Olsen Barn with trees in background full of fall colors

photo Vanessa Vasquez

Experience Northern California Fall Colors

UPDATE 9/21/2003

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.

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

Leaf diagram

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

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.

Virginia Creeper
Virginia Creeper

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.


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 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

The 9 Best Museums in Plumas County

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

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

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
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

Related posts

Stay in the loop

Get inspired

Discover more of Plumas County
Places to stay

Just steps from the Feather River, Family Friendly Campground w/ everything you need for a relaxing & exciting vacation. Bring the family, toys & pets

Lake Almanor

Whether you are planning a weekend getaway or a two week vacation, Knotty Pine Resort and Marina offers you an opportunity to leave the city behind!


Rose Quartz Inn offers clean, up to date, well appointed rooms in a friendly & caring environment, all at the doorstep of Lassen Park & Lake Almanor.