Yosemite Ranger Notes

About This Blog

Ranger-naturalists have been interpreting the natural and cultural resources of Yosemite for park visitors for nearly a century. In this blog, some of Yosemite's park rangers share recent observations from around Yosemite.

All posts are shown below, or you can view posts by topic.

First to Bloom

February 08, 2015 Posted by: CJ - Web & Social Media Volunteer (Yosemite Valley)

When visitors ask “when will the first wildflowers be blooming?” an easy answer is May, June, or July. However, months before the poppies, pentstemons, lilies, and shooting stars show their pretty summer colors to the world, a small, special flower grows high up in seemingly harsh conditions.


A Wolf in Flower’s Clothing

July 19, 2013 Posted by: JW - Park Ranger (Big Oak Flat Entrance Station Ranger)

A common trail companion and "square one" for a Sierra wildflower lesson, lupine is easy to find and easy on the eyes. It has multiple flowers of bluish purple and the two most common types found in Yosemite either grow close to the ground or as a small bush. This group of flowers is in the genus lupinus and the legume family. They can be referred to as lupine, lupin, or even bluebonnets (if you're in Texas). Like a movie star on the Riviera, give lupine a sandy spot with ple


Lady Slipper Orchids

June 25, 2013 Posted by: BR - Park Ranger/Resources Management & Science Liaison

I was exploring Yosemite's mountain forests at about 5,000 feet elevation recently, when I found my favorite patch of lady slipper orchids still in bloom. I say "favorite patch" because the first time I ever saw such lovely and unusual flowers was here in this gorgeous little swale. It was love at first sight and a turning point in my life. I was so taken by them that I decided to study botany in college.


Hetch Hetchy Wildflowers: Species List

June 07, 2013 Posted by: BW & AH - Park Rangers (White Wolf)

Hetch Hetchy is a wonderful place to experience wildflowers early in Yosemite’s summer season. At about 3,800 feet, it is lower in elevation than many other parts of the park–so it’s also one of the first places that flowers bloom in Yosemite. Here is a small sampling of flowers recently seen blooming along the 2.5-mile trail to Wapama Falls.


First Blooms of the 2013 Wildflower Season!

January 11, 2013 Posted by: Bob Roney

Every January the Merced Canyon opens the annual flower show with waterfall buttercups (Kumlienia hystriculus). These beauties live around wet areas where water continually drips or near waterfalls where they are kept fresh by spray.


Last updated: March 27, 2021

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