Participants: David & Julie Kahl
With it being Mother’s Day it was no surprise that it was only David and I on this hike. It was a perfect hiking day, mostly over cast with some wind, in the 60’s/15.7c. I had figured this hike to be between 6-7 miles/9.66 k-11.27k, it GPS’ed out at 6.7 miles. A Lady with two dogs who had been part of the Orienteering event the day before accompanied us a short ways. Hiking up the cutoff trail we gained 600 ft/182.88m in a little over a mile/2k, on a meandering road that was never very strenuous. This route varies from open meadowy areas at the bottom, by a small stream culvert that actually had water in it right now, to following the ridge line alongside the stream cut. Shortly before topping out the road has a cut into a bank that is damp and shady. People had been talking about how profuse the glacier lily bloom has been this year, and it was every where through out the woods with even a few full bloom pasque flowers and lots of shooting stars. In the road bank cut we finally found one lone pink lady’s slipper in the same area as fairy bells. Topping out above the road cut with flatter terrain there was a carpet of bluebells through the woods. At the road junction with the E Ski Trail we had lunch. Up here there was something we hadn’t seen when we hiked it last year, or skied it this winter, lots of various color marking on the trees -one said 2.8, which we figured and then confirmed, was the distance, in miles, down to the road gate on Garnet Range Rd. It gave us a trail of mileage all the way down to the gate. Shortly down the road the tree marking were profuse and there was flagging hanging from trees and bushes. David’s GPS showed us crossing off of Lubrecht land into Clearwater State Forest Land. There were many colorful tree stripping as we went down what was easy walking. There were less flowers over all up there, but we founds a patch that had two very large drifts of pink lady’s slippers a few feet apart. In one “inside” road bend we crossed the main stem of the stream we had come up by, and above the road was a bright green snow-melt bog, where much of the water in the stream was coming from. We went off the State Forest lands shortly before reaching the road gate, but there was still another mile/1.61k or so of an old road “trail,” once again in the State Forest (we were close to two corners) to get to the “A” Ski Trail that would take us back to the parking lot. We saw some wood peckers and heard crows and red tailed hawks. No other people or cars. A perfect Sunday afternoon hike.
Leader: Julie Kahl