Our wildflower adventure in the Old Cascades continued on our way home from Bend on July 6th. The hike we’d chosen was Crescent Mountain which is less than five miles from Iron Mountain as the crow flies. A 4.5 mile trail climbs up the SE ridge of this crescent shaped mountain through a series of meadows to another former lookout site.
The first 2.5 miles climbed through a nice forest with a crossing of Maude Creek at the 1.3 mile mark.
The trail then entered the first meadow which was full of bracken fern and some wildflowers.
The ferns gave way to more wildflowers as the trail continued to climb. Then we spotted a field of beargrass ahead. It turned out to be the most densely packed we’d ever seen.
Butterflies and birds could be seen flying about in all directions. Behind us a view of Mt. Washington and The Three Sisters opened up across the open hillside.
There was a nice variety of flowers in bloom.
The meadows lasted for about a mile before the trail reentered the forest and climbed a ridge to a trail junction. Taking the uphill fork to the right we quickly popped out on the rocky summit where the former lookout had stood. The view here was better than Iron Mountain with Three Fingered Jack unobstructed and Crescent Lake below nestled in the curve of the mountain.
Mt. Washington and The Three Sisters
Three Fingered Jack and Black Butte
Mt. Hood & Mt. Adams
There were more flowers, butterflies and birds up at the summit and despite a brief encounter with mosquitoes when we left the meadows we were left alone to enjoy the scenery.
Hummingbird enjoying the paint
Coming down we ran into a pair of hikers passing through the meadow who were equally impressed with the flowers. We agreed that we’d probably timed it as well as could be hoped. It was a great way to end the holiday weekend. Happy Trails!
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