Sunday, May 24, 2015

Owyhigh Lakes Trail

Our second hike of the season was to Owyhigh Lakes. It was mostly a cool day with a little sun, perfect for our first serious hike. We started on the Owyhigh Lakes Trail from White River Rd and walked past the lakes, over the pass for about one half mile, which accounts for our 9+ miles and the WTA page for the hike reporting 8 miles round trip. We saw just a few patches of snow near the top, nothing significant.

The star flowers in the meadows around the lakes were anemones (Anemone occidentalis) and glacier lilies (Erythronium grandiflorum). Other usual flowers typical of the altitude and late spring/early summer were also observed include Alpine Springbeauty (Claytonia megarhiza) and violets.

Hike Notes

Length: 9.32 miles (according to our Garmin HCX)
Duration: 5.5 hours  (10:00 am – 3:30 pm), includes 30 min lunch break
Elevation Gain:  1,650 ft.  3,750 ft @ parking lot, 5,396 (5,400 according to guide book) ft @ pass over to Kotsuck Creek
Location: Mt. Rainier -- NE - Sunrise / White River, Mount Rainier National Park

Plants and Animals

Anemone occidentalis (Western Pasqueflower)
Claytonia megarhiza (Alpine Springbeauty)
Viola orbiculata (Dark Woods Violet) OR Viola sempervirens (Redwood Violet)
Viola adunca (Hookedspur Violet)
Potentilla flabelifolia (High Mountain Cinquefoil)
Erythronium grandiflorum (Glacier Lily)
Lipstick Cladonia lichen

Dacrymyces palmatus - Jelly fungus
Guepiniopsis alpina - Jelly cup

Perisoreus canadensis - Gray Jay

Anemones – Upper Left: Top Down; Upper Right: Side View; Lower Left: Old One Flower with Spider; Lower Right: Pushing out the Ground
Anemone occidentalis (Western Pasqueflower)Anemone occidentalis (Western Pasqueflower)
Anemone occidentalis (Western Pasqueflower)Anemone occidentalis (Western Pasqueflower)

Springbeauty and Columbine Bud
Springbeauty Columbine Bud

Glacier Lily Bud and Full Flower
Glacier Lily BudGlacier Lily Full Flower

Potentilla - Potentilla flabelifolia
Potentilla - Potentilla flabelifolia Potentilla - Potentilla flabelifolia

Veratrum Shoots and Meadow with Paint Brush

Violets - Viola adunca (Hookedspur Violet) and Viola orbiculata (Dark Woods Violet) OR Viola sempervirens (Redwood Violet)
Viola adunca (Hookedspur Violet) Viola orbiculata (Dark Woods Violet)

Trail Pictures – Left: The lakes looking a little empty; Center: Starting off; Right: Meadow trail near the lakes.
Trail Pictures

Gray Jay (Perisoreus canadensis)
Gray Jay (Perisoreus canadensis)Gray Jay (Perisoreus canadensis)

Interesting Wood Structures (One on the left reminds of a Pomodoro scultpure)
Interesting Wood StructuresInteresting Wood Structures

Fungus, Left: Guepiniopsis alpina - Jelly cup; Right: Dacrymyces palmatus – Jelly fungus
Guepiniopsis alpina - Jelly cup Dacrymyces palmatus –  Jelly fungus

Lichen – Lipstick Cladonia
Lichen – Lipstick Cladonia

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