Blooming mule's ears plant in the Desolation Wilderness.

Blooming mule’s ears plant in the Desolation Wilderness.

Blooming Mule Ears in Desolation Wilderness

The Desolation Wilderness is a wilderness area in the El Dorado National forest in the Tahoe Basin. You’ll see these plants start blooming around April thru June. You’ll need a permit if you go backpacking through here. One of the most notable peaks here is Mount Tallac, which is easy to summit and can be done in a single day. I’ve personally hiked it a dozen times and the scenery never gets old.
The scientific name for this plant is Wyethia mollis and it is native to this part of California. The leaves are shaped like a mule’s ear, hence the name. It is a slow growing plant and long-lived, creating an upright form to a height of 2.5 feet, with active growth during the spring and summer. Flowers are yellow and very striking and bloom in the late spring. Leaves are white-gray and deciduous. It tends to be a pioneer species, growing in open grassy areas or recently burnt sites, at elevations from 4500-10600 feet which is where this area was at.

Have you hiked in the Desolation Wilderness?


Category Landscape
Exposure Manual exposure, 1/60 sec, ISO 100
Camera Canon EOS 5D
Lens Canon 28-80mm
Filter Polarizer
Location Desolation Wilderness, California


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