Spectacular May Wildflower Show on Dog Mountain


The second weekend of May had all the makings of a good time to climb a mountain. The day was sunny and warm, and the balsamroot were reported to be at their peak on Dog Mountain.

I arose early and drove to the Trailhead in the Columbia River Gorge. The large parking lot was already partially full. It is one of the most popular hiking trails in the Gorge. Although, it is not easy, gaining almost 3,000 feet in three miles.

The Trail began with a one-half mile steep ascent to the Mountain’s first bench, passing mainly Ponderosa pine and oak trees (a sure sign the Trail was on the eastern side of the Cascade Mountains.)

After a short interlude walking through a second-growth Douglas fir and maple forest, the trail began another steep climb to a viewpoint. The next mile was very steep.

Soon a better viewpoint was reached, the site of a long-removed fire lookout tower. The golden balsamroot were spectacular: it is one of the truly beautiful wildflower hikes in the Northwest.

In over thirty hikes to the summit of Dog Mountain, this was one of the best.  I ate a well-deserved snack while enjoying the views with at least 30 fellow hikers.

A tough, but beautiful hike.

Hikers heading toward the summit

Hikers on the trail to the summit of Dog Mountain

Balsamroot

Balsamroot

Swallowtail Butterfly

An Anise Swallowtail Butterfly that has seen it’s better days

Harsh Paintbrush

Harsh Paintbrush

Hikers on the summit of Dog Mountain

Hikers on the summit of Dog Mountain

Fairy Bells

Fairy Bells (wild Lilies)

Pleasant stretch of lower trail

Pleasant stretch of lower trail

Everyone was taking photos of the wildflower show

Everyone was taking photos of the wildflower show

Lupine

Lupine

Balsamroot

Balsamroot

Cluster Lily

Cluster Lily

 

 

Categories: Columbia River Gorge HikesTags: , , ,

2 comments

  1. Beautiful John, thanks for the great walk. Couldn’t be there but I really enjoyed the sights.

    Like

What's your opinion?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: