Menu

Share This


In the High Sierra, it’s not difficult to see why fall is the most romantic season. Winter is about schussing down the slopes or snowshoeing. Summer, you want to get outside and explore the great outdoors via hiking or biking. But in the fall, the High Sierra lets out a big collective sigh and pauses for a moment. The crowds have dwindled to a trickle. There’s a crispness in the air at night to warrant snuggling up near a fireplace. And of course, Mother Nature puts on a display of colors that a painter would be envious of. For those looking for more inspiration, here’s a few ideas on how to plan a fall romantic getaway.

Go For A Lazy Stroll

Seven easy walks in & around Mammoth Lakes

Mammoth Lakes Horseshoe Lake
Mammoth Lakes Basin features an assortment of lakes to explore – Image appears courtesy: Mammoth Mountain

When you’re trying to think of romantic things to do, a leisurely walk with your better half is most likely on your short list. Instead of one of the more arduous hikes in the Eastern Sierra, try a short easy one such as the Horseshoe Lake Loop. You can truly enjoy each other’s company and get away from any distractions while taking in the rugged beauty around Mammoth Lakes.

Go Fishing Where No One Else Goes

Alpine County California in fall
Image appears courtesy: Visit Alpine County California

Everyone has their idea of a perfect romantic getaway. If you or your partner’s idea of bliss is casting a lure, we have the ULTIMATE trip for you – Heenan Lake in Alpine County. This 135-acre wild trout fishery is only open from September 1st through November 30th. Why go? It’s legendary for producing HUGE Lahontan Cutthroats up to 30” in length with the average being 16” to 20”. Combine it with taking in the fall foliage and a cozy cabin in Markleeville, and you may never want to go home.

Wear An Epic Halloween Couples Costume

Learn More About The Freaker’s Ball & Other Halloween Events

Freakers Ball South Lake Tahoe Halloween in the High Sierra
Image appears courtesy: Tahoe South

For those couples that need to let out their wild side, look no further than the Freaker’s Ball. Running 4+ decades strong (yes, we did mean over 40 years), it’s the ultimate way to mingle with the creatures of the night and enjoy Halloween. Named after the 1972 song written by Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show “Freakin at the Freakers Ball”, this event is perfect for those wanting to see a wild four-ring costume circus extravaganza. AND, you can get rewarded for creating the most Epic Halloween Couples Costume by winning the $10,000 costume contest!

Climb, Bike, Or Just “Fall” In Love With Nature

Fall-ing In Love With Bishop’s Big Backyard

Photo by: Gigi De Jong – Image appears courtesy: Bishop Visitor Center

Fall getaways are supposed to be easy. Instead of a long-haul flight, it’s the perfect time to road trip through the Eastern Sierra. The summer’s heat is gone from Owens Valley, but the sun is still shining. It’s the perfect basecamp for those who want to go for a bike ride, do some bouldering, or just a good ole fashioned hike. And the cherry on top? It’s home to some of the finest (and longest) fall foliage west of the Mississippi.

Take In The Stars

10 places to see the night sky in Yosemite

fall romantic night sky yosemite
Image appears courtesy: Visit Yosemite | Madera County

One positive thing about the nights getting longer is that you can spend time gazing at the heavens above. With the closest major metropolitan city miles away, Yosemite National Park provides the ultimate destination to take in the constellations. Spend the day exploring the attractions in the park, and once the sun sets, enjoy looking at the millions of twinkling stars.

Dine Your Way Through Truckee

Explore Truckee’s Mountain Cuisine

server holding burger and beer at fifty fifty brewery in Truckee California
Image appears courtesy: Visit Truckee-Tahoe

While the Sierra Nevada is known for its scenery and outdoor adventure, another hidden gem most dismiss is the food culture scene especially in the historic town of Truckee. We aren’t the only ones trumpeting its deliciousness either. The Squeeze In’s owner threw down with Bobby Flay in an all-out omelet throwdown. Guy Fieri from Diners, Drive-In, and Dives has filmed episodes on both Jax Truckee Diner as well as Burger Me. And these aren’t the only great establishments either. From high-end cuisine at Trokay to the creamiest ice cream at the Truckee Ice Creamery, it’s truly a perfect romantic foodie’s weekend.

Explore Tahoe On Your Own Time

Fall Fun In North Lake Tahoe

Fall romantic North Lake Tahoe
Image appears courtesy: Go Tahoe North

If there’s a season for romance in Lake Tahoe, it’s fall. The mornings are now crisp, and the summer crowds are gone. Children are back in school. This translates to quiet trails for you to take in the fall foliage. There’s also still plenty of events to enjoy such as Oktoberfest celebrations to the Made in Tahoe Festival. And once you’re done for the day, the temperatures dip down in the evening giving you a chance to snuggle up under a blanket and sip on some hot cocoa.

Stomp On Some Grapes

10 Things To Love About The Calaveras Grape Stomp & Gold Rush Street Faire

Calaveras Grape Stomp
Image appears courtesy: Calaveras Visitors Bureau – photo by: Ian Andrea

The opportunities for a weekend getaway to explore California’s diverse wine culture is almost limitless. And the culmination of the year’s hard work is harvest season à la fall. Every year on the 1st Saturday of October, the adorable town of Murphys hosts not one, but TWO events – Calaveras Grape Stomp & Gold Rush Street Faire. It’s a perfect time to experience the Gold Rush charm of Murphys. Discover family-owned wineries and unique shops all within a half-mile walk.

Some say spring is the season of love, but autumn offers a lot for couples too. Instead of getting caught up in the daily routine, it’s time to escape to the High Sierra for a fall romantic getaway.

Author: Alex Silgalis

Alex Silgalis is an outdoors travel writer who enjoys snowboarding, mountain biking, or having a cold one from a local mountain brewery. See more of Alex’s work at https://localfreshies.com



Share This

Follow Us


Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

Stay Up to Date

for updates on hidden gems, events, and more from California's High Sierra.

More Trip Ideas

More Trip Ideas

Keep Discovering

Need more reasons to visit the Sierra Nevada High Country?

Get a glimpse of the stunning scenery to see and activities to do in the Sierra Nevada.

View Gallery Brochure

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors