Hike: Source Lake (WA)
It has been a very long and slow spring melt in the Pacific Northwest Mountains; snow has continued to cover many popular trails well into July. Today, however, we got to experience clear dry trails above the Alpental Ski area as we hiked to Source Lake (the source of the Snoqualmie River).
In many ways, this was a perfect hike. The gently climbing trail took us through alternating scenery and temperatures. We would hike for awhile through open avalanche chutes full of boulders and blossoming wildflowers. We saw Valerian, Columbine, and a small field of Corn Lillies.
As we began to get a little too warm from the sun and climb, we would then enter the cool forest. Just as we cooled down and tired of the dark scenery, the path would open up and provide great vistas of the surrounding mountains.
About the time we got hot again, we would find a lovely waterfall or creek crossing with accompanying cool winds blowing across the water.
There were a number of new flowers to identify. Up by the lake, we found tiny Shooting Stars, and there were some memorable thistles. The start of the hike began with stark white Queen’s Cup along the trail.
It was fun to show our Texan visitor a bit of the Cascade Mountains. He was a perfect hiking partner (defined as someone who does not complain when I stop over and over to take photos or attempt to identify an unknown wildflower). I had prepared him with rules of etiquette for the trail and tips if we should encounter a cougar or bear. Obviously, from the photo below, he wasn’t listening to me.