Friday, March 28, 2014

Ashland Lakes Trail

Beaver Plant Lake, Ashland Lakes Trail August 2012

Spiraea douglasii (Hardhack) Ashland Lakes Trail August 2012

Lysichiton americanum (Skunk Cabbage) Ashland Lakes Trail August 2012

Upper Ashland Lake August 2012

Upper Ashland Lake August 2012

Click here for more photos of the Ashland Lakes Trail.

The Ashland Lakes Trail is a very pleasant & fairly easy hike in the Mt Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest on the Mountain Loop Highway in Snohomish County, Washington.  The flora here is different from that on other hikes in the area, because it is very boggy.  At least, I could see that it was very boggy at other times of the year.  In August 2012, it was fairly dry.  The boardwalks (then being repaired) that circled Upper Ashland Lake seemed pointless.  I think I would rather have gone earlier in the summer when the water was more abundant.  Nevertheless, Upper Ashland Lake was lovely & Beaver Plant Lake was more beautiful still.  There was plenty of Spaghnum (Peat Moss) & Lysichiton americanum (Skunk Cabbage) both evidence of a swampy environment.  The Mount Pilchuck Natural Resource Conservation Area is one of the wettest places in Washington, with between 100 and 180 inches of annual precipitation, about the same as the Hoh Rain Forest.  The trail begins at 2,200 feet in elevation & climbs to 3,000 feet.  It is 5.5 miles round trip.

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