The Mineral King Road


The Mineral King Road begins near Three Rivers in the foothills of the Sierra.  After 25 miles and 325 curves the road terminates at the White Chief trailhead in Mineral King Valley at an elevation of 7500 feet.  Beginning in April the trees and wild flowers in the foothills begin to bloom: Red Bud and Buckeye trees, Elderberry, Spicebush, Ithureal Spears, Golden Brodiaea, Snake Lily, Fairy Lanterns, Chinese Houses, Poppies and many composites.  In May and June you begin to see the flowering plants and shrubs at the mid-elevations: Fremontia, Bush Poppy, Farewell to Spring, Manzanita, Yerba Santa, Blazing Star, Milkweed, Lupine and many others.  The wild flowers in the valley often don’t bloom until late June or early July depending upon the severity of the winter; the Snow Plant is one of the first plants to bloom; it is a saprophyte in the Heath family; it grows out of the debris of pine and fir trees in and is a brilliant red in contrast to the still brown and gray winter landscape.

Map of the Mineral King Road - Ink Drawing by John Keesey