Sunday, August 4, 2013

Central Cascades, Beckler Peak Hike

Left: View from Beckler Peak Looking North; Right: Devil’s Club in a Wet Spot in the Old-Growth Forest
View from Beckler Peak looking NorthDevil’s Club in a Wet Spot in the Old-Growth Forest
Our third hike this season is to Beckler Peak, in the Central Cascades, the Stevens Pass-West area. The Washington Trail Association site says this hike hasn’t made it into the guidebooks yet so it’s not as heavily used. It’s moderately crowded on the Sunday we are here. As the WTA site describes, the trail starts out on an old logging road and then dives into old-growth forest. It’s very interesting in terms of flora as you make the transition from the recently logged (20 years ago) land to the old-growth forest.

The recently logged land has lots of plants typical of wet woodland and disturbed areas like:

  • Stachys cooleyea (Cooley’s Hedge Nettle)
  • Prunella vulgaris (Common Self-Heal)
  • Lotus corniculatus (Birdfoot Deervetch)
  • Urtica dioica (Stinging Nettle)
  • Epilobium angustifolium (Fireweed)
  • Anaphalis margaritacea (Pearly Everlasting)
  • Nothochelone nemorosa (Woodland Penstemon)
  • Fragus spp. (Wild Strawberry)

As you enter the old-growth forest, you see:

  • Oplopanax horridus (Devil’s Club)
  • Pterospora andromeda (Pinedrops)
  • Claytonia sibirica (Sibirian Miner’s Lettuce)
  • Fomitopsis pinicola (Red-Belted Polypore)
  • Peziza sp. (Brown Cup Fungus)

As you get toward the peak, you see:

  • Penstemon davidsonii (Davidson’s Penstemon)
  • Luetkea pectinata (Patridgefoot, Saxifrage)
Stats of Our Hike

Length: About 7.5 miles round-trip.
Duration: Just under 4 hours. We left the trailhead at 10:00am and arrived back at 2:00pm. We sat down at the peak at 12:00pm for lunch and left the peak at 12:30pm to head back.
Elevation Gain: 2,263 feet. The trailhead is at 2,800 feet and the highest point is at 5,063 feet.
Location: Central Cascades, off of US 2.
Notes: We needed and used bug repellant, especially for the first half of the trail.

Left: Anaphalis margaritacea (Pearly Everlasting); Right: Claytonia sibirica (Sibirian Miner’s Lettuce)
Anaphalis margaritacea (Pearly Everlasting)Claytonia sibirica (Sibirian Miner’s Lettuce)

Left: Fomitopsis pinicola (Red-Belted Polypore); Right: Lotus corniculatus (Birdfoot Deervetch)
Fomitopsis pinicola (Red-Belted Polypore)Lotus corniculatus (Birdfoot Deervetch)

Right: Luetkea pectinata (Partridgefoot); Right: Micranthes ferruginea (Rusty Saxifrage)
Luetkea pectinata (Partridgefoot)Micranthes ferruginea (Rusty Saxifrage)

Purples
Left: Penstemon davidsonii (Davidson’s Penstemon); Center: Nothochelone nemorosa (Woodland Penstemon); Right: Epilobium (Fireweed)

Penstemon davidsonii (Davidson’s Penstemon)Nothochelone nemorosa (Woodland Penstemon)Epilobium (Fireweed)

Left: Peziza sp. (Brown Cup Fungus); Center: Unidentified Mushroom; Right: Pterospora andromeda (Pine-drops)
Peziza sp. (Brown Cup Fungus) Unidentified MushroomPterospora andromeda (Pine-drops)

Left and Right: Prunella vulgaris
Prunella vulgarisPrunella vulgaris

Left: Ruffed Grouse; Right: Wild Strawberry Mixed in with Galium
Ruffed GrouseWild Strawberry

Left and Right: Stachys cooleyea (Cooley’s Hedge-Nettle)
Stachys cooleyea (Cooley’s Hedge-Nettle)

Left: View from Beckler Peak Looking West; Right: (Google) Terrain Maps Showing Location of Hike Relative to Seattle
View from Beckler Peak Looking West(Google) Terrain Maps Showing Location of Hike Relative to Seattle

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