Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 3, 2011

Eastern Sierra Wildflower Reports 8/3/11

McGee Creek Trail and Rock Creek Road Wildflowers

Today we hiked the McGee Creek trail as far as the second stream crossing, which about two to two and half miles each way.  Although past peak, there were still many flowers in bloom.  The best area is the half-mile or so before the stream crossings, which had large displays of yellow buckwheat and red paintbrush.  Look up and down the streams and check the moist shaded areas for flowers that you won’t find in the dry open areas.

If you go  to McGee Creek the second stream crossing is considered challenging and the bridge at the three-mile mark is down.  The trail was easy up to the second crossing. It is hot so bring water, sunscreen and insect repellent. There is also one patch of stinging nettle next to the trail.

We drove up Rock Creek Road from 395 and found the flowers along the road very good starting around a drainage at 5.5 miles and at elevation 8750 feet.  There is an excellent wildflower spot with many species on the left both on the road and in the woods along the drainage.  At 7.2 miles and 9200 feet elevation there is a good wildflower spot on the right.  The flowers continue all the way up to the Rock Creek trailhead.  The trailhead was mobbed.  Even though it was a weekday, no parking was to be found within a mile of the trailhead.

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To see plant lists for McGee Creek and Rock Creek Road today click Read More.

McGee Creek Plant List 8/3/11: 


Arrowleaf Groundsel

Aster, Purple

Blue Elderberry

Buckwheat-five speciies

Coffeeberry in fruit (berries)

Cow Parsnip

Coyote Mint


Erigeron a white one

Evening Primrose



Green Rein Orchid

Locoweed  2 species including Whitney’s in bloom and with its colorful  spotted inflated fruit


Meadow Rue (in fruit)

Monkeyflower, Yellow


Mules Ears

Paintbrush 3 species


Prickly Phlox

Rangers Buttons

Red Columbine

Red Penstemon

Rubber Rabbitbrush

Sego Lilies (Calochortus bruneaunis) just a few left

Stinging Nettle

Stream Orchid


Wild Rose

Wire Lettuce

Also seen were Swallowtails, Red Admirals, Orange Sulphur, and Acmon or Lupine Blue butterflies.

Rock Creek Road Plant list for 8/3/11.  

Those that were most plentiful are in bold.


 Arrowleaf Groundsel

Aster, purple

Bog Orchids White-flowered

 Buckwheat, Yellow


Corn Lily

Coyote Mint

Great Polemonium

Green Rein Orchid


Monkey Flower Primrose

 Monkeyflowers   Yellow


Mt. Pride Penstemon

Nude Buckwheat


Prickly Phlox

Red Columbines

 Red Penstemon

 Richardson’s Geranium


 Scarlet Gilia

Sierra Kelly’s Lily

Single Stemmed Groundsel

Slender Cinquefoil

Sticky Cinquefoil


Swamp Onion

Whorled Penstemon

Willow Herb small Pink



  1. Thanks so much,


    • Sorry, hit “post!” Just wanted you to know those are two of my favorite places. I will be so occupied checking off your lists, I may not
      notice the flies/mosquitoes at Mc Gee. Many thanks.
      Most important: one needs to get to Rock Creek early to have a chance of slice of pie at Rock Creek lake resort store (now I’ve done it, but I jut noticed it was in a Sunset some time ago).

      Another highlight is the water birch at Mc Gee. The views at Rock Creek speak for themselves also.


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