SIERRA FOOTHILLS, Calif. (KTXL) — As we enter into the final months of the year it is time to start looking for those fiery fall colors and there aren’t many places like California’s Gold Country.
With the significant variation in elevations between Calaveras, Placer, El Dorado and Nevada counties, it means trees may not turn colors at the same time, providing for several weeks of constant change and ample opportunities to see the autumn beauty of the area.
The best time to find the different-colored leaves at many of these locations will be from mid-October to late November.
Calaveras Big Trees State Park, Arnold
Shaded by the massive sequoia trees of Calaveras Big Trees State Park are a collection of dogwoods that begin to wear their fall colors as the weather begins to cool.
Their red-orange leaves blend into the rich red trunks of the Big Trees, making the forest look like it has been cast under the light of a red filter.
El Dorado County
Apple Hill, Camino
Just a 15-minute drive along Highway 49 north of Highway 50 you will find the community of Camino and the iconic Apple Hill area.
With its wineries, apple orchards and natural trees, there is no shortage of fall colors across the delectable area of the foothills.
Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park, Coloma
Highway 49 cuts right through this historic town that was the genesis point of California’s Gold Rush. It’s tree-lined main road glitters with gold once again as fall colors make their way into the branches of the trees.
Some of the best fall colors can be seen along the South Fork of the American River that runs parallel to the town. Deep oranges and golden yellows can be seen along the fast-flowing waters.
Empire Mine State Historic Park, Grass Valley
With over forty acres of deciduous trees, including cottonwoods, dogwoods and maples, this historic park takes you to another place in time.
Visitors can walk the surrounding woods for free or pay the $5 entry fee into the park and see these amazing trees frame the stone Bourn cottage, built in 1879.
When entering the park, drivers along East Empire Road will be greeted by a row of yellow-leafed maple trees.
Downtown Nevada City
One of the most iconic places to see fall colors in Northern California is the Victorian-era downtown of Nevada City.
While visitors can drive through the tight and twisty streets of the old mining town, it is best to park and view these trees on foot.
Venturing out of the downtown area into the neighborhoods is recommended, as Victorian-era homes make the perfect backdrop.
Old Town and downtown Auburn are some of the best places to spot fall colors in Placer County.
Some areas of Newcastle, Penryn and Loomis will have some bright spots of fall colors, but it is a bit more of a hunt to find them than the other listed areas.
Roseville’s Vernon Street Town Square and many other parts of downtown also have a number of deciduous trees.