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Hike: Mt Zion (WA)
In past years we have either been too early or too late for the early summer pink floral display of the Olympic Mountains. This year we hit it just right and were regaled with green trails lined with large pink blossoms in their prime as we hiked to the summit of Mt. Zion for our Fourth of July celebration.
While most everyone else will have to wait until dark for views of large fireballs of color, all we had to do was to get ourselves up a relatively short pleasant dry trail on a lesser known peak in the Olympic Rain Shadow. The first mile of the hike had a color display on every turn which slowed our hike as I needed to photograph every changing view of these giant blossoms blooming in every gap of the forest floor.
The hike to the summit of Mt Zion was a steady upward climb on a wide path. Unfortunately the summit area was occupied by a number of people with barking dogs so we took off immediately on what one hiker returning on the path, called a mountain goat trail. It took us along a boulder strewn ridge among the tree tops.
We stopped for our lunch in a spot which, if those darn clouds would have gone away, would have exposed some great views of nearby peaks. However, we were rewarded with views of lots of higher altitude wildflowers including Indian Paint Brush, Penstemon, Eriogonum, and the “rock breaking” Tufted Saxifrage.
Mt Zion was not a bad choice for an Independence Day party. We had good views, bursts of surprising color, and an outdoor lunch on rocks surrounded by valiant plants springing forth in every little scrap of soil available.