18. Late Summer on Mt Adams, Stagman Ridge Trail

Stagman Ridge, Mt. Adams, Washington      8/20/2017     (#42)

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Looking for a hike that avoided wildfire smoke and eclipse traffic, we headed to the west side of Mt. Adams, north of Trout Lake, WA.  This was our first time hiking this trail. We like to hike in Bird Creek Meadows this time of year, but that area is closed due to the massive Cougar Creek Fire of 2015. The area around Stagman Ridge was also recently burned, by the Cascade Creek Fire of 2012. The trail traverses through burned forest, with occasional forays into unburned terrain. The silver lining is mountain views through the ghost trees.

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In many burned places the underlayer is green, topped by a pink swath of fireweed. Pearly everlasting and golden rod are abundant at lower elevations.

Higher up, the last of the asters, lupine and licorice root were hanging on in shady areas.

The open meadow at about mile 3 was green but past bloom – most likely thanks to the intense two week heat wave of early August.  I would like to return when this meadow is in full bloom – with the open view of Mt Adams to the east – it is a lovely spot.

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Glacier close up

We continued on past the meadow to the Graveyard trail junction, then crossed the small creek and headed west toward Lookingglass Lake. Riparian flowers lined the creek crossings.

We decided the crossing of Cascade Creek looked difficult so we turned back after a rest at the water with great views of the mountain.

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On the way down, we noticed the distance views of Mt St Helens, Mt Hood and west toward Indian Heaven.

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Mt St Helens

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Mt Hood

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There were plenty of huckleberries for the picking.  Berries, flower seedheads and tints of red foliage in the huckleberry and vine maple foreshadow the coming of fall.

A few other items of interest along the way:

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lichen and roots

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ghost tree

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My first time seeing pine drops

Our hike was approximately 9 miles with 1500 feet elevation gain, and the flower count was 34, with 5 berries.

Mementos from my Peruvian travelers:

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Knitting:

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two more tortillas for the collection

And of course, the Eclipse, which I watched at 99% in my front yard:

 

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