Illinois Valley Wildflower Excursion

Photos by Kay

Ashland Hiking Home

Six of us -- DebraS, Collette, Rich, Kay, Gladys and me -- ventured out to Illinois Valley for the day.  It was overcast but nice hiking weather and great for flowers as you can tell from Kay's wonderful photos.  First up was the Eight Dollar Boardwalk where... eventually we get out to after stopping to ID about a dozen or more flowers unique to this serpentine area.  The azaleas were past their major bloom, but still out in numbers and wonderfully fragrant. We met up with a group of German botany tourists in search of orchids and other rarities.  One told us Germany has "a few square meters of serpentine", Oregon alone has square miles.  "Everything's bigger in the US," says he.

Next we headed down the road a bit to the Little Illinois River Falls trail to the Rainey Fallsesque rapids and beautifully green pools, again with many, many unknown flowers to keep us busy.  Then we drove down and across the Illinois River bridge and up the side of the mountain to the "secret" (thanks, Francie) spot where a short bushwack takes you up and close and personal to a wet serpentine hillside full of Darlingtonians (aka Cobra lillys), azaleas and adorable California lady slippers.  Finally we headed further up the mountain where there is an amazing collection of the rare white/pale pink Western Bleeding heart along with lots of other of densizens of the serpentine cliffside.  

All in all we hit a motherlode of unusual and beautiful flowers - 54 count 'em and a few shrubs. A great day indeed.

Rich will be leading the June 17 hike while I am away on the PCT to Little Hyatt Reservor.

Respectfully submitted, Your Flower Floozy Liz