WILDFLOWERS OF THE EASTERN SIERRA | Bishop Visitor Information Center
Bishop Visitor Logo

Bishop Visitor's Center

Photo: @okayserasera

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.

 

 

About the Author: Gigi de Jong

blog author image

Gigi is “crazy mad in love with Bishop.” Since moving here in 2006 she has made it her mission to participate in as many of the outdoor activities as possible. She learned to snowboard, improved upon her very average climbing skills, took long hikes, has driven up and down innumerable mountain roads and 4x4 tracks, cycled and occasionally tumbled down mountain bike trails, taken to the roads on a bicycle or motorcycle – sometimes for fun and sometimes to commute, and successfully completed her first attempt at a triathlon. She spent 10 months touring the western US and Canada on a bicycle and after 4,000 plus miles returned to Bishop – for the beauty of the place and the spirit of the community. “My soul belongs here,” she says.

Recent Blog Posts

Tell us:

How do you enjoy OUR BACKYARD?

Follow Us on Instagram

Join Us on Facebook!

12 hours ago

Visit Bishop

YARTS for free next Saturday! Great time to visit Yosemite. Take ESTA to Mammoth Lakes, and catch the YARTS bus to the valley.GOOD MORNING YOSEMITE TRAVELERS....

Mark your calendars, because FREE YARTS to YOSEMITE is happening on Saturday, August 25th!

Now that the park has reopened, what better way to enjoy it than with a ride on YARTS.... for FREE?

From Sonora, Merced, Mammoth Lakes and Fresno, let YARTS get you to Yosemite to begin your adventure.

No reservations or tickets will be accepted and boarding is based on first-come, first served. We recommend that you arrive at least 45 minutes prior to the scheduled departure times and wait in line for a seat. Please make note of the dro-off and pickup locations inY osemite Valley. Those are the only locations that YARTS will stop at. Our schedules are online at www.yarts.com

See You In The Park!

Your BEST Yosemite Experience STARTS on YARTS!
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

1 day ago

Visit Bishop

So fun! New this year at the Tri-County Fair; just a few weeks away!Eastern Sierra Tri-County Fair is August 30-Sept 2! BUG OLOGY is new this year!

Make sure you get your tickets early to save $
Daily specials on Fair Admission.
Thursday- Canned Food Drive- bring 2 canned goods and receive Free Fair Admission.
Friday- Sports Jersey - wear your favorite Sports Jersey and receive Free Fair Admission.
Saturday- kids day- all kids 12& under receive Free Fair Admission!

See you soon!
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

4 days ago

Visit Bishop

Great opportunity to get involved in the care of our local waterways - lend a hand on September 15th for the Great Sierra River Cleanup! You can RSVP with Ryan at Save the date for 2018’s Great Sierra River Cleanup on Saturday, September 15th at 9am! Our partners at the Bishop Paiute Tribe, the Sierra Club, and Eastern Sierra Land Trust are leading the charge this year to clean up our rivers. To RSVP or for more information, please contact Ryan with Eastern Sierra Land Trust at or (760) 873-4554. ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!