Eastern Sierra

Snow and Spring Flowers Make Mono County Magic

The region's epic peaks are still frosty while blossoms burst in the lower parts of the Eastern Sierra.

Mono County

COOL CONTRASTS: Spying exactly where the seasons bump up against each other in rather stark and noticeable ways? That isn't always easy, especially in the Golden State, where one time of year can sometimes look like another time of year. And when things do change? Quite often, there's a softer, subtler flow to the transformation we see around us. Then... there's the Eastern Sierra, a true four-seasons-in-one-day sort of realm. And when May is making for the door? Oh, sweet snowflakes: The weather may still be wintry, but the landscape is awash in color, but skis can still be seen topping cars cruising along Highway 395, but donning a pair of shorts? It isn't an unusual fashion choice. This is the moment when winter and summer do a delightful little dance, in short, as evidenced by the alluring combo of wildflowers nearby and snow in the distance.

AS FOR THE SNOW? It's on the higher parts of the mountains, it is true, while flowers can be found lower down, in places like Bridgeport Valley and Parker Lake. Wallflower, balsamroot, and wild iris are some of the blossoms you'll encounter, depending on where you head, and when, too. June serves up a bigger burst of color around Bridgeport Valley, while Coleville should see colorful blooms in later May. A wise idea before hitting the road? This helpful guide to the local wildflower scene. And if you want to ski following your wildflower-focused rambles, then snow is a go, at least through some of June. Mammoth Mountain just announced that it will push its 21/22 season close date, at least by several days.

AND THERE'S MORE: The Ski, Bike & Golf All in One Day package is back at Mammoth over Memorial Day Weekend, proving yet again that savoring summer and winter fun, nearly at the same time, is something that this magical area excels at, truly. A smart plan? Whenever you go, always read up on the local road conditions.

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