The Oregonian’s Terry Richard says he found the Columbia Gorge wildflower season to be a bit meager this year. He has high hopes for the Dog Mountain hike, as do I; I’m headed there next week to try to catch the peak bloom.
Anybody else have experiences to relate? What’s your impression of the flower season this year?
A while back, I wrote a piece for The Oregonian about people who like to hike lost trails around Oregon — or who just wander off-trail looking for adventure or old stuff that was left out there.
You can read that piece here.
Well, since it ran, I’ve gotten a couple of requests along the lines of “How do I find these people and keep up with what they’re doing?”
The best way to get in touch with that whole crowd is to register (for free) at PortlandHikers.org and then look for them in the forums, especially the “Off-trail trip reports and lost trails” forum. You’re looking for Don Nelsen, Raven, and Splintercat. Those are the main guys in the story.
But they’re all entertaining, and their adventures are really something.
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 PortlandHikers.org (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.