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Wildflowers in Pinnacles

Flower power amid peaks and pinnacles

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Springtime comes early to Pinnacles National Park, and with it swarms legions of wildflower lovers hoping to catch the bloom at its peak. Because of its rich volcanic soil and vast grasslands, Pinnacles is an ideal spot for wildflowers. California poppies line the creek beds, mariposa lilies shine bright white in the tall grass, and shooting stars cluster in wet meadows. The intoxicating scent of lupine can almost knock you over. Over 80 percent of the park’s plants flower between March and May, but in many years you’ll find blooms as early as January or February. The flowers are just about everywhere you look, but the High Peaks Loop, Balconies Trail, and Juniper Canyon Trail are sure bets. To check species, scan the online wildflower gallery, or print the wonky but useful plant list.

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