- Wildflowers and Wildlife of Mt. Hood's Clackamas Basin -
Mt. Hood view across the Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness
Summer is here.  The high-elevation snow is melting fast, and wildlife and wildflowers are to be found in the mountains.
Popping out for an overnight backpack trip mid-June to check out conditions, I hiked up from Tumala Meadows and camped at Plaza Lake in the Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness of Mt. Hood National Forest.  The road was snowed-in around 4200 feet, but just a few deep patches that should have melted out by now.

Beargrass bloom on Tumala Mountain  Rhododendron flowers

Flowers were everywhere.  Big white paws of Bear Grass were really popping, dominating open areas with pink Rhododendron.  (above)Trillium, Vanilla Leaf, and Oregon Anemone lined the trail in the woods. (below)

Trillium flower  Vanilla Leaf in bloom  Oregon Anemone

Higher up under bigger trees, white Avalanche Lilies bloomed, Oregon Grape blossomed yellow with false solomon plume, and green-white Bunchberry brightened the trailside.

Avalanche Lily  Oregon Grape and False Solomon Seal flowers  Bunchberry flowers

High rocky outcrops were covered with deep red Paintbrush, purple Penstemon, and yellow Parsley.

Paintbrush flower  Penstemon  Parsely

Down in Tumala Meadows, salmonberry flowers, yellow violets and pale blue Oregon Anemone added color.

Salmonberry flower  yello violet flower  Oregon Anemone

I watched a group of mayflies dance around, dipping their long tails and then zipping away.  Butterflies were also out and abundant, including the Angel Wing and Mourning Cloak pictured here.

Angelwing butterfly      Mourning Cloak butterfly

And don't forget the fruiting fungi.  Amanitas popped up under mushrumps by the trail.  Little Orange Peel fungi littered the forest floor around 4100 feet.  Big clumps of Coral Mushroom could be found in the woods bordering the meadow.

Amanita mushroom  Orange Peel cup fungus  Coral Mushroom

This brown and white false morel stood out against a bright blue sky.

False Morel Brain mushroom

And there were some big trees up there.  Several old hemlocks and Doug-firs that looked to be 8 feet or so in diameter.  The photo of me gives a sense of scale to a tree right next to my campsite.

Greg by big old growth Hemlock tree

Ah, camping in the mountains.  Waking up on the trail immersed in nature.  Welcome back, Summer!

Plaza Lake campsite

Join us for a hike or overnight backpack trip.  Next Adventure Outdoor School can take you out to where the nature is!
Find out more and sign-up online at http://nextadventure.net/outdoor-school/.
See you on the trail!