A Guide to Doing Fall Colors Trip in Eastern Sierra in an EV

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Fall Colors in California!

“Fall colors in California”?  You may ask.  Yes we do have Fall colors in California.  As the awesome fall color tracking website www.californiafallcolor.com says “Dude, autumn happens here too” 🙂   In the month of September / October the Eastern side of Sierra explodes with fall colors. 

See for yourself

Where is it?

Eastern Sierra is along highway 395. It encompasses Bishop, Inyo and Mono  counties.This region is high-desert.  The area has very rugged mountains, expansive valleys and pristine lakes.  It is truly a pretty area and one of my favorite areas in California.

Here is an interactive Google Map

When to go

The fall colors season is late September to October

The Eastern Sierra’s elevation changes from approximately 5,000 to 10,000 feet (1,512 to 3,048 m).  This means the trees peak in color at different times. Higher elevations – Bishop, Inyo County and southern Mono County change first .  Lower elevations – Mammoth Lakes, June Lake, Bridgeport and northern Mono County – peaking by mid to late-October

Colors come and go very quickly.  Also a strong gust could strip out the leaves over night. Keep an eye the following websites to find the up to date information

Where to find information

The following websites do a good job of updating the current status of fall colors.

CaliforniaFallColors.com (@CalifFallColor) – A really great website with up to date information, maps and gorgeous photos! Check their twitter too.

Mono county fall colors. They publish a great fall color map   (local copy). Check out their twitter (@EasternSierra) and instagram @monocountytourism for updates

Inyo county fall colors page (instagram : @exploreinyocounty)

Bishop Visitor – fall colors (@visitbishop)

EV Charging Infrastructure in Eastern Sierra

So as you can see, the charging infrastructure is very sparse along hwy 395Fast chargers are in Bridgeport  and Mammoth lakes.

Even the L2 chargers are far and few in between.

Hoping for Improvements

The city of Lee Vining would be an awesome place for a fast charger bank. It is perfectly situated in the center of Eastern Sierra and gateway to Yosemite. So people heading into the park can charge here and head on.

Also city of June Lake (@junelakeloop) would benefit from charging infrastructure. Hotels can offer EV chargers to attract guests.

Fast Chargers in Eastern Sierra


Electrify America chargers CCS at Shell gas station.

The spot has 4 charging stations with 8 chargers.  Charging speed 150 – 350 kw.  So plenty of chargers are available even if there are a few not working.

Few good restaurants within 5 minutes of walking distance , in downtown Bridgeport.

Plugshare link

Mammoth lakes

Tesla superchargers. (Teslas only)

 8 Stations at 150 kw 

Tons of restaurants within walking distance.

Plugshare link


There are quite a few chargers here.

ElectrifyAmerica @ Vons Shopping Center  (for all)
4 chargers (150 – 350 kw)
Plugshare link

Caltrans District 09 District Office (for all)
1 CCS and 1 CHADMO (50 kw)
FREE chargers provided  by Caltrans
Plugshare link

Rivian adventure charger (Rivian only)
Plugshare link

Tesla Bishop Supercharger (Teslas only)
Plugshare link

Planning your EV trip

Since the charging is a bit sparse here, you need to plan out your trip a little.

Tip-1: Make sure you have access to a fast charger.

For Teslas:

  • Mammoth (Tesla supercharger)
  • Bishop (Tesla supercharger + generic)
  • Bridgeport (generic)

For others

  • Bridgeport (generic)
  • Bishop (generic)

Bridgeport to Bishop is about 90 miles (1hr 30 min drive)

Tip-2 : Another option: Stay where you can charge overnight

Unfortunately, not many hotels in this area have chargers.

There are plenty of RV parks in this area with Electrical hookups.  Do your research and find a place.

See our guide about charging EVs at RV Parks

Tip-3: Driving Around

Spotting fall colors involves a lot of driving around.  Most locations are easily accessible by paved roads. Sometimes you do have to go on dirt roads.  Most dirt roads are passable using regular cars (you don’t need high clearance 4-wheel drives).

Also most EVs don’t come with a spare tire.  So do be careful when going off-road at remote locations.  You don’t want to get stuck at a remote location, with a flat, without cell reception!

Tip-4: Be safe, courteous and enjoy!

Trip Reports

See my trip report: Eastern Sierra fall colors in a Chevy Bolt EV

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