Plants

The native plants found in Yosemite National Park are all exquisitely beautiful and make up the biologically diverse environment of the park. They vary according to elevation levels and are influenced heavily by the climatic and topographical changes in the ecosystems of the park.

There are different vegetation zones in the park, which include the following:

Foothill-Woodland Zone

This region lies at the lowest elevation of the park near its western boundary. This area is usually dry and hot during the summer as well as winter. Plants like blue oak, gray pine, ceanothus, chamise and Manzanita are quite common in this region.

Lower Monatne Forest

This region starts near 3,000 feet elevation, where the temperature varies according to seasons. The weather is hot and dry in summer; but in winter, it gets cold and moist and you can often find some snow as well during this season. Found along the western boundary of the park, this region features plants like incense-cedar, California black oak, ponderosa pine, white fir and the famous giant sequoia groves of Yosemite.

Upper Montane Forest

Starting at an elevation level of 6,000 feet, this region of the park experiences cold, wet winters that linger for a longer time while the summer is short but cool and moist. In this region, you can find lodgepole pine and strands of red fir quite commonly. Other than that, you can also find western juniper, Jeffrey pine and a variety of blooming wildflowers during different seasons.

Subalpine Forest

Near the elevation of 8,000 feet, the Upper Montane is replaced by the Subalpine Forest. Here, cold winters are more dominant through the year. In this area, you can most commonly find plants like the mountain hemlock, the white pine and lodgepole pine. There are also several meadows that can be found in the area, each filled with beautiful blooming flowers between July and August.

Alpine Zone

Starting at an elevation of 9,500 feet, this area of the park is easily distinguishable as it rises high above the tree line of the park. The weather in this region is harshly cold throughout the year, resulting in no trees to be found in this area. You can find some herbaceous plants in this region, but for a very short time span when the weather is relatively less harsh in summer.