Friday, June 25, 2010

Perry Creek Hike

Perry Creek Hike Vista
The Perry Creek Trail is a visually interesting hike for the diversity of plants and scenery you encounter. In fact, part of the trail passes through the Perry Creek Research Natural Area – an area recognized as valuable in its biological diversity. Even on the misty, cool June-ary day we hiked, it was obvious that there is lots going on here. As you walk along avalanche slopes – talus on the north side of Mt. Dickerman - you pass through stands of deciduous and coniferous trees with ferns and moss everywhere; the intensity of green is amazing.

Perry Creek is trail #711. You drive 16 miles past the Verlot Public Service Center (where you can buy a Northwest Pass) to find a parking lot shared by the Mt. Dickerman Hike trailhead and this hike’s trailhead which is really called Perry Creek - Mt. Forgotten Meadows trail. At the parking lot you are at about 2,000 feet. The first part of the hike is through a stand of coniferous trees before intersecting Perry Creek Road #4063 the former trailhead until about a year ago. After leaving the road, the scenery really gets interesting. You walk along the south side of the valley looking across Perry Creek towards Stillaguamish Peak. It’s a fairly easy hike up to the Falls (about 2 miles from the old trailhead, 3.3 miles from the parking lot). Then you cross over the (wide this particular day) creek. One of us took off shoes and socks and waded in up to the shins. The real climb begins after crossing the creek. On this particular June day it was so-so muddy with snow patches at first, and then out-and–out all snow as we reached the ridge at just under 5,000 feet after about 1.7 miles. View: fog and mist on this day, meadows under snow, Mt. Forgotten nowhere to be seen. So we turned around and started back for a total of 10+ miles. Maybe next time with clearer weather and proper equipment we’ll go on to Mt. Forgotten. And alas, we didn’t see any of the famed botrychium from the trail - perhaps too early or too rare?
American Pika - Ochotona princeps

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