One Hundred Hikes in Yosemite

The Living Yosemite — Yosemite's Plant Communities
  |  Gorp.com

Foothill Woodland

Trees: foothill (gray, Digger) pine, knobcone pine, blue oak, interior live oak, tanbark oak, California buckeye, red willow, arroyo willow, black cottonwood

Shrubs: scrub oak, poison oak, Parry manzanita, whiteleaf manzanita, chaparral whitethorn (ceanothus), yerba santa, toyon, western redbud, spice bush, bush poppy, bush monkey flower, mock orange, chaparral currant, bitter gooseberry

Wildflowers: Indian pink, soap plant, California poppy, miner's lettuce, Chinese houses, purple milkweed, star flower, western buttercup

Mammals: gray fox, bobcat, spotted skunk, ringtail, brush rabbit, Merriam's chipmunk, Botta's pocket gopher, dusky-footed wood rat, Heermann's kangaroo rat, brush mouse, pinyon mouse, ornate shrew, small-footed myotis (bat), western pipistrelle (bat)

Birds: California thrasher, wrentit, bushtit, plain titmouse, scrub jay, rufous-sided towhee, western bluebird, Nuttall's woodpecker, Hutton's vireo, Bewick's wren, blue-gray gnatcatcher

Reptiles: common king snake, racer, striped racer, ringneck snake, western whiptail, southern alligator lizard, Gilbert's skink

Amphibians: foothill yellow-legged frog, California slender salamander, California newt, arboreal salamander

Where seen: sunny slopes about and below Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, Arch Rock-El Portal area, lower Alder Creek trail

Ponderosa-Pine Forest

Trees: ponderosa pine, incense-cedar, black oak, sugar pine, white fir, interior live (gold-cup) oak, Douglas-fir, giant sequoia (restricted distribution), California laurel (bay tree), big-leaf maple, Scouler's willow, mountain (Pacific) dogwood, white alder, black cottonwood

Shrubs: whiteleaf manzanita, mountain misery, western azalea, American (creek) dogwood, buckbrush, deer brush, Sierra gooseberry

Wildflowers: broad-leaved lupine, harlequin lupine, narrow-leaved lotus, black-eyed Susan, common madia, scarlet monkey flower, blue penstemon, evening primrose, bleeding hearts, wild ginger, false Solomon's seal, mountain dogbane (Indian hemp), umbrella plant (Indian rhubarb), mountain violet, waterfall buttercup

Mammals: black bear, raccoon, striped skunk, gray squirrel, long-eared chipmunk, big brown bat, hairy-winged myotis (bat)

Birds: Steller's jay, black-headed grosbeak, western tanager, Townsend's solitaire, acorn woodpecker, white-headed woodpecker, downy woodpecker, band-tailed pigeon, purple finch, solitary vireo, Nashville warbler, black-throated gray warbler, MacGillivray's warbler, winter wren, violet-green swallow, screech owl, spotted owl, golden eagle

Reptiles: California mountain kingsnake, rubber boa, gopher snake, northern alligator lizard

Amphibian: ensatina

Where seen: Yosemite Valley, Cherry Lake, Mather R.S., Pate Valley, Alder Creek trail, Wawona, Merced, Tuolumne, and Mariposa groves

Jeffrey-Pine Forest

Trees: Jeffrey pine, red fir, white fir, incense-cedar, sugar pine, western juniper

Shrubs: huckleberry oak, greenleaf manzanita, snow bush, tobacco brush, sagebrush, squaw wax currant, curl-leaved mountain mahogany

Wildflowers: mountain pride (Newberry's penstemon), Bridges' penstemon, showy penstemon, Gray's lupine, single-stemmed senecio, coyote mint (mountain monardella), mule ears, Sierra wallflower, jewel flower (streptanthus), spreading phlox, scarlet gilia, pussy paws, sulfur flower, nude buckwheat, Leichtlin's Mariposa tulip (lily), Sierra sedum

Mammals: Sierra Nevada golden-mantled ground squirrel, mountain pocket gopher, bushy-tailed wood rat

Birds: mountain quail, fox sparrow, green-tailed towhee, Townsend's solitaire, olive-sided flycatcher

Reptiles: western fence lizard, sagebrush lizard, western rattlesnake

Where seen: El Capitan, North Dome-Indian Ridge, old Kibbie Lake trail, lower West Walker River, slabs above Lake Vernon and Agnew Lake. At most of Yosemite's rocky or dry-gravelly mid-elevation sites; widespread on the Mono Basin's higher slopes.

Red-Fir/Lodgepole-Pine Forest

Trees: red fir, lodgepole pine, western white (silver) pine, white fir, mountain hemlock, aspen, Scouler's willow, MacKenzie's willow

Shrubs: bush chinquapin, pinemat manzanita, mountain spiraea, Labrador tea, red heather, Sierra-laurel, Sierra gooseberry, sticky currant, service-berry, bitter cherry, mountain ash, Lemmon's willow, mountain alder

Wildflowers: white-veined wintergreen, pinedrops, snow plant, spotted coralroot, meadow rue, Richardson's geranium, arrow-leaved senecio (butterweed), larkspur, monk's hood, crimson columbine, fringed lungwort (mountain bluebells), alpine (tiger) lily

Mammals: red fox, porcupine, marten, chickaree (Douglas squirrel), lodgepole chipmunk, western jumping mouse, dusky shrew, little brown myotis (bat)

Birds: blue grouse, dark-eyed junco, mountain chickadee, red-breasted nuthatch, golden-crowned kinglet, Williamson's sapsucker, Hammond's flycatcher, Cassin's finch, evening grosbeak, red crossbill, goshawk, great gray owl

Where seen: generally found between 6500 and 9000 feet-the elevation traversed by the bulk of Yosemite's trails; it is the most widespread plant community in the Park. Most accessible sites: Tioga Road from Crane Flat to Tuolumne Meadows, and White Wolf, Pohono Trail, Badger Pass, Chiquito Pass

Mountain Meadow

Shrubs: arctic (alpine) willow, shining (caudate) willow, Eastwood's willow, Sierra willow, western blueberry, dwarf bilberry, bog kalmia

Wildflowers: corn lily, Jeffrey's shooting star, cow parsnip, swamp onion, carpet clover, Leichtlin's camas, marsh marigold, Lewis monkey flower, primrose monkey flower, Lemmon's paintbrush, alpine paintbrush, Sierra penstemon, meadow penstemon, slender cinquefoil, sticky cinquefoil, Drummond's cinquefoil, pussytoes, elephant heads

Mammals: Belding ground squirrel, white-tailed hare (jack rabbit), montane meadow mouse, water shrew

Birds: white-crowned sparrow, Brewer's blackbird, mountain bluebird, spotted sandpiper

Reptile: mountain garter snake

Amphibians: Yosemite toad, Pacific treefrog, mountain yellow-legged frog

Where seen: Tuolumne Meadows, Dana Meadows, Lyell Canyon, Grace Meadow, Kerrick Meadow, McGurk Meadow, Mono Meadow, Moraine Meadow, Lukens Lake, Cathedral Lakes, Dog Lake, Middle Gaylor Lake, Washburn Lake, Emeric Lake

Subalpine Forest

Trees: whitebark pine, lodgepole pine, western white pine, mountain hemlock

Shrubs: bush cinquefoil, arctic (alpine) willow, Eastwood's willow, Mono willow, Sierra willow, red mountain heather, white heather, Labrador tea, alpine gooseberry, sticky currant

Wildflowers: Sierra wallflower, Davidson's (timberline) penstemon, Coville's lupine, Coville's columbine, mountain sorrel, rock fringe, Lobb's eriogonum, cut-leaved daisy, alpine saxifrage, pink alum root

Mammals: pika, yellow-bellied marmot, white-tailed hare (jack rabbit), alpine chipmunk, ermine (short-tailed weasel), little brown myotis (bat)

Birds: Clark's nutcracker, pine grosbeak, mountain chickadee, mountain bluebird, black-backed woodpecker

Amphibians: Mt. Lyell salamander, Yosemite toad

Where seen: most high lakes and passes, including Dorothy Lake, Peeler Lake, Benson Pass, Virginia Pass, Summit Lake, McCabe Lakes, Gaylor Lakes, Tioga Pass, Mono Pass, Ireland Lake, Vogelsang High Sierra Camp, May Lake, Ten Lakes, Buena Vista Peak, Post Peak Pass, Fernandez Pass, upper Chain Lake

Alpine Fell-Fields

Shrubs: snow willow, arctic (alpine) willow, bush cinquefoil, alpine prickly currant

Wildflowers: sky pilot, alpine gold (hulsea), Brewer's draba, Lemmon's draba, Sierra draba, dense-leaved draba, cushion phlox, Davidson's penstemon, cut-leaved daisy, dwarf alpine daisy, sticky locoweed (oxytrope), Sierra podistera, oval-leaved buckwheat, Muir's ivesia, alpine (pygmy) lewisia

Mammals: pika, yellow-bellied marmot, alpine chipmunk

Birds: rosy finch

Where seen: most of the Sierra crest from Matterhorn Peak south, including Mt. Dana, Dana Plateau, Parker Pass, and Donohue Pass; also Mt. Hoffmann and Red Peak Pass


Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

advertisement

Sign up to Away's Travel Insider

Preview newsletter »