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A Fall Day in the Napa Valley III Ι © James Daisa/Flickr
A Fall Day in the Napa Valley III Ι © James Daisa/Flickr

Where to Go to See Beautiful Fall Foliage in Northern California

Picture of Deanna Morgado
Updated: 31 October 2017
Despite what many may think, Northern California is a marvelous place to see fall colors appear as the seasons change. Miles and miles of forests, vineyards, and mountain ranges create the perfect backdrop as autumn begins to grace the Golden State. These Northern California places are the best to witness fall foliage.

Mammoth Lakes

Up in the Sierra Nevada mountains is the town of Mammoth Lakes. In the autumn and fall season, the leaves turn a vibrant yellow. It’s a sight unlike any other. If you’re the hiking type, Mammoth Lakes is the home to Devils Postpile National Monument, a formation of basalt columns surrounded by greenery. There’s also the Rainbow Falls along the nearby San Joaquin River. These places are beautiful all year-round. But when the leaves begin to change, it’s like a whimsical dream of imagery.

Mammoth Lakes, CA, USA

First Autumn Color, June Lake, Sierra Nevada 9-2017 Ι
First Autumn Color, June Lake, Sierra Nevada 9-2017 Ι | © Don Graham/Flickr

Avenue of the Giants

Drive up north to witness this magnificent sight. The Avenue of the Giants is a scenic highway that runs through Humboldt Redwoods State Park. It’s amazing to see all the mighty redwoods along this highway change color.

Avenue of the Giants, Redwood Highway, Myer’s Flat, CA, USA

Sisterwives: Lumberjack Edition 🌲#🎃inthewoods

A post shared by Courtney Stewart (@courtneystew1) on

Plumas County

Fall in Plumas County creates a bouquet of leafy colors. The best news is that because Plumas County’s elevation is lower compared to the rest of the northern Sierra, the autumn colors tend to last longer. What a feast for the eyes.

Plumas County, CA, USA

Napa Valley

The vineyards in Napa Valley have one of the longest peaks in the region. Head to Napa Valley in the fall months and you’re sure to catch some of the most breathtaking foliage. Even the grapevines change with the season, transforming into the warmest of color palettes. Snagging a glass of wine from one of the many wineries and watching the changing colors makes for an amazing afternoon.

Napa Valley, CA, USA