Plants 20-35(-70) cm. Basal leaves: blades white to grayish, lance-ovate to oblong, 10-45 × 3-7(-10) cm (1-pinnatifid, lobes ovate to lanceolate, 20-50 × 5-25 mm), bases broadly cuneate to truncate, margins entire or serrate (plane, not distinctly ciliate), apices obtuse, faces usually densely, sometimes sparsely, tomentose. Heads usually borne singly. Involucres hemispheric, 20-25(-30) mm. Outer phyllaries ovate to lanceolate or linear, 15-20 mm, shorter than inner, apices acute to attenuate (margins ± ciliate). Ray laminae 20-40(-50+) mm. 2n = 38. Flowering May-Jun(-Jul). Grassy meadows, dry, rocky sites, openings in conifer forests; 1200-2800 m; Idaho, Mont., Oreg., Wash., Wyo. Balsamorhiza incana hybridizes with B. sagittata.