WILDFLOWERS OF THE EASTERN SIERRA | Bishop Visitor Information Center
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Bishop Visitor's Center

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Intro

Of the many magical experiences in the Eastern Sierra, the wildflower bloom is especially lovely and fascinating. Wildflower blooms are subject to many factors and blossoming occurs at different places and different times. Water and temperature are the key factors that dictate when and how many flowers will bloom. Elevation plays a big role in this too as it affects the temperature and so flowers will bloom later at the higher, cooler elevations.

The floral display begins at the lower elevations, in places like Death Valley National Park, and then appears on the floor of the Owens Valley some weeks later. Thereafter the bloom grows in the foothills of the adjacent mountains and slowly creeps up the canyons and into the hanging valleys and meadows of the upper regions of these mountains.

For those visitors from wetter climates it is important to note that many desert flowers are small and fine. The larger bushes of rabbitbrush and sagebrush sometimes obscure the floral carpet, but that’s not to say you won’t find fields of incredible color.

What Makes It Great

The flowers of the Eastern Sierra are unique and varied and there is an abundance of open land where flowers can carpet the landscape. Wildflowers can be seen from the comfort of a vehicle, but viewing is best done on foot. A walk on the wild side of the eastside can be a magical experience. The great variety of flowers offers an opportunity for learning about our natural world in an untamed, natural setting.

The long blooming season that occurs along the 150 miles of the Eastern Sierra wildflower corridor means that the window of opportunity to see some of the amazing flora of this region is over 6 months long. Visitors to the area can find out what’s growing where at a moment’s notice during the growing season – or plan a special trip to see something specific. The latter might require a little flexibility around dates, but plenty of up-to-date information is available from the various agencies and visitor centers of the region.

Who Is Going to Love It

Who doesn’t love flowers?

The wildflowers of the Eastern Sierra will hold a special appeal for nature lovers, outdoor enthusiasts, botanists, and photographers. It is also a wonderful time for families to get out together to walk, talk and learn about our amazing natural world.

If you’re unused to the altitude you may find you get winded easily. Slow down … you’ll see more flowers that way too!

Best Season

Wildflowers bloom from early spring to late summer. It can begin as early as March and continue well into September at the higher elevations. It’s a long growing season here as the geography and topography provides a home for the amazing Eastern Sierra flora from down in the desert regions to high up in the mountains.

Directions. Parking. Regulations.

An excellent guide to finding the wildflowers of the Eastern Sierra is available to download in PDF form here. This guide lists 12 sites where wildflowers are a regular occurrence. Each area has information on directions and regulations and detail about the flora you’ll find at each site.

Please respect all rules and do not pick and take wildflowers with you. Please also be careful where you tread and don’t disturb the insects, birds and other creatures that depend on this vegetation to live.

Remember that the weather is quite unpredictable, especially in spring. Be prepared by dressing in layers and have a hat and sunscreen with you for the hot, sunny days. Wear sturdy shoes and have plenty of water to drink. In addition to a camera and binoculars you may also want to bring a magnifying glass to study the tiny flowers and their exquisite features more closely.

For updated information on the status of the blooms in the area stop in at the Bishop Visitor Center at 690 N. Main St or call (760) 873-8405.

 

 

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20 hours ago

There's still time for fall color trips! Thanks to California High Sierra for the list.One of the most unique ways to see fall colors is by horseback. The Eastern Sierra is very fortunate to have pack stations nearby each of the colorful canyons filled with Aspen. Don't miss out! #TravelTuesday
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Image appears courtesy: Visit Bishop - Photo By: @beautymajic from IG
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Click 👇 to learn more about the High Sierra's secret season: californiahighsierra.com/trips/the-secret-season-have-fun-exercise-too/
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20 hours ago

The Eastern Sierra History Conference is Oct. 26 - 28, 2018 and includes lectures, talks, tours, and more! Follow the link below and Eastern Sierra Interpretive Association for more information. Get tickets here: esiaonline.org/eastern-sierra-history-conference/Make sure you're at this year's Eastern Sierra History Conference for this talk: "The Evolution of John Muir’s Attitude Toward Native American Indians" by Dr. Raymond Barnett - Retired Professor of Biology, Chico State University. Full conference agenda located here: bit.ly/2AekZIX ... See MoreSee Less

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2 days ago

Looking for fall color right now? Check out these photos from Horton Lakes Trail taken this last weekend - right outside of Bishop!The colors on the Horton Lakes Trail were so amazing this weekend, we had trouble selecting the best photos. Here are a handful. While the colors were post-peak at the highest elevations, they were perfect at the mid elevations (below 10,000 ft). ... See MoreSee Less

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3 days ago

Rock Creek Lakes Resort is closing for the season. Be sure to check ahead at some of your seasonal favorites as winter nears - hours change and some resorts close. There’s still plenty of good high country weather - you’ll just have to pack your own lunch!It’s our last day of the season!!We are serving breakfast and lunch 8 AM-3 PM. The store will be closing at 5 PM tonight! ... See MoreSee Less

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