It’s not a very well kept secret: Not everyone likes snow and what you are able to do on it. Variety makes the world go around.
Temperatures are relatively mild, from Sacramento to Tahoe. The snow that’s been planted on the higher slopes is certainly a wonderful sight, in many ways, especially for the snow crowd.
The colors that speckled the Highway 88 corridor, and Lake Tahoe, just a couple of weeks ago, are gone. There may be a hold out or two. For the most part, snow and wind tends to strip the trees of their autumn dresses, or simply turn the leaves brown.
Here’s the good news for the snow phobic outdoor rec folks. The rolling color show has worked it’s way down the Highway 50 and I-80 corridors. From Kyburz down to Sacramento, and from Baxter down to Sacramento, the trees are brilliant right now.
For foothill and lower mountain hikers and cyclists, the time spent outside now is spent in an array of yellows, reds, and oranges. The unique autumn fragrance mingles in with the colors. Even the Grinch smiles when riding or walking through this combo.
While there are sweet rides all over the place, one of the more colorful places right now is Pollock Pines.
For road bike riders, consider heading up Iron Mt. Road, aka Mormon Immigrant Trail, until you run into ice or snow. turn around and ride back to your car. All along the way you’ll find golden yellow leaves on the oaks, and red leaves on the dogwoods.
Another very fine road ride in Pollock Pines takes you down Forebay Road, to a turn onto Blair Road, just below the Forebay Dam. Blair Road will take you through nice rolling, forested wonder. At the end of Blair road, at the stop sign on Pony Express Trail, turn right, and then take a left onto Ridgeway, about a 1/2 mile later.
Ride Ridgeway up to Sly Park Road, carefully turn left, then take a right at the stop sign at the corner of Sly Park and Pony Express. Ride until you come to the gate, just after the Bullion Bend Historical marker. Turn around and ride back to wherever you left your car. Gorgeous hardly describes this ride.
For mountain bike riders, head over to Ferrari Mill Road, or Blue Gouge Mine Trail Head off of Iron Mt. Road, about 1/4 mile past the second dam on Sly Park Lake. Ride the trails or the dirt road through aspens, oaks and dogwoods, and towering conifers.
The trails are good single track and the old logging roads are wide and mostly technical free terrain. Wait for a few days after a rain to let everything dry out a bit.
The forest around Pollock Pines is a sight to behold in autumn. Outdoor recreation types should take full advantage of it. When the snow comes, everything changes.
Ride and hike now. Bring your camera or helmet cam, fully charged, with oodles of space on the memory card. It will be worth it.