Belt Buckle
Wildflowers of the Sierra Nevada

All wildflower pictures on this page are courtesy of the University of California at Berkley digital library project.

 Sky Pilot
Flower 1I must admit, I am a wildflower lover! When I was packing for Mt. Whitney Pack Trains in the High Sierra I was always fascinated by the incredible array of wildflowers. It seemed as though every color and shape was either splashed amongst the rocks or growing in the meadows. From flowers as small as an eraser on the end of a pencil on the Owens Valley desert floor to those which were larger than a saucer in some of the Sierra alpine meadows, there was never a lack of wildflowers. No matter where you looked, there was an abundance of color. From the carpeted sandy flats of Monache and Mulkey Meadows to the knee deep Larkspur and Shooting Stars of Crabtree and Kerrick Meadows, there was always enough color to keep you coming back for more. Though I love them all, perhaps my favorite is the Sky Pilot, or Polemonium Californicum as some may call it. This hearty little flower can only really be appreciated by those who have made it higher than 10,000' in the Sierra, for it's in the rocky crags in the narrow little region between 10,000' - 13,000' that this jewel grows. I would often see the Sky Pilot while going from Whitney Portal to Crabtree Meadows on the John Muir Trail over the 13,777' Trail Crest Pass. This truly is the "High Sierra" flower!

Flower 2
Anderson's Thistle

Flower 3
 Lewis' Monkey Flower

Flower 4
Shooting Star

Flower 5
Shooting Star

Flower 6
Sierra Blue Cup

 Flower 7
Apricot Mallow

Flower 8
Sierra Tiger Lily

Flower 9
Brittle Bush

 Flower 10
Mariposa Lily

Flower 11
Monks Hood

Flower 12
Sierra Penstemon

Flower 13 
Sierra Primrose


"Seen From a Saddle"[pdf]
by Ardath Dietrich


Packing & High Sierra Stories  

Mt. Whitney Packers of the 1940s - 1970s  

Early Lone Pine  

More Wildflowers of the High Sierra 


One Packers High Sierra Experience


 Brochures of the Eastern High Sierra

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Feb 2012 - Oct 1999


This page was last updated on 08 July 2012