Saturday, July 18, 2015

Mount Pugh Hike

Hike Notes

Length: 10.4 miles roundtrip (turn around after Stujack Pass, before exposure point)
Duration: About 6 hours, 9:00 am - 3:15 pm with a break for lunch
Elevation: Starting 1,883 feet,  max at 6,246 feet.
Location: North Cascades, Mount Loop Highway

Overview

I'll confess right up front: we did not reach the peak. Because of pending dinner plans back in Seattle, we turned around between Stujack pass (5,500 feet) and the the exposure point -- as one experienced climber we talked to called it.  All in all, getting to Stujack Pass and beyond was still quite a bit of work. The Washington Trails Association page for the this hike says 11.0 roundtrip to the peak. We were on the high side of mileage because of a detour around the right side of Lake Metan (nothing to really see there). The trail up goes around the left side of the lake.

The first part of the hike has the usual plant suspects of lower elevation forested areas: Mahonia, Maianthemum, Linnaea, and Tiarella. We saw Corallorhiza on the way out and Goodyera coming into the bloom, and we saw a few Listera specimens. 

At a boulder field beyond Lake Metan, it's all sun and high meadow plants like Achillea, Artemisia, Agoseris, Aquilegia, Castilleja, Campanula, Chamerion, and Luina to name a few. The abundance of flowers gives you lots of photo opportunities and opportunity to rest on this steep section before Stujack Pass. Of note is that while relatively small as meadows go, this one had a large number of butterflies, and they did not seem as frightened by our presence as butterflies on our other hikes.

Plant List

Photos in next section.

[Asparagaceae] Asparagus Family
  Maianthemum racemosum - Feathery False Lily-of-the-Valley

[Asteraceae] Aster Family
  Agoseris aurantiaca - Orange Agoseris
  Anaphalis margaritacea - Western Pearly Everlasting
  Artemisia ludoviciana - White Sagebrush
  Cirsium edule - Edible Thistle
  Luina hypoleuca - Little-Leaf Silverback

[Campanulaceae] Harebell Family
  Campanula rotundifolia - Bluebell Bellflower

[Caryophyllaceae] Pink Family
  Silene latifolia - Bladder Campion

[Melanthiaceae] False-Hellebore Family
  Veratrum viride - Green False Hellebore

[Orchidaceae] Orchid Family
  Goodyera oblongifolia - Western Rattlesnake Plantain
  Platanthera orbiculata - Lesser Round-Leaved Orchid

[Polygonaceae] Buckwheat Family
Bistorta bistoroides - American/Western Bistort

[Rosaceae] Rose Family
  Rubus parviflorus – Thimbleberry


 

Open, Mountain High Plants

Left: Agoseris aurantiaca - Orange Agoseris; Right: Artemisia ludoviciana - White Sagebrush
Agoseris aurantiaca - Orange AgoserisArtemisia ludoviciana - White Sagebrush

Left: Grasshopper on Indian Paintbrush; Center: Bistort; Right: Luina and Anaphalis
Grasshopper on Indian PaintbrushBistortLuina and Anaphalis

Left: Campanula rotundifolia - Bluebell Bellflower; Right: Veratrum viride - Green False Hellebore Flowers
Campanula rotundifolia - Bluebell BellflowerVeratrum viride - Green False Hellebore Flowers

Left: Cirsium edule - Edible Thistle with Ladybugs; Right: Old Thistle
Cirsium edule - Edible Thistle with LadybugsOld Thistle

Left: Rubus parviflorus – Thimbleberry; Right: Silene latifolia - Bladder Campion
Rubus parviflorus – ThimbleberrySilene latifolia - Bladder Campion

Lower Elevations, Forested Area

Left: Maianthemum racemosum - Feathery False Lily-of-the-Valley Berries; Right: Platanthera orbiculata - Lesser Round-Leaved Orchid Close-Up
Maianthemum racemosum - Feathery False Lily-of-the-Valley Platanthera orbiculata - Lesser Round-Leaved Orchid

Left: Old Coralroot; Right: Ariolimax columbianus - Banana Slug
Old CoralrootAriolimax columbianus - Banana Slug

Trail Shots

View from Stujack Pass Looking West Over the Sauk RiverView from Stujack Pass Looking West Over the Sauk River

Left: Trail – ridge walk part – up to Mount Pugh; Right: View North with White Chuck Mountain and in the background Baker and Shuskan
Trail – ridge walk part – up to Mount PughView North with White Chuck Mountain and in the background Baker and Shuskan

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