Visit to Plumas County during the fall season is truly a memorable experience. It made me realize that Mother Nature is the best artist there ever is and nothing else can compare to it. You've got to see it to believe it.
Thanks to AAA's Via magazine article and then Plumas County website for all the information since before summer that I was able to plan my visit this season. I wanted to go around third week of October but my schedule was not very flexible so I decided to make my trip a week earlier. I was sort of feeling disappointed about it but all the things I got to see during my visit compensated for that. It'd have been better to visit the place next weekend but that'd be for next season, I say. I'm happy for I got to visit at least once this season. :) It is the kind of place you want to visit at least a couple of times every fall season to truly enjoy the colors.
As suggested in their Fall Color Guide, we started out by entering the Plumas County area from Hwy 32 and Hwy 36 into Chester/Lake Almanor area. The drive on both of these highways is beautiful. On Hwy 32, the red-colored dogwoods are picturesque. If you get a chance to stop by at the spots where you can see the Deer Creek from, you'll get to see so many of the red-green-colored Indian Rhubarbs near the creek beds. If you get to access the creek, even better. Then you'll get to take closeups of these colorful plants.
We drove around Lake Almanor and Chester on Hwy 89, and Main Street. There are some most beautiful red/yellow colored trees on Main street. Drive slowly and pull over for photos, and fall foliage viewing. If you're visiting this area, the must-see places other than Main street include Lake Almanor West area on Hwy 89. Drive into Lake Almanor West Drive and all the way to Kokanee Trail. It is a loop so you can start from one end and complete at the other. There are some gorgeous trees in this residential area.
Next day, we drove to Quincy via Hwy 89. For this, we took County Route A13 and then 147 (Eastern side of the lake) as we started from Chester. This is a beautiful drive as you get to see the lake much upclose from this route. Btw, I should add that the view of Lake Almanor from Main Street (at the Northern end of the lake) at sunset time is gorgeous.
Right off of A13, there is the Foxwood properties area that comes between Clifford Drive and Peninsula Drive. This is a gated community area but the entrance before the gates has got some of the most colorful trees. Pull over and stop by at this place too. Drive to Quincy was quite nice also but not as colorful as Hwy 32. I think that's because fall season is a bit late this year. Driving around Quincy was quite nice also, more so because of the rains. But that made is difficult to get out of the car to take a closeup photographs of the trees and leaves. Thanks to the leaf peeper reports on Plumas county website, I got to check out all the hotspots for fall color viewing.
Drive to Bucks Lake was winding, pretty and chilly. As soon as you get on the Bucks lake road, you pass by some of the ranches. Stop by if you want to see the animals there. The temperature at Bucks lake was in 40s even during the afternoon. The red-colored dogwoods and yellow big leaf maples looked lovely on the way. We pulled over on the side of the road when we saw the lake on our right-hand side. The address there was something like 15000 Bucks Lake Rd, Quincy, CA 95971 and the Doyles live there. This is where they have the big painted sign on rocks that reads PLEASE! KEEP OFF.
The must-visit streets in Quincy include, but not limited to, intersection of High St. & Lee Way, Lawrence St & Leonard Ave, Main St. & Quincy Junction Road. On here, the trees across from Safeway & Rite-Aid in front of the Quincy Jr. High are beautiful and by now they'd be looking even more colorful. If you're driving on Hwy 70 towards West, stop by at address 39124 Hwy 70. There are rows of gorgeous yellow colored trees here. I think they're aspen.
We drove back from Hwy 70, which is also known as Chandler road and Feather river canyon. This is one very beautiful drive (not much fall colors here as of last weekend), but Feather river flowing right along the highway makes it very pretty. The dams and brand-new looking bridges on the river, train tracks that run parallel to the highway and little tunnels that are made in rocks for train to pass make it an exciting drive. Twice, we were driving with a train right across the river and that was so much fun.
I wish on my next trip I get to visit the rest of the suggested places such as Graeagle, Portola, Indian Valley, Beckwourth, La Porte and Frenchman Lake.
Plumas County Info could be found here: http://www.plumascounty.org/
More photos of Plumas County here.