Waking up at 5:30 am wasn’t easy but it paid off. My friend Janelle and I went up to Chinook Pass near Mt. Rainier for an easy dayhike of Naches Peak Loop. Why? Wildflowers! It is a hike I get in 1 to 2 times a year usually, it is pretty…you get to be on the Pacific Crest Trail and see Rainier all in one. And bonus is it is a short drive away (OK, for me it is. Maybe not for everyone else……)
The best way, I feel, is to start at Tipsoo Lake parking area off the highway. You don’t need a parking pass this way. Often I hike quickly away from the lot but it was early and the flowers were…fantastic. There wasn’t anyone out in the low meadows. Just us!
Hmmm…my sparkly arms are freaky orange! More to come on that….I was testing new arm sleeves – look for the review tomorrow.
The weather had turned Saturday night – all last week it been very hot (for the PNW), reaching into the mid-90′s. We woke up to rain and 50′s. As we drove up the highway we broke through the clouds, it was what is called a weather inversion. There had been thunderstorms Saturday night, Rainier was clearing off -
Yakima Peak above Tipsoo Lake -
Janelle in the flowers -
Janelle is doing Washington Trails Association’s annual Hike-A-Thon this year and has already passed her fundraising goal! PS? That photo on the poster was hers! If you would like to help support the beautiful trails in Washington State, you can help by sponsoring her! As in the past, I am contributing books as prizes as well, to some of the hikers participating
Avy Lilies -
Magenta Paintbrush -
It has been 2009 since I came across white Lupine. This wasn’t quite pure white but hey, close enough!
Rainier was hiding still -
Out of the park and onto the PCT -
We made lousy mileage because we kept stopping to just stare at the flowers. It was intense. The smell was amazing.
If only the PCT were like this the entire way….
The snow had only recently melted out this past week. There was every variety of flower shooting up, trying to grab a little sun, some totally out of season.
A favorite tarn, outlet creek was still flowing.
Bird’s Peak Lousewort -
It was mildly breezy, few bugs and perfectly warm. Not many days like that!
Looking down the PCT -
We both saw this sign and it was odd…we had never noticed it before. It is visible from the trail. Odd in that I have walked by it many times. The tree has grown around, sap slowly covering it. Mosquito Home indeed.
Rainier with a small Lenticular cloud left above her -
So much Lupine and Western Anemone -
The colors shimmered, the scents were heady -
A small tarn in the distance, under Naches Peak -
The flowers simply didn’t quit -
As we rounded the loop we encountered the drier side and a tiny patch of blueberries that were ripe. Most were weeks away though. These tiny berries were intense and sweet -
Me below Yakima Peak -