« 2015-05 Sierra Nevada

May 25, 2015: Hetch Hetchy & Stanislaus National Forest, California

I arrived at Yosemite National Park on Memorial Day, and the rangers at the Big Oak Flat info station strongly advised me to skip Yosemite Valley and just go out to Hetch Hetchy, where I'd find a lot of wildflowers and far fewer people.

Along Evergreen Road in Stanislaus National Forest on my way to Hetch Hetchy, I started finding some pretty good wildflowers, including an amazing meadow filled with sky lupines and foothill meadow-foam. Then I had my first encounter with harlequin lupine on Hetch Hetchy Road, just past the entrance booth. At Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, I took the trail along the north shore, and I was pretty underwhelmed, wildflower-wise, until I got to some wetter spots and finally found all kinds of interesting stuff.

On the way back to the place I was staying in Groveland, I took a different route, along Mather Road and Cherry Lake Road, and saw even more plants that I'd never seen before... and then I ran out of daylight.

I saw more flowers on this day than the whole rest of the trip put together. So if you're headed to Yosemite in the early part of the season and want to see wildflowers, this is where you should go! (Here's a map.)

[Geolocation map]

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