Dog Mountain Flower Report

Every year about this time, one of the most popular hikes around is to the top of Dog Mountain. That’s because the whole top of the mountain is a big meadow covered in wildflowers, the most conspicuous being balsamroot:

Now, imagine about a million of those blooming all at one, 3,000 feet above the Columbia River. That’s Dog Mountain at peak wildflower bloom.

In fact, you don’t have to imagine it at all. Here’s a shot from a few years back:

And that wasn’t even at peak bloom!

Well, it’s getting time for Dog Mountain in 2012. According to this report on (thanks, TrailMom!), the summit meadows are about two weeks away, but the action is going strong on the way up.

So get your legs ready; it’s getting to be time for the wildflower show on Dog Mountain.


Ah, Wildflower Season!

Many thanks to Darryl Lloyd of Long Shadow Photography for these amazing photos from Memaloose State Park. It is getting towards the end of wildflower season in the Columbia River Gorge, so let’s get on out there and see what there is to see!

Take it away, Darryl:

To Columbia Gorge hikers and wildflower lovers,

The wonderful Memaloose Hills Loop “trail” was first scouted by naturalist, Russ Jolley many years ago. It’s known as one of the best wildflower hikes in the Columbia Gorge. Paul Slichter listed 128 species on a late-April field trip in 2009.

The unmarked trail is unofficial and few people know the route beyond the western part. There seems to be no map of it online, so I’ve undertaken the task with this draft. Since I didn’t use a GPS device, the route sketched in red is approximate. The total distance is about 6.5 miles, and you’ll be on public land all the way.

Below the map are some photos that I’ve taken over the years. There’s still a large number of flower species in bloom, but balsamroot is waning over most of the area.


A Hike in England

I still do a little travel writing for the Memphis Flyer, my former employer in my former hometown, and this week I had a report from a hike in the English countryside. Enjoy.

The Four-Train Loop Hike

I had another wonderful Pearl day yesterday: worked all day at home in my sweats, then walked up to OfficeMax and Safeway, and a friend came over for dinner. He took off, and another friend came for dessert — I’m such a social hub — but first we went for a walk.

To this point, I have basically always walked west — that is, into the Pearl. This time we decided to head for the river, crossing a vacant lot at 11th and Overton. This is a doggie leash-free park, and there’s a big sign on the corner, but in a month of living here I never bothered to read the sign. Probably just says “leash-free doggie park,” right?

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