Snowfield Causes Bushwhack to Get to Pass to See Flowers; Gals Spy Chocolate Lily, Forget-me-nots on Wildflower Walk
Carol, Jo Ann, Noreen, and Randi left Great Falls at 7:30 a.m. and were on the trail by 9:00 a.m., after a stop at the new Rogers Peak Trailhead parking lot and bathroom, down the road from Rogers Pass. Jo Ann commented GIG know all the bathrooms enroute to their hiking trails.
Katie and Tom hiked the trail the previous day and encountered a large snowdrift. Following Katie’s directions, we bushwhacked up the hill to the left of the big rock and bypassed the drift. Thanks, Katie.
On our way up the pass, the wildflowers did not disappoint. Creeping Oregon Grape was the prolific flower at the lower portion of the trail. Chocolate Lily is a favorite on this trail, but we only saw a couple open blossoms. At the top of the pass, Alpine Forget-Me-Nots, Douglasia, Cous Biscuitroot and a few Yellowstone Draba were the highlight. The wind was howling so we quickly headed up the trail to find shelter in the trees where we had a snack before descending. At our snack area, the Pasqueflower were in prime bloom as well as Spring Beauty.
After our hike down the pass, we hiked up the Sunset Mountain Road about a half mile to see if the Chocolate Lily were in bloom. Last summer Jo Ann found a specimen with 14 blooms, which is rare. Along the trail the Glacier Lily were plentiful and in prime bloom, as well as the Creeping Oregon Grape. We found the Chocolate Lily plants in bud, one with many buds. Carol, the gardener, predicted that they would be blooming in a couple weeks. This was Carol’s first hike to Rogers and Sunset. It was also the first time on Sunset for Randi and Noreen