On April 26th I set out on a hike that is fairly ambitious for me: 23 miles with 4,000′ of elevation gain wearing a 25 lb pack and completed in a day. That is the kind of effort that I want to be able to pull off day after day. I started at the Elk Creek Trailhead and hiked east.
It was a hazy, damp day.
While still at a lower elevation I spotted some western skunk cabbages (Lysichiton americanus).
Fairly soon, however, I headed uphill. In the space of 3.6 miles I climbed 1940 feet in a series of large switchbacks. That’s half of my total climb for the day packed into 15% of the distance, making it easily the largest climb of my day.
At about 4400 feet elevation I saw traces of snow.
If you know what this flower is, let me know. I haven’t placed it yet.
This one is easy. With leaves that resemble holly on short stalks close to the ground this is the Oregon State flower – Oregon Grape (Mahonia aquifolium). It’s in bloom!
At the highest point of my hike, around 5140 feet elevation, I did see a few patches of snow and some on the trees.