Shortly after this spring’s Firefall event ended in Yosemite—where the sun’s last rays lit up Horsetail Falls on El Capitan, turning the water a fire-like orange—the park’s annual spring wildflower bloom was in full color. Starting in mid-March and extending through mid-April, Lower Merced River Canyon blooms bright with tufted poppies, baby blue eyes, and purple lupine.
“They’re fully bloomed now,” says Julie Hadzega from the Yosemite Mariposa County Tourism Bureau.
One of the best places to view Yosemite’s spring bloom is at the Hite Cove Trail, at the confluence of the South Fork and Merced rivers along CA 140. The 4.5-mile path meanders along the river on a hillside in the Sierra National Forest and starts at the parking area for Savage’s Trading Post. The next best spot for viewing wildflowers near Yosemite starts at the Briceburg Visitor Center (closed until April 30), located 12 miles east of Mariposa.