The Yosemite area offers a phenomenal variety of wildflowers, including some of the rarest varieties around. It is home to both native California plants and species that have migrated from the Pacific coast, the Great Basin, southern deserts, and northern mountains. Thanks to Yosemite’s varied elevation and terrain, you can see wildflowers in bloom in different parts of the park for nearly six months out of the year. In the lower elevations of the Sierra Nevada foothills, spring blossoms start as early as March. The higher elevations of the park become free of snow only in late June or July, and spring arrives there much later but brings one of the best wildflower shows.
The brightest species that you can see throughout the park include: shooting stars, purple lupines, lilies, yellow monkeyflowers, paintbrushes, poppies (the California state flower), yellow fiddlenecks, redbuds, and columbines. Popular trails for wildflowers watching in the Lower Elevations are: Cook’s Meadow Loop in the Yosemite Valley, Wawona Meadow Loop in Wawona, Wapama Falls in Hetch Hetchy, as well as Soda Springs and Parson Lodge, Lyell Canyon, and Elizabeth Lake.
Trails in the Higher Elevations include: McGurk Meadow, Taft Point, Sentinel Dome, all along the Glacier Point Road, as well as Gaylor Lakes and Mono Pass, both starting near Tuolumne Meadows. The wildflower blossoming season runs from March until the end of August, but the months of May and June are the best time for the most spectacular wildflower show.