Crater Lake Wildflower Walk 8-5-22

Photos by Kay and Kris

Ashland Hiking Home

A beautiful day awaited the six of us at Crater Lake last Friday.  We met up at the Steel Ranger Station (Park Headquarters) and spent the next 20 minutes or more identifying flowers in the meadow next to the parking lot.  Crossing the road, we started on the Castle Crest Wildflower Trail which leads through a dry forest, around a sunny little hill to a magical wildflower "garden" fed by springs that create Munson Creek.  One mile and two hours of Bliss.

Avoiding the crazy August crowds at Rim Village, we headed southeast along Rim Drive to the Phantom Ship Overlook for lunch on the rock wall overlooking the lake. We then headed south to the 2-mile RT trail to Plaikni Falls, encountering dozens and dozens of Pacific, Striped, Spotted Coralroots and Candysticks in the windfall along the trail. These saprophytes have no chlorophyll, but get their nourishment from the breakdown of dead wood with the critical help of soil fungi, a beneficial friendship indeed. 

Further down the road to the Pinnacles, we stopped at the "flower wall" where hundreds of Pasque Flower "mopheads" covered the steep slope.  

Our last stop of the day was the dark and dusty gothic towers of the Pinnacles, a wierd and wonderful sight created by fossilized fumeroles.

Alas, our stop at Phil's Frosty was cut short by a busload of teenagers who arrived just before us.  We did not feel like waiting 30 or more minutes, even for ice cream (sigh).  Next time.

This is the last WW of the 2022 season.   I look forward to you joining us next spring!

Respectfully submitted, Your Flower Floozy Liz