak in mid October, into early November. From creek beds to mountaintops, vibrant leaves from fiery reds to golden hues contrast brilliantly against the dark green pines and firs that dominate the landscape. The best combination for producing intense autumn colors are dry, sunny days, followed by cold, dry nights.

Kyle Merriam, an ecologist with the US Forest Service, is excited to share with you why Plumas County is the place to go for fall colors and why this year should be spectacular.

Leaf diagram

Here is a sample of some of the most common types of fall color you will see in Plumas County.

Thank you, John Sheehan, for sharing this photo of Dellinger’s Pond and the Dyrr Barn in Quincy.

Please send us your leaf-peeping updates to info@plumascounty.org!

UPDATE 9/19/2023

We all agree that Mother Nature is amazing, particularly in the fall with the leaves changing from vibrant greens to reds to maroons to purples, oranges and golds. It is a spectacle of color that causes us to be in awe of the transformation from season to season.

Though we consider this change magical, there is science behind the turning of colors. The variables of how this happens is many–from altitude to climate to terrain and so much more that goes into “nature’s makeover.”

The Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia, pictured below) around town is usually the first to start to change, and as you can see below we’re already seeing a ton of it turning bright red here in Plumas County.

UPDATE 9/12/2023:

Plumas County is a Symphony of Color for Fall

We call it Awesome Autumn because fall is a magical time in Plumas County, and there are so many reasons why it should be on everyone’s fall bucket list. The vibrant colors that blanket our Northern California county are truly a sight to behold. From fiery reds and magentas to golden hues, the changing leaves create a breathtaking show that will leave you in awe.

A Light Show of Colors

To fully immerse yourself in the beauty of Plumas County, we recommend taking a colorful path through the county.  With a great variety of species due to the climate and the varying elevations, and depending on the time of month, you may witness the leaves transforming right before your eyes. Imagine visiting Bucks Lake one weekend and being surrounded by ruby red leaves, only to return the following weekend and see a stunning display of golden foliage. It’s nature’s way of reminding us of its ever-changing beauty.

Points of View

If you’re looking for fall fun and excitement, there are plenty of options for you to enjoy the fall colors in Plumas County. Whether you prefer biking along mountain trails, hiking in the hills, or exploring the lakes in a canoe or kayak, the stunning colors will never disappoint. The best part is that the views change rapidly, so you’ll always have something new to discover.

The Flavors of Fall

But the fall experience in Plumas County goes beyond just the colors. Our community truly embraces the flavors of fall. Local eateries join in on Mother Nature’s show by offering seasonal delights that will tantalize your taste buds. From pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin soup to unique drinks like Harvest Mocha and Maple Brevee, you’ll find fall-inspired treats for every meal. Start your day with a pumpkin waffle or pancake topped with real maple syrup, and treat yourself to a chewy caramel-covered apple for a midday pick-me-up. Plumas County restaurateurs know how to make your autumn experience truly delicious.

Plan Your Visit

Fall colors typically grace Plumas County from late September to mid-November, giving you plenty of time to plan your visit. With a diverse range of trees, plants, and elevations, Plumas County offers some of the best leaf peeping opportunities in California. To make the most of your trip, check out our Fall Colors Guide for the best places to go and what to look for.

Favorite Fall Colors from Previous Years

Please visit often for updates here and on our Facebook and Instagram pages.

Share!

We also love to see your adventures in Plumas County! Share your photos and fall color reports with us by emailing info@plumascounty.org. Don’t forget to include the date and location, and we’ll make sure to give you credit. For a quick share, tag us on Instagram @plumas_county or use the hashtag #awesomeautumnplumascounty.

Why Wait?

So why wait? Start planning your fall visit to Plumas County today! With warm days and cool nights, it’s the perfect time to explore the area and enjoy local events like the Sierra Valley Art and Ag Trail, the Mountain Harvest Beer Festival, and the local scarecrow contest. Whether you’re into mountain biking, hiking, golfing, or fishing, autumn in Plumas County offers endless opportunities for outdoor activities and unforgettable experiences. Come and be a part of our Awesome Autumn in Plumas County!

Feather River Tourism Association is proud to put Plumas County on display each Autumn. We think how the leaves change colors adds to the joy of viewing the foliage. We invite you to take this journey as ecologist Kyle Merriam explains how the phenomena of leaves changing colors unfolds in this video:

  • Bookmark this blog post and visit often. Regular updates will begin September 12th.
  • Read our Traveler Guide: Where to See the Best Fall Colors in Plumas County.
  • Choose your lodging. There are some really special places to stay!
  • Learn your local leaves with the Fall Color Guide to download.

Last year was a spectacular season for leaf peeping. Read the 2022 Awesome Autumn blog for added information, locations, and more.

Plumas traveler guides

Where to See Fall Colors in Northern California

In early October, the leaves in Plumas County begin transforming to create stunning natural beauty. From creek beds to mountaintops, vibrant leaves contrast brilliantly against the dark green pines and firs that dominate the landscape. We’ve pulled together the best routes that offer an abundance of color and adventure. Our fall foliage guide gets you off the beaten path and into the heart of Plumas County.
Fall foliage in Plumas County
Plumas traveler guides

Winter Weekend Ideas in Northern California

Winter in Plumas County is quiet and magical. The region offers everything from cozy cabins and backcountry skiing to family activities like Christmas tree cutting and holiday events. Beat the crowds at Tahoe and other popular winter destinations for your own serene and charming Lost Sierra seasonal adventure.
A backcountry skier climbing Mt Lassen in Northern California
Plumas traveler guides

Spring Weekend Trip Ideas in Northern California

Spring is a wonderful time to visit Plumas County– the valleys are verdant, rivers are rushing, and snow is still on the high mountains. Spring weather is perfect for activities like hiking, birding, wildflower watching, kayaking, and more.
Clouds and reflections on Manzanita Lake
Plumas traveler guides

The 9 Best Museums in Plumas County

Highlights of the 9 best museums in Plumas County.
Plumas County Museum
Plumas traveler guides

Summer Vacation Ideas in Northern California

Plumas County is a summer wonderland of outdoor activities with over a hundred lakes, music festivals, world-class hiking, and mountain town events. Plan your perfect summer vacation high in the Sierra Nevada of Northern California.
arrowleaf balsamroot in Northern California
Plumas traveler guides

The Best Lakes in Northern California Copy

With over 100 lakes to choose from, Plumas County offers visitors an opportunity to soak up some of the most beautiful lakes in Northern California. Whether you’re looking to enjoy water sports with a group or relax and unplug on a solo adventure, the diversity of our lakes offers something for everyone. We invite you to unplug and feel the magic of our mountain lakes and the vast forests that surround them.
canoes on lake with sunset
Plumas traveler guides

The Best Lakes in Northern California

With over 100 lakes to choose from, Plumas County offers visitors an opportunity to soak up some of the most beautiful lakes in Northern California. Whether you’re looking to enjoy water sports with a group or relax and unplug on a solo adventure, the diversity of our lakes offers something for everyone. We invite you to unplug and feel the magic of our mountain lakes and the vast forests that surround them.
canoes on lake with sunset
Plumas traveler guides

Waterfalls, Wildflowers, and Wildlife

If you love birding, waterfall hikes, and wildflowers without the crowds, this four day road trip will take you from one end of the Lost Sierra to the other. Plumas County is beautiful all year-round but late spring and early summer offer some incredible nature-based experiences for the intrepid traveler.
Burney Falls in Northern California

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Places to stay
Chester

Step into our uniquely designed rooms in the heart of Chester.

Lake Almanor

Lake View Condominium in Peninsula Village with dock & boat slip. Sleeps 6.

Keddie

Unrivaled privacy on 5 acres of river. Wake up to coffee on the deck listening to the river, birds and basking in the morning sun.