Here in Tuolumne County, we are fortunate to have a very long wildflower season thanks to our varying elevations. In fact, you can catch wildflowers here from March to September so long as you know where to go. We have put together some insider tips for catching that perfect shot or just taking in the unforgettable views. Depending on the year, flowers can arrive early or later than their typical months!
The New Melones Lake Area
One of the earliest to bloom in Tuolumne County, New Melones is a dreamy destination for lupine lovers. The trails are generally easy without too much elevation gain. But if you’re in for a little workout the wildflowers along with incredible views can be found along the Table Mountain Trail. You’ll find the trail covered with those golden views of buttercups, gold fields, and phacelia.
The Red Hills Recreation Management Area
Consisting of numerous easy loop trails through the serpentine landscape, Red Hills is a world of its own outside of Jamestown. Take in the sounds of the creek as you wander the simple trails lined with golden blooms. You may even cross paths with a road-runner while you explore. This uniquely red dirt grows a variety of wild ones like monkey flowers, brodiaea, poppies, and buttercups.
West Side Trail
The West Side Trail in Tuolumne is easily accessible and perfect for morning or late afternoon leisurely walk or bike ride along the flower-lined path with fantastic vistas. Learn about the indigenous plants and the railroad history of the area as you walk along this old rail trail, with the help of the informational signs along the way.
The Groveland area is a spectacular destination for views of lupines, brodiaea, owls clover, and buttercups. Take a drive along Ferretti Road for some instagrammable meadow views or make a stop at the historic jail just off of Main Street for a local garden full of life and wild blooms along the nearby creek. Grab a cup of coffee and bask in a spring blossom haven at Mountain Sage Coffee and Nursery. Hang for awhile in their "Hammock Garden" and shop their garden of native to Tuolumne County plants.
The entrance to the little mountain town of Twain Harte will pull you into the magic of natural color with the daffodil views. Take a walk along the Twain Harte Ditch Trail for all of the shaded creek side spring vibes extended into June.
Spring takes “the mountains are calling” to a whole new level of excellence in Tuolumne County’s High Sierra. Explore the open meadows that surround the Pinecrest Area campgrounds for some epic wildflower viewing.
Yosemite National Park
We would be crazy not to mention all the wildflowers you can spy while in Yosemite National Park! The less visited trail to Lukins Lake blooms with insta-worthy wild ones, like shooting stars, that thrive. Nearby, in Tuolumne Meadows, flowers like rich blue gentians, alpine goldenrod, corn lilies, red columbine, and fireweed make an appearance around this time of year.