Colorful shows of wildflowers can be seen along major Plumas County roads during the late spring and early summer. Conifer trees make up the most prominent part of the county's landscape, but the forest also supports some 2,000 species of plants, most of which are flowering. Be sure to check the "Bloom Blog" on this site, usually starting in early April, to see beautiful photos and directions on where to see them in person. Among the best places to spot color are:
The Feather River Scenic Byway (Highway 70 through the Feather River Canyon). Especially showy from April through June with a constantly changing display of wildflower color. Early color may be seen in the yellows of the delicate waterfall buttercups and the reds of the redbud shrub. Later color may be seen in the yellow bush monkeyflower and in the blues of the shrubby silver lupine.
In the central part of Plumas County, May and June are the best wildflower months. Beautiful displays may be seen in Indian Valley, especially along Stampfli Lane. The roads near Taylorsville and along both sides of the North Arm are also good for wildflower viewing. The road from Taylorsville through Genesee Valley and up to Antelope lake is magnificent in the spring.
Highway 89 along Lake Almanor has some colorful wildflowers, especially the area about midway between Canyon Dam and Highway 36 where there are wet meadows. The east shore of the lake along Highway 147 is pretty with the white color of bitterbrush and serviceberry.
The appearance of the landscape east of Chester along Highway 36 changes in spring with the flowering shrubs. Another hot spot is along the roadside of Highway 32 south of Chester, where riparian areas produce an abundance of wildflowers.
The Bucks Lake Road (Quincy-Oroville Highway) from Bucks Summit to Bucks Lake Lodge has beautiful flowers especially in the wet areas around Whitehorse Campground.
In June, the meadows in the eastern part of Plumas County, especially around Lake Davis and Red Clover Valley, put on a vivid display of purple camas and larkspur, yellow meadow buttercups, butterweed and others.
If you're willing to explore away from the roads, the Butterfly Valley Botanical Area north of Quincy is amass with color in June. The area has a large variety of species, including the unique and rare California Pitcher-plant, a yellow plant which traps insects and digests them. A tour map and information sheet on the area is available.
The Lakes Basin Recreation Area offers the area's best show of wildflowers from June through August. The network of good trails in this area pass through colorful meadows and springs and open ridges of wildflowers, all with great views of the craggy Sierra crest and the many lakes within the basin. There is also a book available to guide hikers, Wildflower Walking in the Lakes Basin, available at area bookstores.