|I. bolanderi in its natural habitat in Box Lake in Rock Creek Valley|
|I. bolanderi after being removed from the ground and cleaned of soil|
I. bolanderi is most often found in alpine lakes and ponds in the Sierra Nevada mountains, extending all the way up into Canada and east through the Rockies. In the northern part of its range, it can co-occur with two other species: Isoetes echinospora, and Isoetes occidentalis.