GRANITE PEAK PUBLICATIONS: Accompanying travelers to the national park since 2002

Yellowstone Wildflowers in July 2011

moss campion and pasque flower

Moss campion and Pasque flower

During the time I allowed myself to stay in and near Yellowstone last month, I spent several days learning more about wildflowers in two Yellowstone Institute classes. One beautiful day we went up the Beartooth Highway, the switch-backed climb to almost 11,000 feet that Charles Kuralt called “the most beautiful road in America.”

Stopping our van only twice, our instructor John Campbell helped us find and identify at least forty-five different species of small to tiny flowers. These hardy flowers have only seven or eight weeks to poke through the still-hard ground, open their flowers, and create seeds in a typical summer. I always marvel at how each type of flower has a different anatomy along with appreciating their colors and shapes.

Another picture taken during the class: a view of the landmark Pilot and Index Peaks of the Beartooth Range, my friend Masa in the foreground.
Pilot and Index Peaks