Hiking Year-end wrap up

2021 Flower Gallery

Our 2021 wildflower year was an interesting one. We took a handful of wildflower specific hikes in Spring but drought conditions contributed to a shorter wildflower season. We also spent a fair amount of time in the drier central and eastern parts of Oregon where the flowers tend to be sparser but also offers a different mix of species. We have made every effort to identify the flowers as best as possible but are by no means “experts” in any way. With that in mind any help in correctly identifying any of the flowers pictured is more than welcome.

The honor of first flower we spotted on a hike this year goes to Skunk Cabbage near the North Fork Nehalem River in February.
Skunk cabbage

The last flower we saw was the non-native tansy ragwort at Fern Ridge Wildlife Area in November.
Beetle on a flower

In between and in no particular order here are most of the others we were fortunate enough to see.
A delphiniumA delphinium

A lomatiumRed stem storksbill surrounding a lomatium.

A nettleA “nettle” of some sort at South Slough Estuary.

A treefoilA treefoil.

A vetchA vetch

An alliumAn allium on Ninemile Ridge.

Asters, fleabanes and similar flowers remain a mystery so here are some of these types spotted throughout the year.
An aster or fleabane

An aster or fleabane




Possibly Eaton's asterThis may be Eaton’s aster along the Deschutes River.

Purple cushion fleabanePurple cushion fleabane

Showy fleabanePossibly showy fleabane, August-Steens Mountain Wilderness.


Showy townsendiaShowy townsendia

AnemoneAnemonastrum deltoideum -Columbian windflower

AnemoneAnemonoides oregana – Oregon anemone


Arnica and miterwortThe small white flowers are miterworts while I believe the yellow is an arnica.


Ball head sandwort?We believe this is ball head sandwort

Ballhead waterleafBallhead waterleaf

Pacific waterleafPacific waterleaf

Ballon pod milk vetch in bloomBalloon pod milk vetch

Milk-vetchA milk-vetch, possibly Yakima

BalsamrootA balsamroot at Lyle Cherry Orchard

BalsamrootA balsamroot at Columbia Hills State Park

Hoary balsamrootHoary balsamroot on Ninemile Ridge

Mules earsWe think these are mules ears along the Malhuer River Trail


BeargrassBeargrass, admittedly not the nicest specimen but this one stood out as the only still blooming stalk we saw on our hike in the Indian Heaven Wilderness on 9/5/2021.

Penstemons and beardstongue
Bee on penstemon





Penstemon and buckwheat

Beetle and ochre ringlet on yarrowYarrow

Big head cloverBig-head clover

Big-seed lomatiumBig-seed lomatium surrounded by parsley.

BindweedA bindweed


Bitter cherryBitter cherry



Blanket flowerThe only blanket flower with any petals left.

Bleeding heartBleeding heart

Blue dicksBlue dicks?

Ookow or blue dicksMight be ookow or blue dicks?

Large-flower tritelieaLarge-flower triteliea

White triteliaWhite triteliea

Henderson's starsHenderson’s stars

Blue mountain prairie cloverBlue mountain prairie clover

Blue-bells of ScotlandBlue-bells of Scotland

Blue-eyed Mary, elegant mariposa lilies, and slender phloxBlue-eyed Mary, slender phlox, and elegant mariposa lilies.

PhloxA phlox

PhloxA phlox


PhloxA phlox

Cat's ear lilySub-alpine mariposa lily

Tolmie's mariposa lilyTolmie’s mariposa lily

Sagebrush mariposa lilySagebrush mariposa lily

Sand lilySand lily

Glacier liliesGlacier lilies

Fawn liliesFawn lilies

Washington lilyWashington lily

Yellow bell lilies on Sevenmile HIllYellow bell lilies

Tiger lilyBlurry photo but the only tiger lily we came across in 2021.

Chocolate lilyChocolate lily

Water lilyWater lily

Bog orchidBog orchid

Phantom orchidPhantom orchid


Brass buttonsBrass buttons (non-native) along the coast near Fivemile Point.

Alpine buckwheatAlpine buckwheat

BuchwheatA buckwheat

BuckwheatA buckwheat

BuckwheatAnother buckwheat

Butterly on buckwheatSulfur? buckwheat

BuckwheatMore buckwheat

Butterflies on western snakerootWestern snakeroot


Butterly on pearly everlastingPearly everlasting

Cabbage whiteA mustard? along the John Day River

California corn lilyCalifornia corn lilies

False hellboreFalse hellebore


Death camasDeath camas

Mountain death camasMountain death camas

Candy sticksCandy sticks

CandyflowerCandy flower


ChamomileChamomile (non-native)

Checkermallows and/or checkerblooms:

Checker mallow

Checker mallow



ChicoryChicory (non-native)


CinquefoilA cinquefoil?

Slender cinquefoilSlender cinquefoil

Sticky cinquefoilSticky cinquefoil

Lassen clarkiaLassen clarkia?

Ragged robinElkhorn clarkia aka Ragged robin

Clarkia and a madiaClarkias with an out of focus madia

Common madiaCommon madia


CloverA clover (non-native)

Red cloverRed clover

Coastal manrootCoastal manroot




CurrantA currant

CurrantAlso a currant


Dandelions in mahala matDandelions in the midst of mahala mat

Sagebrush false dandelionSagebrush false dandelion

Deadly nightshadeDeadly nightshade

Diffuse evening primroseDiffuse evening primrose

Hooker's evening primroseHooker’s evening primrose

PrimroseA primrose

Dusty maidenDusty maiden

Dwarf alpinegoldDwarf aplinegold

Elegant brodiaeaElegant brodiaea

Elephants headElephants head

Fairy bellsFairy bells

Fairy slippersFairy slippers

False lily of the valley and youth on ageFalse lily of the valley and youth-on-age

False solomonsealFalse solomonseal

Plummed solomonsealPlummed solomonseal

Star flower solomsealStar flower solomonseal


False sunflowersFalse sunflowers



Flower near Illahe LodgeFlower near Illahe Lodge on the Rogue River Trail


Fuller's teaselFuller’s teasel

GentianA gentian

GentiansGentians in the Steens Mountain Wilderness

GeraniumPurple sticky geranium

Ghost pipeGhost pipe

Giant white wakerobbinGiant white wakerobbin


Gold starsGold stars



Grand collomiaGrand collomia

Grass of parnassusGrass of parnassus

Grass widows on Mitchell PointGrass widows

Golden paintbrush








GumweedGumweed? July, Willapa Bay

GumweedAlso a gumweed? Sept, Deschutes River

HardhackHardhack aka Douglas spirea



Heart leaved bittercressHeart leaved bittercress

Heuchera cylindrica -roundleaf allumrootHeuchera cylindrica -roundleaf allumroot

HoneysuckleOrange honeysuckle


HoundstongueAlso a houndstongue I think.

HuckleberryEvergreen huckleberry


Wild iris
Iris and an insect


Wild iris

Wild iris



Jacobs ladderJacobs ladder

Western Jacob's ladderWestern Jacobs ladder

Jessica sticktightJessica sticktight

Largeleaf sandwortLargeleaf sandwort


Lewis flaxLewis flax

Pale flaxPale flax

Lupine and balsamroot

Sabin's lupineSabin’s lupine


Lupine and paintbrush




Marshall's saxifrageMarshall’s saxifrage

SaxifrageA saxifrage?


Mock orangeMock orange

MonkeyflowerA monkeyflower

MonkeyflowerA monkeyflower

Pink monkeyflowerPink monkeyflower


Moth mullienMoth mullien

Mountain bluebillsMountain bluebills

Tall bluebellsTall bluebills

Mountain coyote mintMountain coyote mint

Mountain heatherMountain heather

Mountain lady slippersVery sad looking mountain lady slippers

Naked broomrapeNaked broomrape

Northern bedstrawNorthern bedstraw

Nuttal's linanthusNuttal’s linanthus

Old man's whiskers aka prairie smokeOld man’s whiskers

Orange agoserisOrange agoseris

Orange jewelweedOrange jewelweed

Oregon grapeOregon grape

Oregon sunshineOregon sunshine

Oxeye daisiesDaisies

Pacific coralrootPacific coralroot

Spotted coralrootSpotted coralroot

Striped coralrootStriped coralroot


ParsleyTwo kinds of parsley


PeaA pea?

PeaA pea?

PeaPea (non-native)



Popcorn flowerPopcorn flower


Poppy and manrootPoppy

Prince's pinePrince’s pine

Purple deadnettlePurple deadnettle

Purple oysterPurple oyster


Pussy toesPussy toes

PussypawsPussy paws?

Queen's cupQueen’s cup

Rangers buttonsRangers buttons

Red osier dogwood and a beetleRed osier dogwood


Rockfringe willow-herbRockfringe willowherb

Rough eyelashweedRough eyelashweed




Service berryService berry

Scarlet giliaScarlet gilia

Sea thriftSea thrift

Self healSelf heal

Shooting starShooting stars

Showy milkweedShowy milkweed

Sicklepod rockcressSicklepod rockcress

Silky phaceliaSilky phacelia

Silverleaf phaceliaSilverleaf phacelia

Threadleaf phaceliaThreadleaf phacelia

Snow queenSnow queen


Spider on wallflowerWallflower

Spreading dogbaneSpreading dogbane

Sticky starwort?Sticky starwort?



Swamp onionSwamp onion

Tapertip onionTapertip onion?

Wild onionAn onion

Tailed kittentailsTailed kittentails

Tassel-flowered BrickellbushTassel-flowered bricklelbush – Favoite name of the year.


Thistle and thistle like flowers






Three-leaf lewisiaThree-leaf lewisia

Threeleaf goldthreadsThreeleaf goldthreads

Twinberry honeysuckleTwinberry honeysuckle


Twisted stalkTwisted stalk



Veatch's blazingstarVaetch’s blazingstar

VioletA violet

VioletsA violet


Western clematisWestern clematis

Western meadowrueWestern meadowrue

Western stoneseedWestern stoneseed

Western pasque flowersWestern pasque flower (seed head)

White stemmed fraseraWhite stemmed frasera shortly before blooming.

Wild gingerWild ginger

Wild roseRose

Wild roseRoses


Woodland starsWoodland stars

Below are a flowers that we’ve not been able to even come up with guesses on.
Wildflower along the Alder Springs TrailMay 29th, Alder Springs Trail

Wildflower along the Alder Springs TrailMay 29th, Alder Springs Trail

Wildflower along the Lost Corral TrailMay 30th, Cottonwood Canyon State Park

Wildflowers along the Esau Loop TrailMay 30th, Cottonwood Canyon State Park

Wildflower along the North Fork Umatilla TrailJune 14th, North Fork Umatilla Wilderness

Wildflowers along the Boundary TrailAugust 29th, Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument near the Norway Pass Trailhead.

Wildflowers at Falls CreekSeptember 5th, Indian Heaven Wilderness along Falls Creek.

Wildflower along the Deschutes RiverSeptember 13th, Deschutes River

I apologize for the plethora of pictures but if you’ve gotten this far (without skipping) congratulations and Happy Trails regardless!

Hiking Year-end wrap up

The Hikes of 2021 – A Look Back

It’s hard to believe another year has passed but here we are once again looking back on 12 months worth of hikes. While 2021 was an improvement over 2020 in almost every way it still had its share of ups and downs including losing our remaining cat Hazel in June and my Grandmother in October. While the challenge of finding places to hike due to COVID in 2020 were no more, the same couldn’t be said for COVID itself and it seems like it will be around for awhile. Wildfires once again were a large factor in deciding on our destinations, another issue that doesn’t appear to be going away any time soon.

Despite these issues we had some great hikes in 2021. I slipped an extra three hikes in during the month of April to wind up hiking on 58 days for a total of 641.5 miles while Heather got 55 days in and 614.7 miles. Forty of the hikes were entirely new to us while only one, Tumalo Mountain (post), was an complete repeat. We had done that one over after failing to catch the sunrise on our first try and boy was it worth it.

Our first and final hikes of the year were on converted railroads.
Banks-Vernonia State TrailBanks-Vernonia State Trail in January. (post)

Row River TrailRow River Trail in December. (post)

Over the course of the year we managed to complete several of our long term hiking goals. A trip to Cottonwood Canyon State Park in May marked our first hike in Gilliam County which is the last of Oregon’s 36 counties that we had not hiked in.
John Day RiverJohn Day River from the Lost Corral Trail

Trips in June and July took us to the final four of the 46 designated wilderness areas (open to visitors) that we had yet to visit in Oregon. In all we spent twenty-one days hiking in 15 different designated wilderness areas.
Ninemile RidgeNinemile Ridge in the North Fork Umatilla Wilderness in June. (post)

Devil's StaircaseDevil’s Staircase Wilderness in July. (post)

Owl Creek Trail entering the Black Canyon WildernessBlack Canyon Wilderness in July. (post)

Cairn on Monument RockMonument Rock Wilderness in July. (post)

By the end of July we had also completed our goal of hiking at least part of all 100 featured hikes in William L. Sullivan’s “100 Hikes/Travel Guide Oregon Coast” guidebook and in August we did the same with his “100 Hikes/Travel Guide Northwest Oregon and Southwest Washington” guidebook.
Bay Loop TrailLedbetter Point, the last of the hikes from the coast book. (post)

Badger LakeBadger Lake, the last hike from the northwestern book. (post)

Finishing those two books in addition to the central Cascades book we completed last year (post) left just the eastern and southern books. We checked off 14 featured hikes from the eastern book but were unfortunately unable to make any headway on the southern book due to the wildfires and persistent smoke that plagued southern Oregon and northern California for much of the hiking season.

Our northern most hike was at the aforementioned Ledbetter Point while our southern most hike was on the Oregon Redwoods Trail near the California border (post).

The western most hike was, as usual, along the Oregon Coast at Cape Argo State Park. (post)
Shell Island

This marked the first time 3 hikes from the same guidebook marked the furthest in different directions. For obvious reasons the eastern most hike was not from the coast book but from the eastern book. That was our hike on the Wenaha River Trail. (post)
Wenaha River Trail

As we have done the last couple of years we plan on putting together 2021 wildlife and wildflower posts but we’ll leave you with a few of our favorite sights throughout the year. For the most part the weather was good but wildfire smoke often impacted views.
Falls on Fall CreekFalls Creek – February

Cascade headCascade Head from God’s Thumb – March

Columbia River from Mitchell PointColumbia River from Mitchell Point – March

Mt. Hood and Columbia desert parsleyMt. Hood from Sevenmile Hill – March

Wildflowers at Dalles Mountain RanchDalles Mountain Ranch – April

Mt. AdamsMt. Adams from Grayback Mountain – May

Big tree down over the Pawn Old Growth TrailNavigating a downed tree along the Pawn Old Growth Trail – May

Rogue River TrailRogue River Trail – May

Golden FallsGolden Falls – May

Mt. HoodLenticular cloud over Mt. Hood from Surveyor’s Ridge – May

Whychus CanyonWhychus Canyon – May

Deschutes RiverDeschutes River – May

Whychus Creek OverlookWhychus Creek Overlook – May

Old growth noble fir standForest on Mary’s Peak – June

North Fork Umatilla RiverNorth Fork Umatilla River – June

Tower Mountain LookoutTower Mountain Lookout – June

Malheur River TrailMalheur River – June

Meadow along the Round Mountain TrailMeadow on Round Mountain – June

Mt. Jefferson from Santiam LakeSantiam Lake – July

Three Fingered Jack from Lower Berley LakeThree Fingered Jack from Lower Berley Lake (and a butterfly photobomb) – July

View from Subsitute PointThe Husband and Three Sisters from Substitute Point – July

Lookout and Round Mountain from the Ochoco Mountain TrailOchoco
Mountain Trail – July

Red SunRed Sun through wildfire smoke from the Monument Rock Wilderness – July

Canyon Mountain TrailCanyon Mountain Trail, Strawberry Mountain Wilderness – July

Fields Peak, Moore Mountain, Moon Mountain and Second PeakAldrich Mountains – July

Summit of Mount MitchellMt. Mitchell summit on a rare poor weather day – August

Mt. BachelorMt. Bachelor – August

View from Cottonwood CampCottonwood Camp, Big Indian Gorge in the Steens Mountain Wilderness – August

Wildhorse Lake TrailWildhorse Lake, Steens Mountain Wilderness – August

Sun behind a cloud over FrenchglenEvening at the Steens Mountain Resort – August

Little Blitzen GorgeLittle Blitzen Gorge – August

Riddle RanchRiddle Ranch – August

Sun through a line of wildfire smokeMorning in the Pueblo Mountains – August

Cairn along the Oregon Desert Trail in the Pueblo MountainsOregon Desert Trail, Pueblo Mountains – August

View from the Harmony TrailMt. St. Helens and Spirit Lake – August

Harmony FallsHarmony Falls – August

Loowit FallsLoowit Falls – August

Mt. St. Helens and Spirit Lake from Norway PassMt. St. Helens from Norway Pass – August

Mt. HoodMt. Hood from the PCT in the Indian Heaven Wilderness – September

Mt. Adams and Soda Peaks LakeMt. Adams and Soda Peaks Lake, Trapper Creek Wilderness – September

Jubilee LakeJubilee Lake – September

View from the Rough Fork TrailRough Fork Trail, Blue Mountains – September

Heritage Landing TrailHeritage Landing Trail, Deschutes River – September

Forest along the old roadbedMcDonald-Dunn Forest – October

Old Summit TrailCascade Mountains from the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness – October

Three Fingered Jack from Round LakeThree Fingered Jack from Round Lake – October

Mt. Hood and Lookout Mountain from Flag PointMt. Hood from the Flag Point Lookout

Mt. Hood from Lookout MountainMt. Hood from Lookout Mountain – October

214 TrailSilver Falls State Park – October

Laurel Hill Wagon ChuteLaurel Hill Wagon Chute – October

Off trail down Barlow RidgeBarlow Ridge, Mt. Hood Wilderness – October

Fern Ridge Wildlife AreaFern Ridge Wildlife Area – November

Here’s to an even better 2022. Happy New Year and Happy Trails!

Year-end wrap up

2020 Wildflower Gallery

While 2020 was a pretty good year for wildflowers we stuck relatively close to home save for a July trip to Lakeview and a couple of visits to the Rogue-Umpqua Divide Wilderness.  That meant we didn’t get to many areas where the wildflowers are much different from what we see most years so we didn’t see many new types.  Nevertheless we saw a wide variety of flowers throughout the year and some very colorful displays. We also took more urban hikes so some of the flowers weren’t native wildflowers.

Once again the first flowers we encountered were on our February hike.

Wood violetViolet


Skunk cabbageSkunk cabbage

Some type of violet at Trappist AbbeyViolet

Purple deadnettlePurple deadnettle

Tree blossomsBlossoms on a tree

Red flowering currantRed flowering currant

Western service berryWestern service berry

California poppyCalifornia poppy

CheckermallowA checkermallow


Cultivated radishCultivated radish


Annual honestyAnnual honest

Giant white wakerobbinGiant white wakerobbin


Cow parsnipCow parsnip

Flowering bush near Morgan LakeFlowering bush as Basket Slough Wildlife Refuge

Red cloverRed clover

Tough leaved irisIris


Indian plumIndian plum

Tolmie's mariposa lilyTolmie’s mariposa lily

Thin-leaf peaThin-leaf pea

Giant blue-eyed MaryGiant blue-eyed Mary

Golden paintbrushGolden paintbrush


Meadow death camasMeadow death camas

Purple saniclePurple sanicle

A mustardA mustard

Star flowered solmonsealStar flowered solomseal


Yellowleaf IrisYellowleaf iris


Spotted coralrootSpotted coralroot


Hookedspur violetHookedspur violet

Fairy slipperFairy slipper

Dogwood blossomDogwood

Buck Brush - redstem ceanothusBuck Brush


Showy phloxShowy phlox


Pea and poison oakA pea and poison oak


Monkey flowerMonkey flower

Snow queenSnow queen

Pale flaxPale falx

Wild gingerWild ginger

Oregon GrapeOregon grape

Candy flowerCandy flower

Striped coralrootStriped coralroot

Bleeding heart along the North Fork TrailBleeding heart


Maple blossomsMaple

Coastal manrootCoastal manroot

Popcorn flowerPopcorn flower?

Collomia heterophylla - Variable CollomiaVariable collomia

Western yellow oxalisWestern yellow oxalis


Pacific waterleafPacific waterleaf

Queen's cupQueen’s cup

Western buttercupsWestern buttercups

Foam flowerFoam flower

Chocolate liliesChocolate lillies

Vanilla leafVanilla leaf



Tall bluebellsTall bluebells


Oregon geraniumOregon geranium

Vetch and daisiesVetch and daisies

Common St. John's wortCommon St. John’s wort

Douglas spireaDouglas spirea


Flower at McFadden's Marsh


Yellow glandweedYellow glandweed


Wild rosesWild rose

Inside out flowerInside out flower

Largeleaf sandwortLargeleaf sandwort

False solomonsealFalse solomonseal





Subalpine mariposa lilySubalpine mariposa lily



Woodland starsWoodland stars

Royal Jacob's ladderRoyal Jacob’s ladder

Nightblooming false bindweedNightblooming false bindweed

Alpine pennycressAlpine pennycress


Oregon sunshineOregon sunshine


Mountain ashMountain ash

Raceme pussytoesRaceme pussytoes


Henline Mountain TrailPaintbrush

Rusty saxifrageRusty saxifrage

PenstemonA penstemon


PyrolaA pyrola

Tiger lilies along the Swordfern TrailTiger lily

Gold threadsGold threads

Self healSelf heal

Bachelor buttonBachelor button

Possibly a willowherbA willowherb?

PeaA pea

Pink honeysucklePink honeysuckle

Flower along the Row River Trail

BrodeiaA brodeia

Scarlet pimpernelScarlet pimpernel

PoppyA poppy



A phaceliaA phacelia

Swallowtail coming in for a landingBlackberry


Flowers along the Estacada Lake Trail


Western meadow-rueWestern meadow-rue

Shooting stars and western buttercupsShooting stars and western buttercups

Elephants headElephants head

Pacific coralrootPacific coralroot

Musk monkeyflowerMusk monkeyflower

Bastard toadflaxBastard toadflax


PenstemonA penstemon

Silverleaf phaceliaSilverleaf phacelia

Washington lilyWashington lily

BuckwheatA buckwheat



Western hound's tongueWestern hound’s tongue

Diamond Clarkia next to a big seedheadDiamond clarkia

California stickseedCalifornia stickseed

Tiny flowers along the Green Ridge Trail

Scarlet giliaScarlet gilia


Sticky cinquefoilSticky cinquefoil


ThistleA thistle

BuckwheatA buckwheat

Blue-eyed MaryBlue-eyed Mary

Fawn lilyFawn lily


Olympic onionOlympic onion

PhloxA phlox

SunflowerFalse sunflower

Bistort and paintbrushBistort and paintbrush


PenstemonA penstemon

Phantom OrchidPhantom orchid

PenstemonA penstemon

BuckwheatA buckwheat

Tall buckwheatTall buckwheat


Streambank globe mallowStreambank globe mallow

Wildflowers along the road to the Monte Cristo Trail


Tapertip onionTapertip onion

White stemmed fraseraWhite stemmed frasera

Wildflower on Monte Cristo

Prince's pinePrince’s pine

Goats beardGoats beard


SaxifrageA saxifrage

LousewortA lousewort


StonecropA stonecrop


Blue-head giliaBlue-head gilia

Wildflowers along the Pyramids Trail

Cone flowerCone flower

CurrantA currant

Wildflower along the road to the Riggs Lake Trailhead

Large boykiniaLarge boykinia

Bog orchidBog orchid

Old man's whiskersOld man’s whiskers aka prairie smoke

PaintbrushA paintbrush

Sticky chickweedSticky chickweed

Nettle-leaf giant hyssopNettle-leaf giant hyssop

California corn lilyCalifornia corn lily

Musk thistleMusk thistle

Checker-mallowA checkermallow

Grand collomiaGrand collomia

Rosy pussytoesRosy pussytoes

Scouler's woollyweedScouler’s woollyweed?

An OrobancheAn orobanche

Slender cinquefoilSlender cinquefoil

Nuttall's linanthusNuttal’s linanthus

Orange agoserisOrange agoseris

Smooth stem blazing starSmooth stem blazing star

RougheyelashweedRough eyelashweed

A weedA weed

White water buttercupsWhite water buttercups

Sagebrush mariposa lilySagebrush mariposa lily

Tansyleaf evening primroseTansyleaf evening primrose

Bees on dustymaidensDustymaidens

HorkeliaA horkelia

AsterAn aster?

BroomrapeAn orobanche

PaintbrushA paintbrush

Mountain coyote mintMountain coyote mint

Butterflies on rabbitbrushRabbitbrush

Wildflowers at Hart Mountain Antelope Refuge

Wildflowers along the Warner Valley Overlook Loop

Butterflies on wildflowers in DeGarmo Creek

Spreading dogbaneSpreading dogbane




Swamp onionSwamp onion

PenstemonA penstemon

Wildflower at Lake Abert Watchable Wildlife Area

ThistleA thistle

Common mullenCommon mullen




LousewortA lousewort

Wildflowers along the Killen Creek Trail

Lousewort and lupineLousewort and lupine

Mountain heatherMountain heather

White mountain heatherWhite mountain heahter

False helleboreFalse hellebore


Wildflowers along the Pacific Crest Trail


FleabaneA fleabane

SpireaA spirea


WillowherbA willowherb

Cutleaf daisyCutleaf daisy

Dwarf alpinegoldDwarf alpinegold

Jacob's ladderJacob’s ladder



Butterfly on pearly everlastingPearly everlasting

Drummond's anemoneDrummond’s anemone

Wildflowers along the Blue Lake Trail

Ghost pipeGhost pipe

MadiaCommon madia

Goldenrod and other wildflowers along the Whitehorse Meadows TrailGoldenrod

Owls cloverOwl’s clover

Wildflower along the Rattlesnake Mountain Trail

Flower along the 804 Trail

I’ve made my best effort to roughly identify the flowers that I could. Any help or corrections are more than welcome. Happy Trails!

Year-end wrap up

2020 Wildlife Gallery

Continuing a tradition that started a couple of years ago here are some photos of the wildlife that we spotted on our hikes in 2020. As always we kept our distance (thank goodness for the 30x zoom) and did our best not to disturb any of the critters. That being said there were several instances where they (mostly insects) chose not maintain social distancing.

As with 2019 (post) we’ll start out small and work our way up.


Ants on white tritelia


Red beetle

Bug on a flower

California poppies

Bee on wallflower

Bee on a coneflower

Big fly


Tent catapillers


Woolley bear caterpillar

Pandora moth catapiller

Crab spider on a prince's pine

Wolf spider and babies

Bug on the bridge over Rat Creek

Grasshopper at Marie Lake



Dragon fly

Dragon fly

Dragon fly


Snail on the North Fork Trail






Butterfly on yarrow

Butterfly along the Green Ridge Trail

Butterfleis along DeGarmo Creek

Butterfly at Hart Mountain Antelope Refuge

Policecar moth and butterfly

Orange tip butterfly

Common wood nymph


Friendly butterfly


Butterfly on dustymaiden

Butterfly on Oregon sunshine

Tortoiseshell butterfly

Butterfly on self-heal

Mountain parnassian

Sheep moth

California Sister Butterfly at Natural Bridge

Lorquins admiral

Mourning cloak on clover

Butterflies and bees on wildflowers

Butterfly on the Rogue-Umpqua Divide Trail



Swallowtail on a salmonberry blossom


Frog in Blue Lake

Frog under Heather's daypack

Frog along the Highline Trail

Bull frog in The Mirror Pond

Rough skinned newt

Sagebrush lizard

Western fence lizard

Alligator lizard

Garter snake

Gopher snake



Small bird along Morgan Lake

Small bird at Summer Lake Wildlife Area

Bird at Hart Mountain Antelope Refuge

Common Yellowthroat



House finch

American goldfinch




Rabbit and an golden-crowned sparrowThis one is here for the golden-crowned sparrow.


Cedar waxwings

Spotted towhee

Western tanager

Western bluebird

Western meadowlark

Horned lark


Red-winged blackbird

Yellow headed blackbird


Robin at Miller Woods

Varied thrush

Scrub jay

Gray jay

Stellar's jay

Clark's nutcracker


Northern flicker

Killdeer at Summer Lake Wildlife Area

Birds along the 804 Trail


California quail

Rock dove

Band-tailed pigeons


Bird at Summer Lake Wildlife Area

Black necked stilt and a white faced ibis

Birds at Summer Lake Wildlife Area

Surf scooters


Cinnamon teal pair

Pied-billed grebe family

American scooter

Harlequin ducks

Mallards at the pond in front of the SAIF building

Common merganser

Duck at Summer Lake Wildlife Area

Duck at Milo McIver State Park

Family of Canada geese

Gulls and American avocets at Lake Abert Watchable Wildlife Area

American kestrel

Owl hiding in mostly plain sightThere is an owl in this photo.

Osprey landing at the Salem Audubon Nature Reserve


Hawk along the Whitehorse Meadows Trail

Bald eagle

White faced ibis

White pelicans



Great blue heron at McFadden's Marsh

Sandhill crane at Summer Lake Wildlife Area

Chipmunk drying out on the rocks

Golden mantled ground squirrel

Ground squirrels

Squirrel with a cone

Squirrel at Riverfront Park


Pika at Lower Erma Bell Lake


Rabbit at William L. Finely Wildlife Refuge

Jack rabbit

Bat at Wiley Camp

Cows near Government Harvey Pass

Coyote at Summer Lake Wildlife Area

Deer at Miller Woods



Happy Trails!

Hiking Year-end wrap up

The Hikes of 2020 – A Look Back

Well 2020 is officially over and I think nearly everyone is glad to see it go. It was a rough year for so many between COVID-19 costing lives and jobs and wildfires claiming homes and businesses. We were fortunate in that we were able to keep working throughout the year, stayed healthy, and were just slightly inconvenienced by the fires that impacted so many after Labor Day. The most traumatic event that we personally experienced was the loss of our eldest cat, Buddy (post) in January.

With all that going on during the year, hiking became a way to try and escape and yet it seemed nearly impossible not to feel the cloud that was 2020 hanging over everything. It certainly made for a “different” year of hiking. I made more changes to our planned hikes in 2020 than in any previous year. It wasn’t just COVID and fires that triggered changes either, flooding in the Blue Mountains east of Pendleton in February damaged Forest Service Roads and trails forcing us to cancel a planned June trip. We originally had 58 days of hiking planned (as of January 1, 2020) but we cancelled a September backpacking trip in the Sky Lakes Wilderness due to heavy wildfire smoke which left us ending the year with 52 days of hiking. Of those only 19 days consisted of hikes that were on the list on January 1, and just 9 wound up happening on the day originally scheduled (an additional two happened within a day of the original plan).

During those 52 days we spent 10 nights backpacking, stopped at 70 trails/trailheads, and 3 roadside waterfalls.
2020 hikesHiker symbol = Trails/trailheads, yellow houses = campsites, purple binoculars = roadside waterfalls

This year saw no repeated hikes and just 18 days where we were on the same part of a trail that we had hiked in a previous year, roughly 34.5 out of the 586.7 miles that hiked. That meant a lot of new trails and sights for us. Two of the hikes, Gearhart Mountain (post), and Boulder Creek (post) were in wilderness areas that we had yet to make it to.
Gearhart Mountain WildernessGearhart Mountain

Boulder CreekBoulder Creek

Here are just a few highlights from the places we visited over the year. (* denotes at least some of the area burned in a 2020 fire.)

Cobblestones along the beach at Cape Lookout State ParkNetarts Spit


View from Spencer ButteSpencer Butte

Shotgun CreekShotgun Creek

Horse Rock Ridge TrailHorse Rock Ridge

Morning at Miller WoodsMiller Woods

Trappist AbbeyTrappist Abbey


CamasBush Pasture Park

Baskett ButteBasket Slough Wildlife Refuge

North Fork Willamette RiverNorth Fork Willamette River

Little Luckiamute RiverLittle Luckiamute River

Old growth at Valley of the GiantsValley of the Giants

Indigo SpringsIndigo Springs

Rigdon MeadowsRigdon Meadows

Pigeon Butte TrailheadPigeon Butte

East Fork South Fork McKenzie RiverEast Fork South Fork McKenzie River

Sullivan Creek FallsSullivan Creek Falls*

Henline FallsHenline Falls*

Bull-of-the Woods and Whetstone Mountain from the lookout siteHenline Mountain*

Spirit FallsSpirit Falls

Pinard FallsPinard Falls

Moon FallsMoon Falls

Memaloose LakeMemaloose Lake*

Echo Basin TrailEcho Basin

Hall HouseFish Lake

View from the Green Ridge TrailGreen Ridge*

High Ridge TrailTable Rock Wilderness* (The Riverside fire burned at least the access road and may have encroached into the SW portion of the wilderness.)

Mt. Adams from the Monte Carlo TrailMonte Carlo Trail

Hunchback TrailHunchback Mountain

Meadow along the Pyramids TrailMeadow below the Three Pyramids

North Pyramid from Daly LakeDaly Lake

View from Winter RidgeWinter Ridge

Light Peak from Fence PassFence Pass

Beatys Butte from Flook LakeFlook Lake

Barnhardy RoadHart Mountain Antelope Refuge

Petroglyphs around Petroglyph LakePetroglyphs along Petroglyph Lake

Waterfall on DeGarmo CreekDeGarmo Canyon

The Palisades in the Gearhart Mountain WildernessThe Palisades in the Gearhart Mountain Wilderness (This was probably our favorite area of the year amid these rock formations.)

View from Sleeping BeautySleeping Beauty

Red Butte and Mt. Adams from the Highline TrailHighline Trail

Cottonwood Creek FallsCottonwood Creek Falls (This was probably the sketchiest hike we’ve done.)

Mt. ThielsenMt. Thielsen* (The Thielsen Creek fire burned a small part of the trails in the area.)

The old Bohemia Post OfficeBohemia Post Office

Diamond Peak from Diamond View LakeDiamond View Lake

Climbers trail to Diamond PeakDiamond Peak (The sketchiest hike we didn’t do.)

Diamond Peak from Karen Lake at sunsetKaren Lake

Middle Erma Bell LakeMiddle Erma Bell Lake

Mt. Bailey from the Dellenback TrailDiamond Lake

Rattlesnake Mountain from the Rogue-Umpqua Divide TrailRattlesnake Mountain

View from the Spruce Run Creek TrailSpruce Run Creek Trail


Deep Lake TrailIndian Heaven Wilderness

Deschutes River with Grizzly Mountain in the distanceWildcat Canyon

National Creek FallsNational Creek Falls

Takelma GorgeTakelma Gorge

Hershberger Mountian LookoutHershberger Mountain

Rabbit EarsRabbit Ears

Rogue River at Natural BridgeNatural Bridge

Old lookout tower on Abbott ButteAbbott Butte Lookout

Wild Cherry TrailForest Park

Upper Latourell FallsUpper Latourell Falls

Larch Mountain from Multnomah BasinLarch Mountain

McKenzie RiverMcKenzie River


Sun rays through the treesYachats

Not all of the trails were in the greatest of shape, an issue that is unfortunately becoming more common as the agencies that manage them often lack the funding to maintain them.
Blowdown over the Swordfern TrailSwordfern Trail

East Fork Trail under blowdownEast Fork Trail

Blowdown over the Riggs Lake TrailRiggs Lake Trail

Hackleman Old Growth TrailHackleman Old Growth Loop

Howlock Mountain TrailHowlock Mountain Trail

Shale Ridge Trail continuing on the far side of the North Fork Middle Fork Willamette RiverShale Ridge Trail

Acker Divide Trail covered by blowdownAcker Divide Trail

Union Creek Trail (it is straight ahead, really)Union Creek Trail

While we haven’t run out of new trails and areas to explore we are finding it harder to see wildflowers and wildlife that we haven’t already seen at some point but there always seems to be some. We spotted a bobcat for the first time (from the car) on our way to Winter Ridge (post). Lake Abert and Summer Lake hosted a few species of birds that we hadn’t run across before. (post) We plan on posting wildflower and wildlife galleries soon but for now here are those that were new to us this year.
Castilleja levisecta - Golden PaintbrushCastilleja levisecta – Golden Paintbrush at Basket Slough Wildlife Refuge (post)

Musk thistleMusk Thistle at Winter Ridge (Unfortunately it’s an invasive but they were impressive.)

Pandora moth catapillerPandora moth caterpillar at Green Ridge (post)

Horned larkHorned Lark at Flook Lake (post)

Gulls and American avocets at Lake Abert Watchable Wildlife AreaGulls and American avocets at Lake Abert

Various birds including a white faced ibis and a black necked stiltBlack necked stilt at Summer Lake

Frog under Heather's daypackPossibly a coastal tailed frog at Wiley Camp in the Rogue-Umpqua Divide Wilderness (post)

The most interesting thing that happened this year though was stumbling on a human mandible. It was a little unsettling but it was clearly fairly old. We left it alone and marked the coordinates the GPS and reported it to the agency in charge of the land. The agency was nice enough to keep us in the loop when archeologists were called in to confirm that it was Native American at which point they contacted the appropriate Tribe(s) so that they could decide what to do with it. We were asked no to share the location for obvious reasons. It was very interesting getting to see how that process worked.

We also hit a couple of milestones this year, our last hike at Yachats (post) was our 500th day of hiking and we reached our long term goal of hiking all 100 featured hikes in William L. Sullivan’s “100 Hikes/Travel Guide Central Oregon Cascades” (4th edition). We will talk a little more about that in a progress report on our goal to finish the 100 featured hikes in all five of his guide books covered areas.

Despite all its troubles 2020 will at least be memorable. Here is to a better 2021 with more new trail, new discoveries, and hopefully some happier stories. Happy Trails!

Hiking Year-end wrap up

2019 Wildflower Gallery

One of the most challenging things about our hiking trips is attempting to identify the numerous different wildflowers that we see (and knowing if it’s an invasive like foxglove or if it’s native). We love seeing the flowers and spend much of our hikes looking for them but we’re just a couple of amateurs when it comes to knowing much about them. We rely heavily on the Wildflower Search website and more knowledgeable folks in wildflower groups for ids. Asters and fleabanes as well as many yellow wildflowers tend to give us the most trouble. On our own we probably get as many wrong as right. Even when we have a good idea we tend to use a general common name such as “penstemon” or “lupine” instead of attempting to identify the specific variety.

We saw somewhere in the vicinity of 200 different varieties of flowers. We have labeled them on Flickr with our best guesses, but in most cases the id is uncertain so any corrections/suggestions are greatly appreciated.

With that here is a fairly comprehensive gallery of the different flowers that we saw during our 2019 hikes. I’m posting these in the date order in which the photos were taken (with the exception of the first and last) but this is not necessarily the order in which we first saw them during the year.

In February we encountered our first flowers of the year.
Snow queenSnow queen

Red flowering currantRed flowering currant


Fairy slipperFairy slipper

Glacier liliesGlacier lilies

Chickweed monkeyflowerChickweed monkeyflower

Giant white wakerobinGiant white wakerobin

Giant fawn liliesGiant fawn lilies

Camas and plectritisCamas and plectritis


Bleeding heartBleeding heart



Large solomonsealLarge solomonseal

Vine mapleVine maple

Something in the pea family

Chocolate liliesChocolate lilies


Wild roseWild rose

Wildflower at Warrior Point

Ball-head waterleafBall-head waterleaf



CurrantA currant

Jacob's ladderShowy jacob’s ladder

Oregon anemoneOregon anemone


Vanilla LeafVanilla leaf


Woodland starsWoodland stars

Popcorn flowerPopcorn flower


Deadly nightshadeDeadly nightshade

Rock clematisRock clematis





VioletA violet

Shooting starShooting star

Old man's whiskersOld man’s whiskers

Western stoneseedWestern stoneseed

Blue dicksBlue dicks


Slender phloxSlender phlox

Cutleaf daisyCutleaf daisy

Large head cloverLarge head clover


Hariy clematisHairy clematis

Yellow bellYellow bell

Browns peonyBrown’s peony (blossoms hadn’t opened yet)

Small flower miterwortSmall flower miterwort




CatchflyA catchfly

Branched hareleafBranched hareleaf



Rough eyelashweedRough eyelashweed



Spreading dogbaneSpreading dogbane


Scab penstemonScab penstemon

Wildflower along the Wenaha River Trail

Oregon sunshineOregon sunshine?

False sunflowerFalse sunflower?

Sticky purple geraniumSticky purple geranium

Threadleaf phaceliaThreadleaf phacelia


Stream globe mallowStream globe mallow

Blue mustardBlue mustard?

ClarkiaRagged robin

Blanket flowerBlanket flower

Cusick's paintbrushCusick’s paintbrush

Wild onionWild onion

Monument plantMonument plant


Hoary balsamrootHoary balsamroot


White-stem fraseraWhite-stem frasera

Milk vetchMilk vetch

CloverA clover

Dwarf yellow fleabaneDwarf yellow fleabane


Wild irisIris


Blue-eyed maryBlue-eyed mary

Cats ear liliesCat’s ear lilies

CandyflowerCandy flower




Wildflower along the Cascade Streamwatch Trail

False lily of the valleyFalse lily of the valley



Scoutler's cordyalisScouler’s cordyalis




Bunch berryBunchberry

Rhododendron blossomsRhododendron

Wild bugbaneWild bugbane

Avalanche liliesAvalanche lilies


Western pasque flowerWestern pasque flower


Mountain heatherMountain heather



Dwarf lupineDwarf lupine


White dwarf lupineWhite dwarf lupine

Sagebrush false dandelionSagebrush false dandelion?




Tailed kittentailsTailed kittentails

Wildflowers along the Grouse Vista TrailGoldenbanner?








Marsh marigoldMarsh marigold




Probably cultivated radishCultivated radish?

CloverA clover

Beach morning gloryBeach morning glory


Wild roseSome sort of rose

Striped coralrootStriped coralroot


Arrowleaf buckwheatArrowleaf buckwheat

Star-flower solomonsealStar-flower solomonseal

Raceme pussytoesRaceme pussytoes



Blue-head giliaBlue-head gilia



Insideout flowerInside-out flower



Wild strawberryWild strawberry


Showy phloxShowy phlox


Bladder campionBladder campion?


AsterAster or fleabane

CurrantA currant

Wood violetWood violet



Jacob's ladderJacob’s ladder?


Wild gingerWild ginger

Giant blue-eyed maryGiant blue-eyed mary


Cow parsnipCow parsnip

tall bluebellsTall mountain bluebells

Scarlet giliaScarlet gilia

Orange agoserisOrange agoseris

Owls cloverOwls clover

A phaceliaSome sort of phacelia?


Wild onionWild onion

Twin flowerTwin flower


PaintbrushTwo types of paintbrush

Stream orchidStream orchid?

Tiger lilyTiger lily

Wildflowers along the Grassy Knoll Trail


Field chickweedField chickweed

Wildflowers along the Grassy Knoll Trail


Wildflowers along the Grassy Knoll Trail

Wildflowers along the Grassy Knoll Trail

Spotted coralrootSpotted coralroot



Farewll to springFarewell to spring


Washington lilyWashington lily





Mock orangeMock orange

Prince's pinePrince’s pine

Bachelor buttonBachelor button

A pyrolaPyrola

Queen's cupQueen’s cup

AsterAster (or a fleabane)?

Bog orchidBog orchid

Elephants headElephant’s head


Ghost pipeGhost pipe

Scouler's bluebellsScouler’s bluebells


MonkeyflowerPink monkeyflower

Creeping wire lettuceCreeping wire lettuce



AsterAster (or a fleabane)


Wildflower along the Olallie Mountain Trail


Scouler's St. Johns wort and pearly everlastingScouler’s St. Johns wort

Wildflowers along the trail to Crabtree Valley




PeaA pea?


The last wildflowers for us this year (we aren’t counting the invasive herb robert seen at Forest Park in December) was some fading pearly everlasting in mid-October.
Pearly everlastingThis pearly is in better shape from an August hike.

Hopefully we aren’t too far off on these. Names aside they are all a delight to see out on our hikes. Happy Trails!

Hiking Year-end wrap up

2019 Wildlife Gallery

We had so much fun in 2018 putting together posts of the different species and varieties of wildlife and wildflowers we’d seen that year that we decided to do it again for 2019. While we didn’t see a lot of larger animals this year we did see a lot of pikas, frogs and toads, and a number of new birds.

In the spirit of Leave No Trace principles we do our best not to cause any distress to the wildlife we see by keeping our distance, not feeding them, and doing our best not to disturb or startle them in any way.

Starting out small-
Beetle on a blue dicks

Ladybug on a thimbleberry leaf


Beetle in a rose

Green beetle

Green beetle

Dragon fly

Dragon fly

Bug shenanigans

Bee on showy phlox

Bumblebee on thistle




Wooly bear caterpillar


Snail and a millipede

Slugs on skunk cabbage


Wolf spider

Crab spider

Spider on bluedicks

Spider fight

We didn’t see as many different moths and butterflies this year but we saw quite a few of several types.
Moth on the Boulder Lake Trail

Moth on rainiera

Blue copper

Blue copper on aster

Some sort of copper butterfly

Ruddy copper


A skipper of some sort or a duskywing


Buttefly on the Hertiage Trail

Butterfly on aster

Butterfly on the Tarbell Trail


Fritillary butterfly

Butterfly along the Wenaha River Trail

Butterfly on valerian



Butterfly on stonecrop

Butterflies on aster


Butterfly on a flower

It was a good year for reptiles and amphibians, especially frogs and toads.
Cascade toad


Western toad at Temple Lake






Frog on moss

Tree frog


Rough skinned newt on Amanda's Trail

Northern alligator lizard

Western fence lizard

Sagebrush lizard

Pygmy short horned lizard

Snake with an attitude

Water held a couple of creatures.

Fish in the Clackamas River

We had good luck with birds this year as well, being the one animal where we saw quite a few varieties for the first time (that we know of).
American goldfinch

Bald Eagle

Bird along the Boulder Lake Trail

Black-headed grosbeak

Bullock's Oriole

Canada geese


Clark's nutcracker

Duck on Monon Lake

Duck on Russ Lake


Egret and great blue heron

Golden eagle being chased by a smaller raptor

Gray jay



Hummingbird on a mountain ash




Lazuli bunting

Lewis's woodpecker

Little bird along Trail 5



Mountain chickadee

Northern flicker


Osprey with Mt. Adams in the background

Ouzel at Sawmill Falls

Pied-billed grebe

Pileated woodpecker


Red breasted nuthatch

Red tailed hawk

Red-breasted sapsucker

Red-winged blackbird



Stellar's jay

Scrub jay

Swallow and a sparrow


Turkey vulture

Varied thrush

White crowned sparrow

White pelicans

Wilson's snipe

Wood Ducks



Yelllow rumped warbler

Yellow breasted chat

Yellow warbler

Yellow-throated warbler

Spotted towhee

Black-throated warbler

Small furry creatures included a number of our personal favorites the pika.


GOlden-mantled ground squirrel

Ground squirrel

Belding's ground squirrel




Finally the larger mamals which included the wildlife highlight of the year, watching a group of big horn sheep roughhousing on the far side of the Wenaha River canyon.
Big horn sheep

The deer near Wallowa Lake got into the roughhousing as well.
Deer in front of the Edelweiss Inn

Didn’t see many elk but these were at Zumwalt Prairie.

We spotted two coyotes in the brush at the Umatilla Wildlife Refuge. One’s head can be seen here as it was running off.
Coyote in the grass

There are still a handful of animals (that we are aware of) that we haven’t seen yet but continue to keep an eye out for. At the top of that list are cougar, bobcat, beaver, otter (Apparently there was one swimming in Crabtree Lake (post) while we were there this year but we didn’t notice it.) porcupine, wolf, and wolverine. The odds of seeing any of these are not in our favor, but they are out there and have probably seen us. Keeping an out for these and all the other animals we’ve seen or have yet to see is an additional motivation to get out and explore. Happy Trails (and tails)!

Hiking Year-end wrap up

The Hikes of 2019 – A Look Back

2019 turned out very differently than we’d originally planned. Not long after our first planned long trip to Joseph, OR one our cats, Buddy, had some health issues. After some time at the veterinarians he was doing better but he needed to be prescribed 3 daily medications (two twice a day). We decided that being there for our friend of 17 years was more important than our remaining plans so we cancelled nearly all of our overnight trips and spent the rest of the year doing day hikes from Salem. Buddy is still with us and seems to be doing well although he sleeps more than ever and has taken to wearing sweaters for warmth.

With us only doing the one long distance trip we didn’t make it to as many new areas as we have been in recent years. On that trip we stopped at the Umatilla Wildlife Refuge near Hermiston (post), OR and hiked in the Hells Canyon (post) and Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness areas (post).
McCormack SloughMCormack Slough in the Umatilla Wildlife Refuge.

Looking into Hells Canyon from the Summit Ridge TrailLooking towards Hells Canyon from Freezout Saddle.

Wenaha River CanyonWenaha River Canyon

Thanks to my parents willingness to take care of the cats we also managed to take an overnight trip up to Seattle in September to watch a Seattle Seahawks game stopping on the way up at Mt. Rainier National Park (post).

Cancelling the majority of our overnight trips had a couple of effects. First it reduced the number of days of hiking from an original 60 to 54. These would have been shorter hikes back to the car after backpacking or on the drive home from wherever we’d been. It also compressed the area in which we were able to hike keeping it under a 3 hour drive from Salem.
2019 HIkes

One thing that wasn’t affected was our tendency not to repeat hikes. Of our 54 days hiking only two days were repeats. For the first time we were able to hike with my brother and his family from Missouri taking them to Jawbone Flats and the Little North Fork Santiam River (post).
Little North Santiam River

The second repeat was to the old lookout site atop Maxwell Butte (post) to get the view that eluded us on our first hike there (post).
Mt. Jefferson, Santiam Lake, and Three Fingered Jack from Maxwell Butte

A visit to Four-In-One Cone, also to get a view that had previously eluded us, (post) was nearly a repeat but we started from a different trailhead making the first (and final) .4 miles new to us.
View from Four-in-one Cone

Thirteen other days did include some trail that we’d previously hiked and three more outings had turn around points that we’d previously been to but from an entirely different route. That left 35 days with entirely new trails to us. To put those figures in miles we hiked a total of 627.7 miles (according to my GPS). Only 70.6 of those miles, or just over 11%, were on portions of trails that we had hiked on in previous years.

I say “trails” but in reality not all the miles we hiked were on actual trails. Some of it was spent on paved roads, decommissioned roads, and some was entirely off trail/road.
Scoggins Creek Recreation AreaRoad walk at Henry Haag Lake

Baty ButteDecommissioned road to Baty Butte.

North Sister and the headwaters of Soap CreekCross country to Thayer Glacial Lake.

2019 was a really good year weather wise. Aside from some rain/snow showers on our Freezout Saddle hike in June and a brief stint of rain at Cascade Head and in the Mollala River Recreation Area precipitation was almost non-existent during our outings.
Marks Cabin Trail a bit below usSnow falling on our Freezout Saddle hike.

Salmon River through the fogRain shower approaching at Cascade Head.

Huckleberry TrailTaking cover under a tree in the Mollala River Recreation Area as a rain shower passes overhead.

Even on those three hikes with measurable precipitation there were breaks allowing for some sort of views.
Rainbow Framing the Wallowa MountainsRainbow framing the Wallowa Mountains from the Feezout Saddle Trail.

View from the Cascade Head TrailView from Cascade Head after the shower.

Veiw from Amanda's TrailView from the morning across the Mollala River Canyon.

Between the cooperative weather and a lack of significant wildfires in the area made 2019 a great year for viewpoints. In fact there was only one hike, our second to the summit of Huckleberry Mountain (post) where we felt skunked on views. That hike began in the Wildwood Recreation area and the interpretive trails along the Salmon River made up for the lack of views up top.
3d Model of Mt. Hood along the Cascade Streamwatch TrailNeat 3D display at Wildwood Recreation Area.

Viewpoint on Huckleberry MountainView atop Huckleberry Mountain.

Even on that day blue sky made an appearance before the end of our hike.
Mt. Hood behind some clouds

We also never got much of a view (but we did see blue sky) on our visit to Silver Star Mountain (post) but the point of that hike was to see the flower display.
Wildflowers along the Silver Star Trail

As always our hikes included a variety of landscapes, natural features, and some man-made ones. A sample of which follows. (We will cover wildflowers and wildlife in separate posts later.)
Gales CreekGales Creek – Coast Range

Dry Creek FallsDry Creek Falls – Columbia River Gorge, OR

Camassia Natural AreaCamassia Natural Area – West Linn

The Two Chiefs and Table MountainTwo Chiefs and Table Mountain – Columbia River Gorge, WA

Nature Trial at Oak IslandOak Island – Columbia River

B.C. Creek FallsB.C. Creek Falls – Wallowa Mountains

Wallowa Mountains including Hurricaine Point and Ruby PeakWallowa Mountains

Harins ButteHarsin Butte – Zumwalt Prairie

Sardine MountainSardine Mountain – Willamette National Forest

Gorton FallsGorton Creek Falls – Columbia River Gorge, OR

Mt. Hood from Lost LakeMt. Hood from Lost Lake

Mt. Hood from the Vista Ridge TrailMt. Hood from Vista Ridge

Sand Mountain LookoutSand Mountain Lookout – Willamette National Forest

Cape Kiwanda and Haystack RockCape Kiwanda and Haystack Rock from Sitka Sedge Beach

High LakeHigh Lake – Mt. Hood National Forest

Tidbits MountainTidbits Mountain – Willamette National Forest

Bunchgrass MeadowBunchgrass Meadow – Willamette National Forest

Top tier of the Breitenbush CascadesBreitenbush Cascades – Willamette National Forest

Mt. St. HelensMt. St. Helens from Cinnamon Ridge – Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument

View from Bear PointMt. Jefferson from Bear Point – Mt. Jefferson Wilderness

Sawmill FallsSawmill Falls – Little North Fork Santiam River

Three Fingered Jack with Three Sisters and Mt. Washington beyond Red ButteThree Fingered Jack, The Three Sisters, and Mt. Washington

Scramble route up Baty ButteScramble route to Baty Butte – Mt. Hood National Forest

Boulder LakeBoulder Lake – Mt. Hood National Forest

Drift CreekDrift Creek – Drift Creek Wilderness

Thayer Glacial LakeNorth Sister and Thayer Glacial Lake – Three Sisters Wilderness

View from Four-in-one ConeNorth Sister, Middle Sister, and The Husband from Four-In-One Cone – Three Sisters Wilderness

Mt. Hood from Tumala MountainMt. Hood from Tumala Mountain – Mt. Hood National Forest

Bull of the Woods LookoutBull of the Woods Lookout – Bull of the Woods Wilderness

Mt. Hood and Barret Spur from Elk CoveMt. Hood from Elk Cove – Mt. Hood Wilderness

Mt. Jefferson and Hunts CoveMt. Jefferson and Hunts Cove – Mt. Jefferson Wilderness

Mt. Jefferson with Monon, Olallie and Timber LakesView from Olallie Butte – Warm Springs Indian Reservation

Lillian FallsLillian Falls – Waldo Lake Wilderness

Olallie Mountain lookoutOlallie Mountain Lookout – Three Sisters Wilderness

King TutKing Tut – Crabtree Valley

View from Ruddy HillMt. Jefferson from Ruddy Hill – Mt. Hood National Forest

Henry Haag LakeHenry Haag Lake – Scoggins Valley

View from the north summit of The TwinsWaldo Lake and the Cascade Mountains from The Twins – Deschutes National Forest

Bobby LakeBobby Lake – Deschutes National Forest

Patrol Cabin at Indian Henry's Hunting GroundIndian Henry’s Hunting Ground – Mt. Rainier National Park

Fog over the valley from Trail 17 (Theodore Trail)Fog over the valley from Mt. Pisgah – Eugene, OR

Twin Peaks and Gifford LakeTwin Peaks and Gifford Lake – Olallie Lake Scenic Area

Mt. Adams from Lookout MountainMt. Adams from Lookout Mountain – Badger Creek Wilderness Area

Huckleberry TrailMollala River Recreation Area

View from the PCT and Indian Mountain Trail junctionView toward Washington from the Pacific Crest Trail near Indian Mountain – Mt. Hood National Forest

Clackamas River at Alder FlatClackamas River – Mt. Hood National Forest

Maple TrailForest Park – Portland, OR

Tilikum CrossingTilikum Crossing – Portland, OR

There were many more great places and sights that we visited but they can’t all be included here. It was another amazing year of discovering God’s creation and we are looking forward to seeing what next year brings. For the first time I have two sets of planned hikes going into next year, one is in the hopes that Buddy continues to do well on his medications leading us to stick to day hikes through the year and the other includes long distance trips in the unfortunate event that we have to say goodbye to our furry friend.

Either way we know that we will be blown away yet again by whatever we see on those hikes. Happy Trails and Happy New Year to all!

Flickr: Album List

Hiking Year-end wrap up

2018 Wildflower Gallery

It wasn’t the greatest wildflower year in 2018 but there were still a few decent displays and several new species for us. Below are some of the better displays as well as individual blossoms from this years hikes. (Attempts have been made to identify, at least in general, the type of flower but please correct us if we are wrong or chime in on the unidentified photos.)

Snow queenSnow queen – McDonald Forest, February

From Memaloose Hills in April:




Prairie starPrairie star


Wildflowers at Memaloose HillsUnknown

Large-flower triteleiaLarge-flower triteleia

Giant head cloverGiant head clover


From the Wygant Trail in April:

Hound's tongueHound’s tongue


Ballhead waterleafBallhead waterleaf

Chocolate lilyChocolate lily


Grass widowGrass widow


From Patterson Mountain in May:
Fawn liliesFawn lily

Fairy slippersFairy slippers

Wood violetWood violet

SaxifrageA saxifrage

Red flowering currantRed-flowering currant

Skunk cabbageSkunk cabbage

Glacier lilyGlacier lily

More flowers from May:
Wild irisIris – Washington Park

AnemoneAnemone – Lookout Creek Trail

TrilliumTrillium – Carpenter Mountain

BuckwheatBuckwheat – White River Falls State Park

ThistleThistle along the Deschutes River

Western prairie-clover along the Deschutes River TrailWestern prairie-clover along the Deschutes River

Clustered broomrapeClustered broomrape along the Deschutes River

BitterrootBitterroot – Rimrock Springs

BluebellsBluebells along Muir Creek

GooseberryGooseberry along Muir Creek

Wild irisIris along Muir Creek

LupineWhite lupine along Muir Creek

PeaPea? along Muir Creek

VioletsViolets along Muir Creek

Bleeding heartBleeding heart along the Muir Creek Trail

Tall mountain bluebellsTall mountain bluebells – Rogue-Umpqua Divide Wilderness

Jacob's ladderJacob’s ladder – Rogue-Umpqua Divide Wilderness

Marsh marigoldsMarsh marigolds – Rogue-Umpqua Divide Wilderness

Avalanche liliesAvalanche lilies – Rogue-Umpqua Divide Wilderness

Wildflowers along the Buck Canyon TrailSpring Beauty – Rogue-Umpqua Divide Wilderness

Western stoneseedWestern stoneseed – Black Butte

June wildflowers:
BunchberryBunchberry – Salmon River Trail

AnemoneAnemone – Salmon River Trail

Star flowersStar flowers – Salmon River Trail

ValerianValerian – Salmon River Trail

RhododendronRhododendron – Salmon River Trail

Spotted coralrootSpotted coralroot – Salmon River Trail

Cat's ear lilyCats ear lily – Salmon River Trail

Field chickweedFiled chickweed – Salmon River Trail

StonecropStonecrop – Salmon River Trail

Wildflower along the Salmon River Trailunknown – Salmon River Trail

Paintbrush and plectritisPaintbrush and plectritis – Salmon River Trail

Blue head giliaBlue head gilia – Salmon River Trail

Candy sticksCandy sticks – Salmon River Trail

SalmonberrySalmonberry – Salmon River Trail

Showy MilkweedShowy milkweed along the Deschutes River

ChicoryChicory (non-native) along the Deschutes River

Blanket flowerBlanket flower along the Deschutes River

BindweedBindweed along the Deschutes River

Dwarf monkeyflowerDwarf monkeyflower – Diamond Craters

Wild onion and lupine leavesWild onion – Jordan Craters

Mariposa lily in Slocum GulchSagebrush mariposa lily – Leslie Gulch

Butterfly on dustymaiden in Slocum GulchDusty maiden – Leslie Gulch

ClarkiaClarkia – Leslie Gulch

PrimroseEvening Primerose – Three Forks

SalsifySalsify – Three Forks

Grand collomiaGrand collomia – Three Forks

Stream orchidStream orchid – Three Forks

Mariposa lilyMariposa lily – Three Forks

Wildflowers along the Owyhee Riverunknown – Three Forks

Tufted primroseTufted primrose – Chalk Basin

Orange globe mallowOrange globe mallow – Chalk Basin

Wildflowers in the Dry wash in Chalk Basinunknown – Chalk Basin

Blazing starSmooth stemmed blazing star – Chalk Basin

Threadleaf phaceliaThreadleaf phacelia – Chalk Basin

PenstemonPenstemon – Alvord Desert

Beetle on yarrowYarrow – Pike Creek

Purple sticky geraniumGeranium – Myrtle Creek

Scarlet giliaScarlet gilia – Myrtle Creek

PaintbrushYelow and red paintbrush – Myrtle Creek

Skull capSkull cap – Myrtle Creek

CheckermallowCheckermallow – Myrtle Creek

Death camasDeath camas – Myrtle Creek

Hedge nettleHedgenettle – Saddle Mountain

PenstemonBeardstongue – Saddle Mountain

Twin flowerTwin flower – Saddle Mountain

ColumbineColumbine – Saddle Mountain

LarkspurLarkspur – Saddle Mountain

Wildflowers along the Saddle Mountain TrailWildflowers on Saddle Mountain

Old man's whiskersOld man’s whiskers – Saddle Mountain

Wall flowerWallflower – Saddle Mountain

Wildflowers along the Saddle Mountain TrailFeatherbells – Saddle Mountain

Inside out flowerInside out flower – Saddle Mountain

FoxgloveFoxglove (non-native) – Soapstone Lake

July Wildflowers:
FireweedFireweed – Elk Lake Creek

Spreading dogbaneSpreading dogbane – Elk Lake Creek

Scouler's bluebellScouler’s bluebells – Elk Lake Creek

Washington liliesWashington lilies – Elk Lake Creek

Prince's pinePrince’s pine – Elk Lake Creek

CoralrootCoralroot – Elk Lake Creek

Pearly everlastingPearly everlasting – Elk Lake Creek

Wild gingerWild ginger – Browder Ridge

Tiger lilyTiger lily – Browder Ridge

Larkspur and paintbrushLarkspur and paintbrush – Browder Ridge

Vanilla leafVanilla leaf – Browder Ridge

Wildflowers along the Browder Ridge TrailSagebrush false dandelions and cat’s ear lilies – Browder Ridge

Oregon sunshineOregon sunshine? – Browder Ridge

SpireaSpirea – Browder Ridge

Shooting starShooting stars – Heart Lake

Owls cloverOwls clover – Browder Ridge

Lewis flaxLewis Flax – Browder Ridge

Northern phloxNorthern phlox – Horsepasture Mountain

Foam flowerFoam flower – Horsepasture Mountain

LousewortLousewort – Horsepasture Mountain

BeargrassBeargrass – Horsepasture Mountain

ConeflowerConeflower – Horsepasture Mountain

FleabaneA fleabane – Horsepasture Mountain

CatchflyCatchfly – Horsepasture Mountain

False helleboreFalse hellebore – Opal Creek Wilderness

MonkeyflowerMonkeyflower – Strawberry Mountain Wilderness

Streambed globe mallowStreambed globe mallow – Strawberry Mountain Wilderness

Mountain coyote mintMountain coyote mint – Strawberry Mountain Wilderness

Low jacob's ladderLow Jacob’s ladder – Strawberry Mountain Wilderness

Nuttall's LinanthusNuttall’s linanthus – Strawberry Mountain Wilderness

Bog orchidsBog orchids – Wildcat Spring

Elephants headElephants head – Strawberry Mountain Wilderness

LousewortLouewort – Strawberry Mountain Wilderness

Yellow paintbrushYellow paintbrush – Strawberry Mountain Wilderness

Rockfringe willowherbRockfringe willowherb – Strawberry Mountain Wilderness

Wildflowers along the Strawberry Basin TrailSmall wildflower meadow in the Strawberry Mountain Wilderness

Wild roseWild rose – Strawberry Mountain Wilderness

PenstemonPenstemon – Strawberry Mountain Wilderness

Wildflowers along the Skyline TrailHyssop, yellow paintbrush and unknown yellow flowers in the Strawberry Mountain Wilderness

PussypawsPussypaws – Strawberry Mountain Wilderness

Moving on to August:
GentiansGentians – Mt. Jefferson Wilderness

MonkeyflowerYellow monkeyflower – Mt. Jefferson Wilderness

AsterAster – Elkhorns

Orange agoserisOrange agoseris – Elkhorns

Mountain heatherMountain heather – Twin Lakes

wildflowers along Lower Twin Lakeunknown – Twin Lakes

BistortBistort – Elkhorns

Wildflower along the Rigdon Lakes TrailGroundsel? – Waldo Lake

A couple from September:
Western pasque flowersWestern pasque flower – Mt. Jefferson Wilderness

Wildflower on Mt. Jeffersonunknown – South Climb Route, Mt. Jefferson

One from October:
Moth mullenMoth mullen – Cape Perpetua

In a little over a month the snow queen will once again begin popping up at low elevations and soon after the eastern end of the Columbia Gorge will begin to cycle through it’s blooms starting with the grass widows. Until then we hope these flowers will be reminders of the colors of Spring/Summer. Happy Trails!

Hiking Year-end wrap up

2018 Wildlife Gallery

We encountered a large variety of animals during our travels in 2018. A number of the animals we had not previously seen including a badger near Borax Springs (which we failed to get a photo of). Below is a sample of the many critters we encountered this year.

Seals in Nehalem BaySeals in Nehalem Bay

FrogTree frog – Patterson Mountain

Garter snakeGarter snake on Patterson Mountain

Crab spiderCrab spider – Lookout Creek Trail

Green beetle on the Carpenter Mountain TrailBeetle – Carpenter Mountain

ButterflyPale crescent near Macks Canyon

Gopher snakeGopher snake near Macks Canyon

Crowded thistleBeetles on thistle near Mack’s Canyon

CaterpillarCaterpillar along the Black Butte Trail

Green tailed towheeGreen tailed towhee on Black Butte

PigeonRock pigeon – Deschutes River

Merganser familyMerganser family – Deschutes River

Dragon flyDragon Fly – Deschutes River

LizardSagebrush Lizard – Deschutes River

PronghornPronghorn – Malheur Wildlife Refuge

Yellow headed blackbirdsYellow headed blackbird – Malheur Wildlife Refuge

Horned grebesHorned grebes – Malheur Wildlife Refuge

Great horned owlGreat horned owl – Malheur Wildlife Refuge

Lewis's woodpeckerLewis’s woodpecker – Malheur Wildlife Refuge

White Faced IbisWhite faced ibis – Malheur Wildlife Refuge

Yellow warblerYellow warbler – Malheur Wildlife Refuge

Western meadowlarkWestern meadowlark – Malheur Wildlife Refuge

Bullock's orioleBullock’s oriole – Malheur Wildlife Refuge

RabbitRabbit – Jordan Craters

MarmotMarmot – Jordan Craters

ChukarChukar – Leslie Gulch

CricketCricket – Leslie Gulch

Monarch butterflyViceroy- Leslie Gulch

Swallowtail in Timber GulchSwallow tail – Leslie Gulch

CicadaCicada – Leslie Gulch

Burrowing owlBurrowing owl near Leslie Gulch

Dragon flyDragon fly – Three Forks

ButterflyFritillary butterfly – Three Forks

PheasantPheasant – Pillars of Rome

Side blotched lizardSide blotched lizard – Chalk Basin

Collard LizardCollard lizard – Chalk Basin

Sandhill CranesSandhill Cranes near Steens Mountain

Jack rabbitjack rabbit – Borax Hot Springs

Horned lizardDesert horned lizard – Alvord Desert

Long nosed leopard lizardLong nosed leopard lizard – Alvord Desert

LizardWestern Fence Lizard – Pike Creek

SwallowtailSwallow tail – Myrtle Creek

ButterflySheridan’s hairstreak – Myrtle Creek

Orange- tip ButterflyOrange-tip butterfly – Myrtle Creek

Western kingbirdWestern kingbird – Cove Palisades State Park

Cascade toadCascade toad – Browder Ridge

Gray jayGray jay – Browder Ridge

HummingbirdRufous hummingbird – Horsepasture Mountain

GrouseGrouse – Horsepasture Mountain

WrenWren – French Creek Ridge

Butterfly on stonecropCheckerspot butterfly – French Creek Ridge

ChipmunkChipmunk near Hidden Forest Cave

Pygmy short horned lizardPygmy short horned lizard near Pictograph Cave

CaterpillarsCaterpillars – Strawberry Mountain Wilderness

Fish in Little Strawberry LakeTrout – Little Strawberry Lake

Doe at Slide LakeDoe – Slide Lake

Megarhyssa nortoniMegarhyssa nortoni

Great blue heronGreat blue heron – Newport Bay

SnakeSharp-tailed snake – Newport Bay

OspreyOsprey – South Beach

PikaPika – Mt. Jefferson Wilderness

HawkNorthern goshawk – Elkhorns

HawkRed tailed hawk – Elkhorns

Mountain goats across Lower Twin LakeMountain goats – Elkhorns

Mountain goat grazing near Lower Twin LakeMountain Goat – Elkhorns

Golden-mantled ground squirrelGolden mantled ground squirrel – Elkhorns

Mourning cloakMourning cloak – Elkhorns

Beetle at Summit LakeBeetle – Summit Lake

Bee on coneflowerBumble bee – Crawfish Lake

FinchFinch – Crawfish Lake

Bald eagleBald Eagle – Waldo Lake

WoodpeckerHairy woodpecker – Rigdon Lakes

Blue copper butterflyBlue copper – Rockpile Lake

Buttefly at Carl LakeTortoiseshell butterfly – Carl Lake

Varied thrushVaried thrush – Carl Lake

Frogs on a logFrogs – Table Lake

Clarks nutcrackerClarks nutcracker – Mt. Jefferson Wilderness

OuzelOuzel – Pamelia Lake

JuncoJunco – Pamelia Lake

FrogFrog – Taylor Lake

Birds on the beachSanderlings – John Dellenback Beach

SquirrelDouglas squirrel – John Dellenback Dunes Trail

EgretGreat egret – Mud Lake

Bird at Mud LakeWilson’s snipe – Mud Lake

Elk along Elk River RoadElk on the way to Barklow Mt.

StarfishStarfish – Bandon, Oregon

CrabCrab – Bandon, Oregon

AnemonesAnemones – Bandon, Oregon

Turkey vultureTurkey Vulture – Bandon, Oregon

Seagull and a marbled godwit in the Coquile RiverSeagull and a marbled godwit in the Coquile River

Black turnstones along the North JettyBlack turnstones – North Jetty, Bandon, Oregon

PelicansBrown pelicans – Bullards Beach State Park

MinkMink – Sprague River

White pelicans and a seagullWhite pelicans – Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Snowy egret at Tule Lake National Wildlife RefugeSnowy egret – Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Stellars jayStellar’s jay – Fish Lake

MuskratMuskrat – Lake of the Woods

Dragon flyDragon fly – Lake of the Woods

GeeseCanada geese – Lake of the Woods

CaterpillarCaterpillar – Lake of the Woods

CormorantsCormorants – Link River

American cootsAmerican coots – Link River

MallardsMallards – Pond near Lake Ewauna

Northern shovelerNorthern shovler – Pond near Lake Ewauna

Northern flickerNorthern flicker – Link River Trail

Scrub jayScrub jay – Link River Trail

Western grebeWestern grebe – Link River

Hooded mergansersHooded mergansers – Link River

BuffleheadsBuffleheads – Siltcoos Lake

Rough skinned newtRough skinned newt – Jessie M. Honeyman State Park

SparrowSparrow – Jessie M. Honeyman State Park

Anna's hummingbirdAnna’s hummingbird – Jessie M. Honeyman State Park

Ring-necked ducksRing-necked ducks – Jessie M. Honeyman State Park

Spotted towheeSpotted towhee – Jessie M. Honeyman State Park

That’s a pretty good sample of the different wildlife we spotted this year, but we still often wonder how much wildlife we don’t notice on our hikes. Happy Trails!