Flora in the Southern Sierra Nevada
and Kern River Valley


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— Richard Jones (plateau north of Kernville

Living on this planet is what I perceive to be heaven. Finding a field of wildflowers being visited by butterflies or birds fills me with gratitude for the magnificence of our earth. Being a biologist makes me understand the intricate interrelationships of many of the plants and creatures. So many that are not especially photographable upon first impression, may in fact end up being the key to an entire life cycle. Such is the nature of life, always respect what you understand the least and maybe someday one of your discoveries may in fact hold the key to the entire puzzle.

       — Alison Sheehey, Kern River Valley Naturalist



Beautiful wildflowers occur throughout all of the Southern Sierra Nevada. My travels have been primarily in the Kern River Valley:

--> along State Hwy 178 in the Weldon area, where the Kern River Preserve is located;

--> from State Hwy 58 in the Tehachapi Mountains area, north on the Calientie-Bodfish road to Lake Isabella;

--> State Hwy 155 and Kern county road 495 north to Kernville on the Kern River, North Fork.

I've also spent a lot of time farther north:

--> in the Sequoia National Forest in Tulare County;

--> on the R-Ranch in the Sequoias at Johnsondale;

--> and along the surrounding Forest Service Roads, where wonderful floral displays await the eager enthusiast.

I've indicated the location where the plant was photographed, including in some cases, the Road/Highway designations:


Hwy395 (state highway) - the Kern River Valley straddles the Mojave Desert Bioregion, so I've included several photographs from flowers along this highway.

Hwy 178 (state highway) - from Hwy 14 west to Weldon; continues to Lake Isabella

Sierra Way - from Hwy 178 in Weldon north to Tulare County line, 1 mile north of Kernville

Mtn 99 (Tulare county road) - from Tulare County line to jct of M50 and 23S82, 1 mile north of Johnsondale

R-Ranch in the Sequoias, at Johnsondale

M50 (Tulare county road) - west from Johnsondale to California Hot Springs

Hwy 107 (state highway) - Western Divide Hwy, north to Trail of 100 Giants




Bealville Road - north from Hwy 58, 15 miles west of Tehachapi

Caliente-Bodfish Road (Kern county road 483)- connects from Bealville Road, continuing north - a 35 mile winding drive to Bodfish and Lake Isabella

Walker Basin Road --> Walser Road loop, about 16 miles up Cal-Bodfish Road at the Rankin Ranch

Hwy 155 (state highway) - north from Lake Isabella to Wofford Hts

Hwy 495/Burlando Road (Kern county road) - north from Wofford Hts into Kernville




Forest Routes:

    FR 23S82 - north from jct. of Mtn99 and M50
    FR 23S10 - southwest out of Johnsondale
    FR 23S16 - from FR 23S10, loops back to M50
    FR 22S05 - Sherman Pass Road
    FR 23S06 - from Hwy 107, leads to Holey Meadow
    FR 23S18 - from Hwy 107, leads to Horse Meadow

Here are maps showing the above roads:

     Kern River Valley and Southern Sierra Nevada

     Forest Routes in the Johnsondale area of the Sequoia National Forest


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Go to the Photographs

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All Text and Images © Richard Jones 2007 - 2017


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