Blue's Boots

Andrea's adventures on the trail…

Spray Park, MRNP – wildflower season!

I’ve never been up to Spray Park on the NW side of Rainier during full-on wildflower season. I decided it was high time I corrected that little problem. I was on the trail by 7 a.m. on a week day and had the trail to myself the entire way up to the top of Spray Park. Wildflowers were incredible! And a bonus was that mosquitoes weren’t unbearable like they sometimes are. I spent several hours wandering around the many levels of Spray Mark taking photos and just relaxing and enjoying the amazing views of Rainier and more wildflowers than seem possible.

On the way back down I met 2 wonderful young men who were hiking the Wonderland Trail and we sat and talked for quite a while. It’s so fun to see our beautiful Mountain through other people’s eyes, makes me realize that I can’t ever take this amazing park in my back yard for granted.

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Summit Lake, near MRNP

Since Summit Lake is one of the best areas to see fields of Erythronium (avalanche lily) in the Rainier area, we decided to check it out yesterday. A couple of little birds told us the flowers were in full bloom, and they were so right!  DH, Elizabeth, and I headed out early in the truck to get up the rather nasty forest service road before it was crowded. The hike up to the lake is a nice forest-y climb, but up at the lake itself is absolutely stellar!

It started out cloudy and breezy, and we thought we wouldn’t get a good view of Rainer today, that the wildflowers would be worth it though. It was a bonus day, because while we were up on the ridge the clouds blew away and Rainier was spectacular, as usual.

There was so much in bloom, it was sensory overload. I’ve never hiked the loop up the ridge that goes all the way around the lake, and that’s where the flowers were. Erythronium by the acre, paintbrush, penstemon, lupine, sedum, aster, the list goes on and on.  It wasn’t too crowded, and there were NO mosquitoes out yet.  An absolutely stellar day 🙂

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