Posted by: Sandy Steinman | June 16, 2017

Mount Rainier Wildflowers 6/15/17

Mount Rainier National Park   has a new report

Currently BloomingJune 15, 2017
One of the biggest factors affecting the timing of wildflower blooms is elevation. On a clear day, the temperature falls roughly 5°F (~10°C) for every 1,000 feet you move up in elevation. That means a trip from the Nisqually Entrance at an elevation of approx. 2,000 feet up to Paradise at 5,400 feet means the temperature will decrease by 17°F – that’s the difference between a 70°F day and a 53°F one! (Just imagine the difference on the summit at an elevation of 14,410 feet – a change in temperature of 62 °F!)

The effect of elevation on temperature clearly results in more snow at high elevations, which in turn affects the wildflowers. On the lower elevation east side of Stevens Canyon, penstemon and paintbrush are already starting to bloom. On the higher elevation west side of Stevens Canyon around Reflection Lakes, there is still snow on the ground with only a few avalanche lilies coming out. Now is a good time to go for a drive and see these changes as you move up and down the elevations of Mount Rainier.

Wildflower Reports

  • Stevens Canyon Road (6/14): West Side (towards Reflection Lakes) avalanche lilies, phlox, trillium; East Side (towards Grove of the Patriarchs) Menzie’s penstemon, cliff paintbrush, buttercup, bear grass, lupine, wild strawberry
  • Grove of the Patriarchs (6/14): foam flower, siberian miner’s lettuce, star flower, fringecup, piggyback plant, bunchberry, false solomon’s seal, star-flowered false solomon’s seal, vanilla leaf, Cascade Oregon-grape
  • Nisqually Entrance to Longmire Road (6/14) – vanilla leaf, cow parsnip (early), columbine, foam flower, lupine (near Kautz), buttercup, lots of bunchberry!
  • Longmire (6/8) – roundleaf violet, stream violet, alaska violet, calypso orchid (late), twayblade, Cascade Oregon-grape, wild strawberry, kinnikinnick, serviceberry, siberian miner’s lettuce, bunchberry, smooth alumroot (early), big-leaved sandwort, star solomon’s seal (early), lupine
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