Tioga & Glacier Point Roads Closed for the Winter
The Tioga Road (Highway 120 through the park) and Glacier Point Road are closed due to snow; they usually reopen late May or June. You can check on current road conditions by calling 209/372-0200 (press 1 then 1). More »
The World’s a Stage, and it’s Showtime for a Flower
June 14, 2013
Even though the dogwood flowers have faded away by now, there are plenty more plants ready to continue the show as they begin to bloom throughout the park. A drive along the Tioga Road reveals more than the epic scenery of the high country. A small reddish pink flower commonly carpets the roadside and is so brilliant that it grabs your attention from the granite around it. This is the Pride of the Mountains (Penstemon newberryi) and it can seem like the domes are proud to be decorated with this showy flower.
Mountain Pride along Tioga Road
Continuing on the Big Oak Flat Road toward Yosemite Valley, a large lupine species (Lupinus sp.) is blooming now along the road throughout the Big Meadow fire scar area near Foresta. These vibrant purple flowers grow in obvious spike-like clusters that stick up like dancers above a bright green bushy stage. There are at least 26 species of lupine that grow in Yosemite, but they all have palmately compound leaves and bilaterally symmetrical flowers.
Lupine along Big Oak Flat Road
Not to be outdone, Yosemite Valley is a great setting for flowers to support the performance of the lead actors. Of course, even the waterfalls and rock walls can be upstaged from time to time. El Capitan is just the backdrop to the Western azalea (Rhododendron occidentale) blooming under the oak woodland to the west end of El Capitan Meadow. These shrubs feature fragrant clusters of large white flowers highlighted by a yellow splotch.
Western Azalea in El Capitan Meadow
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Did You Know?
In 90 years of serving Yosemite National Park, the Conservancy has seen many accomplishments. From restoring the habitat of the great gray owl to funding the first museum in the Valley, Yosemite Conservancy has played a vital role in the preservation and protection of Yosemite. More...