Wildflowers and a view of the Tatoosh Range from Mazama Ridge’s Skyline Trail in Mount Rainier National Park, Washington State, USA
Rainier Wildflowers from Mazama Ridge
(near Stevens Van Trump Historic Monument). Species include Broadleaf Lupine (Lupinus latifolius), Rosey Spirea (Spiraea densiflora), Magenta Paintbrush (Castilleja parviflora), and Buttercup (Ranunculus eschscholtzi) (Purchase)
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Late last week I headed down to Mount Rainier National Park to photograph the wildflower displays. My first stop was at the Paradise area of the park as this is one of the best areas for good wildflower displays. I stopped at the visitor’s center, grabbed a rudimentary map of the area and headed to Mazama Ridge. I parked at the end of Paradise Valley and used the 4th Crossing Trail to access the Skyline Trail a little more quickly than I would have from the area around the Paradise Inn. I was thinking ahead to walking back down in the dark and a quick route seemed like a better idea! From the Skyline Trail I first headed down the Lakes trail (to the area near Lost Lake), but didn’t find a lot of wildflowers aside from one great patch just below the junction of the two trails. I was waiting for better evening light so scouting the area was worthwhile and a nice hike (some great views further down that Lakes Trail). Heading back up I made a few photographs and then got back on the Skyline Trail and headed up the ridge towards Sluiskin Falls.
Rainier Wildflowers and the Tatoosh Range from Mazama Ridge.
Wildflower species include Broadleaf Lupine (Lupinus latifolius), Magenta Paintbrush (Castilleja parviflora), Buttercup (Ranunculus eschscholtzi) and Western Anenome seedheads (Anenome occidentalis) (Purchase)
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Having made it all the way up the Skyline trail to the Sluiskin Falls and the Stevens Van Trump Historic Monument area, I ran into the treeline. I wasn’t really expecting it that “low” at around 1860 meters (6100 feet). Since wildflowers were not going to be a consideration going further up, I waited for the light to warm up a little in the evening and then started working my way back down the Skyline Trail.
Both the first and second image in this post were made on the Skyline Trail between the monument and the junction with the Lakes Trail. If you are heading up to Mazama Ridge I think those areas and the one lupine field just a few hundred feet down the Lakes Trail are your best bet for wildflower viewing this year.