A little color, a lot of fun | RecordCourier.com

A little color, a lot of fun

Hope Valley's colorful aspens have been enough to stop traffic on Highway 88 during weekends in October.

While a lack of frost and a fourth year of drought have made the color harder to find, warm temperatures forecast this weekend will make searching for golden leaves a great way to experience the Sierra valley.

Members of the Alpine Watershed Group and the Friends of Hope Valley are sponsoring a festival this weekend in honor of the turning of the leaves.

The second annual Alpine Aspen Festival features hikes to look for medicinal plants, follow in the footsteps of the pioneers, miners and other early visitors to the region, fly-fishing, trail rides and a variety of other activities.

On Saturday, American Rivers California Restoration Associate Julie Fair will talk about efforts to restore Hope Valley's meadow, one of the largest in the Sierra.

On Sunday, NASA geophysicist Al Graf will talk about aspens and Sudden Aspen Decline reported across the West, along with the geologic history of Hope Valley.

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The festival tent at Highway 88 and Blue Lakes Road will feature displays and representatives from the U.S. Forest Service, California Department of Fish and Wildlife and Friends of Hope Valley, and Oregon California Trails Association, among others.

Live music from acts In Stride, Sierra Sisters and Peck Ann Crow will take place through the weekend.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Alpine Watershed Group, which works to preserve the natural environment in Alpine County's watershed.

Hope Valley is located south of Carson Valley on Highway 88.