Photos of Dogwood Tree Blossoms in May

If you plan your visit just right, not only will you get to experience the best weather and waterfall viewing the park has to offer, but you’ll also be treated to the beautiful dogwood trees blooming. This brief window generally occurs in late April to early May.

Pacific Dogwood Flowers in Full Bloom - closeup
Pacific Dogwood Flowers in Full Bloom

I had no idea this was the case when I entered the park – so this was a pleasant surprise. The most stunning location I’ve found is right around Pohono Bridge, heading toward the heart of the valley on Southside Drive. This also applies going the opposite direction on Northside Drive, from “Valley View Yosemite” to the bridge.

Dogwood Tree Flowers along the road on Southside Drive
Dogwood Tree Flowers On Southside Drive

The flowers on these trees really don’t last long. One or two weeks later, the petals are already wilting and falling away. Of course, the trees are still a nice vibrant green then…so it’s not the end of the world. There’s just something so magical about seeing these already scenic roads and trails lined with spring flowers in bloom.

Flowering Dogwood tree below El Capitan
Flowering tree below El Cap

I was thrilled to find some dramatic, shady lighting to photograph the trees in this area. There was actually a woman taking photos of the pink spring blooms by the Merced River here. When she noticed my camera pointed at this illuminated Dogwood scene below El Capitan, she immediately picked up her gear and followed suit.

Sometimes we Yosemite photographers get so laser focused on a particular subject that we neglect to notice the spectacular shifts in mood and lighting around us.

Dramatic afternoon sunlight illuminating white dogwood flowers - detail
Dramatic lighting on white dogwoods

In any case, I do hope you get a chance to experience the dogwood bloom in the park. Yosemite in spring truly is a once in a lifetime experience.

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– Nathan Allen

About Me

Photographer Nathan Allen

I’m Nathan Allen, photographer / creator of (Yosemite Photos) and international travel site I Dreamed Of This. In truth, I lived in San Francisco, New York, & Singapore…but nothing compares to life in the mountains. I share my experiences HERE.