Autumn first appears the last week of September or the first week of October in and around Big Bear, starting at the 7,500 foot altitude.
The Big Bear Valley doesn't have a lot of indigenous trees that turn really bright colors, since mostly pines grow at that altitude. Most trees that do show color, like the ones in the photo above, have been planted and maintained by residents and businesses.
By mid-November I finish up down around Lake Silverwood, at an altitude of a little over 3,000 feet, which doesn't have a lot of trees or plants that are colorful either, and not many pines or cedars. (There used to be a lot of Douglas Firs and Western Red Cedars, but they burned in the devastating 2003 fires). However, there is still beauty to be captured in the sere, faded grasses and seed heads, along with the occasional oak tree.
I feel so lucky to be able to prolong Autumn by following her down through the altitude changes. By doing that, I'm able to see her colors for almost 6 weeks!