Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 17, 2010

Bishop Creek/South Lake-Eastern Sierra Nevada Wildflowers

Today we drove from Bishop to South Lake.  Than hiked a short way on the trail to towards Long Lake.  The road was most flowery from around 8000 feet to the parking area at South Lake. Shortly before the parking area was an area that had the large white Alpine Columbines, Red Columbines and hybrids of the two species; all very visible from the road.  Even if you don’t feel like hiking I would suggest you walk the beginning of the trail and after you cross the two wooden bridges take the left fork off the main trail.  It is a very short and very flowery trail.  Although we didn’t get to Long Lake, a number of hikers said it was very flowery.  Be ready for mosquitos. The parking lot at South Lake fills up on weekends so it is advisable to get there early.

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Bishop Creek Plant list for drive to South Lake (organized roughly from lower elevations to higher ones)  All plant were seen either on the road or very close when we made numberous wildflower stops:  Blue Mantle, Bush Sunflower,  MountainWallflower, Cactus, yellow Buckwheats, Rabbitbush, Prickly Poppy, Desert Mallow, Mule Ears, a white Ceanothus, Lupines, Paintbrush, Red-stemmed Pincushion, Mountain Misery, Sego Lily (Calochortus bruneaunis), Coyote Mint, Dogbane, Angelica, Wild Rose, Evening Primrose, Blue Elderberry, Slender Cinquefoil, Desert Milk Aster, Red Penstemon, Brewers Daisy, Whorled Penstemon, Monkshood, Arrowhead Groundsel, Slim False Solomon’s Seal, Streambank Arnica, Jessica’s Stickweed, Pussy Toes, Blue Flag, Iris, Yarrow, White-flowered Bog Orchid, Goldenrod, Bird’s Foot Trefoil, Showy Penstemon, Snowberry, a purple Aster or Erigeron,  Mountain Mahogany, Wooly Groundsel,Whisker Brush, Fireweed, Red Columbine, 2 species of Shooting Star, Alpine Columbines, Hybrid Columbines and Mt. Pride.

Plant list for the first half mile or so of the main trail along South Lake:  Swamp Onion, Shooting Star, Sierra Lily, Ranger Buttons, Paintbrush, White-flowered Bog Orchid, Meadow Rue, Red Columbines, Slender Cinquefoil, Coyote Mint, Yellow Buckwheat, Yellow Sanicle, Prickly Phlox, a Phacelia, Snowberry, Nude Buckwheat, Red Penstemon, Wall Flower, Bitterbush. Pink Alum Root,  and Inyo Genetian Swertia puberulenta ( a green easy to miss plant)We also saw and heard Clark’s nutcrackers and the red cones on the White Bark Pines.

Plant list for left turn off main trail after second bridgeLabrador Tea, Lupine, Aster, Paintbrush, Sierra Lily, White-flowered Bog Orchid, Monkshood, Arrowhead Groundsel, Red Columbine, Frog Orchid (green), Shooting Star,  False Solomon’s Seal, Stickweed, Willow Herb, and  Pussy Toes.

Extremely help was A Bishop Creek Checklist (annotated) by Jack and Pat Crowther.

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  1. […] Bishop Creek/South Lake-Eastern Sierra Nevada Wildflowers […]


  2. Beautiful columbine, nice pics


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