|Mount Rainer above flowers on Mazama Ridge before sunrise.|
I've spent the last week extensively traveling through the park and thought I would post my findings.
One of the earliest flower shows in the park takes place in Yakima Meadows at Sunrise. Still true to form this year, the flowers there have reached peak and are on their way out. However, hiking destinations from there still have a lot to offer. Summerland is a sure bet with flowers just below looking prime. They will surely be in their prime at the campground in the next week or two.
|Mount Rainier above meadows on along The|
Spray Park is almost melted out and the incredible display of avalanche lilies it was showcasing are on their way out. This should pave the way for the lupine, paintbrush and asters in the coming week. Some can be seen now.
Indian Henry's was is still under patchy snow. Flowers here will be at least a couple of weeks away.
What does that leave for the wildflower officianados? Why, Paradise and Mazama Ridge of course! Lupine is in grand display right now near the Paradise parking lot, but not much higher. The short stroll to Edith Creek will leave you disapointed. Give this area at least another week or so.
Mazama Ridge is also well behind schedule. The Lakes Trail near the Skyline Trail junction is still 20-25% snow covered. Avalanche lilies are numerous, though they are on their way out. There are a few patches of meadow sporting lupine, lousewort, paintbrush, aster and more, but they are few. One would expect blankets of these flowers in a normal year. But this year "...is Abby somebody. Abby Normal I believe." (for you Mel Brooks fans out there).
|Mount Rainire reflected in a melt pool on|
Of course, there are other compositions you can take advantage of right now too as a photographer. Melt ponds are numerous and offer a unique chance to capture a reflection of the mountain that will be short-lived.
Mount Rainier always has something to offer visitors and photographers, and now is no exception. Go!
Interestingly, bugs have not been a problem during my visits to these many meadows (though they were ferocious in the forest along Frying Pan Creek). Spray Park would be the exception (shocking, huh?).
The last thing worth mentioning is the haze in the air from the Siberian fires. It was extensive last weekend on the Paradise side. I received reports of even worse conditions on the NW side; primarily Spray Park, where Rainier was hard to distinguish at times.
I hope the sharing of my observations, and the reports of friends and colleagues helps. As always, feel free to drop me a line with any questions you may have. I am always happy to respond.
See you on the trails!