Plants 10-20(-30) cm. Basal leaves: blades white to grayish, lanceolate to linear-oblong, 10-20 × 3-6(-8) cm (1-2-pinnatifid, primary lobes lance-linear to oblong, mostly 5-40 × 1-10 mm, secondary lobes or teeth antrorse, divergent), bases cuneate to truncate, ultimate margins mostly entire (± revolute), apices rounded to acute, faces densely lanate-tomentose to villous. Heads borne singly. Involucres ± hemispheric, 12-20 mm diam. Outer phyllaries lanceolate to linear, 10-20 mm, sometimes surpassing inner, apices acute to attenuate. Ray laminae (10-)15-20 mm (abaxially puberulent or glabrous).
Flowering Apr-May(-Jun). Roadsides, grassy slopes; of conservation concern; 700-1500 m; Calif., Oreg.
Balsamorhiza lanata is known from a relatively restricted area in northern California and southern Oregon. No hybrids between it and other species have been noted.