May 31, 2017

Wildflowers of Pinnacles National Park

Pinnacles National Park is a national wonder located in central California, just 80 miles southeast of San Jose. This beloved National Park is known for its caves, rock formations and its abundance of wildflowers. The park is characterized by expansive grasslands and volcanic soil that is rich in nutrients providing perfect conditions for wildflowers to grow.

Like many wildflowers, a majority of the flowers in the park bloom in the spring time during the months of March through May. However, in this park it is not unusual to see blooms as early as January or February. During this time, the park comes to life with dazzling displays of color and succulent aromas of wildflowers providing a feast for the senses.

Among the hundreds of wildflowers that can be seen, lupine, bush poppies, and shooting stars are just three of the most plentiful. Shooting stars are possibly one of the most stunning wildflower that can be seen in the park. These beauties can be seen as early as January, given the right conditions.

Furthermore, the bright yellow Bush poppies are a popular dominate flowering shrub in the park that can be seen starting early spring. Finally, the majesty of the late blooming, highly aromatic, distinctively shaped lupines take over the park in the late spring and early summer.

Other commonly found flowers include the fiesta flower (seen in the photo below), Indian warriors, and buck brush. Since there are so many wildflower varieties, one fun thing to do is to bring a guide for commonly found species in the park, and see how many you can identify.

Hiking offers a great way to see the park and popular hiking that offer some of the best views of wildflowers includes High Peaks Loop, Balconies Trail, and Juniper Canyon Trail. Each of the trails offer a different, unique view of the park. Since the terrain can be rocky, with large or steep elevation changes, High Peaks Loop is considered to be a difficult hike, so plan accordingly. However, the panoramic views and spectacular wildflower sightings will be well worth it! Due to the hot and dry climate, it is recommended to go early, and bring extra water when hiking any trail in the park, regardless of trail difficulty.

As always, it is important to respect the park and stick to trails to help preserve the beauty of the park and the integrity of the flora and fauna. As in all national parks, it is against the law to pick wildflowers. Not only does it keep other people from being able to appreciate these flowers, it keeps the flowers from coming back more easily the next year. Please everyone do their part to help protect our national parks by sticking to trails and not picking wildflowers.

At Seedles, we offer a variety of different flowers that brighten your day and make growing the rainbow easy. We offer regional mixes, species specific options, and even herbs and edible flowers to provide you with exactly what you are looking for. Bringing the wonder of the wildflowers of Pinnacles National Park has never been easier!


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