Thanks to Yosemite’s varied elevation and terrain, wildflowers are in bloom somewhere in the park for nearly six months out of the year. In addition to their aesthetic value, wildflowers contribute to the park’s ecology by attracting bees, butterflies and other species that depend on them.
To date, botanists have discovered 1,450 distinct species of wildflowers in the park. They generally bloom in and around lush meadows and along trails. Colorful species to keep an eye out for and commonly seen throughout the park include shooting stars, lupine, lilies, monkey flower, paintbrush, poppies (the California state flower) and columbine.
Here is where to look and when to catch the show:
Hetch Hetchy Valley Wildflowers
The lowest elevation region of Yosemite is blooming from March through May.
Yosemite Valley and Wawona Wildflowers
May and June
>>Cook’s Meadow (Yosemite Valley)
>>Turner Meadows (near Wawona)
Glacier Point and Tioga Road Wildflowers
June and July
>>Bridalveil Creek and McGurk Meadow (off Glacier Point Road)
>>Taft Point and Sentinel Dome Trails (off Glacier Point Road)
>>Crane Flat Meadows
>>Harden and Lukens Lake (near White Wolf)
>>Sunrise Lakes (near Tenaya Lake)
Wildflowers in Tuolumne Meadows and the high Sierra
Late June through August
During high snowpack years, wildflowers can be in bloom through September.
>>Soda Springs and Parsons Lodge
>>Dana Meadows and Gaylor Lakes
>>Dana Fork on Mono Pass Trail