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
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.
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 PlantsCirsium edule - Edible Thistle with Ladybugs; Right: Old Thistle
Lower Elevations, Forested Area
Left: Maianthemum racemosum - Feathery False Lily-of-the-Valley Berries; Right: Platanthera orbiculata - Lesser Round-Leaved Orchid Close-Up
Left: Old Coralroot; Right: Ariolimax columbianus - Banana Slug