Friday, January 24, 2014

Heather Lake Trail

Heather Lake July 2012 

Avalanche at Heather Lake July 2012

Pedicularis groenlandica (Elephant's Head) at Heather Lake July 2012

Heather Lake July 2012

Lilium columbianum (Tiger Lily) at Heather Lake July 2012

Click here to see more photos of the Heather Lake Trail.

Although the forest along the Heather Lake Trail is varied & lovely, the amazing natural garden contained in the glacial cirque surrounding Heather Lake is truly amazing.  At the end of July, the last patches of snow were melting.  Some plants were just emerging from the ground.  Wildflowers were blooming everywhere.  At midsummer, it was spring recapitulated.  It was the most beautiful, diverse & abundant collection of flora I had seen in the Cascade Mountains.  The broken trees & piles of snow that remained from several avalanches were also quite interesting.  The Heather Lake Trail was easily the most impressive of the 10 hikes I made along the Mountain Loop Highway during the summer of 2012.  This trail starts at 1,400 feet in elevation & climbs to 2,500 feet (800 meters) in the subalpine zone.  It is 4.6 miles round trip, not a particularly difficult hike.

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