June Lake, CA
Duck beneath golden aspens in the Ansel Adams Wilderness.
ANSEL ADAMS WILDERNESS, CALIFORNIA
Come October, the Golden State really earns the nickname. Head out to the eastern Sierra this month to see why. Here, the sweep of aspens is just beginning. Our recommendation: the 5-mile, unnamed fisherman’s trail that links June, Gull, Silver, and Grant Lakes. The social path parallels Silver Creek downstream through aspen corridors and meadows with peekaboo glances south to the granite face of 10,909-foot Carson Peak. If you do plan to cast a line, Silver Lake (near the midway point) offers the best shore fishing (rainbow and brookies). Park off June Lake Loop (CA 158) near its namesake, then pick your way down to the creek; the path follows it the whole way. Expect colorful aspens (bright yellow or even rosy) through the third week of October. Contact bit.do/ansel-adams-wild