Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 9, 2017

Mt. Rainier Wildflowers 7/6/17

Mt. Rainier National Park reports

Currently BloomingJuly 6, 2017
As snow melts away, it may be tempting to skirt remaining patches of snow that are covering trails. However, by going off trail you are walking on and damaging the wildflowers that you may be coming to see! It is better to stay on trail even if that means crossing snow, particularly in the high-visitation meadows around Paradise and Sunrise.

There are many species of penstemon in the park. A couple weeks ago Menzie’s penstemon (Penstemon davidsonii var. menzieii) was featured. This week look for rock penstemon (Penstemon rupicola) along the road to Paradise. Like Menzie’s, rock penstemon form mats of brightly blooming flowers but have blue-green waxy leaves. Most commonly pink, rock penstemon blooms can also be violet and occasionally white.

Wildflower Reports

  • Steven’s Canyon Road (7/6): penstemon, harsh paintbrush (peak!), lupine, goat’s beard, columbine, tiger lily, Oregon sunshine, sitka valerian, sitka mtn ash, avalanche lilies, pink monkeyflower, cow parsnip, yarrow, phlox, thistle
  • Eastside Trail (7/6): foam flower, pathfinder, self heal, Pacific blackberry, bunchberry, Queen’s cup, penstemon
  • Glacier Basin Trail (7/2): Davidson’s penstemon, yellow monkeyflower, Lewis monkeyflower, thimbleberry, elderberry, harsh paintbrush, rein orchid
  • Sunrise (7/2): pasqueflowers, glacier lilies, spreading phlox, cinquefoil, marsh marigold, lupine, smooth mountain dandelion, sitka valerian, western springbeauty
  • Paradise (6/30): Still mostly snow covered, but as it melts back from roads/trails look for pink mountain heather, white mountain heather, pasqueflower, cinquefoil, sitka valerian, avalanche lilies, Jeffrey’s shooting star, marsh marigold, bistort.
  • Nisqually to Longmire Road (6/28): cow parsnip, buttercup, tiger lily, foam flower, devil’s club, lupine (around Kautz), goat’s beard, columbine (late)
  • Longmire to Paradise Road (6/27): bear grass, paintbrush, rock penstemon, goat’s beard, bluebells, buttercup, Jeffrey’s shooting star, phlox, lupine, broadleaf arnica, Sitka valerian, Sitka mountain ash, pink mountain heather
  • Box Canyon to Martha Falls (6/25): Sitka valerian, Sitka mountain ash, trillium, wild strawberry, foam flower, fringecup, vanilla leaf, baneberry, false bugbane, elderberry, goat’s beard, leather leaf saxifrage, wood saxifrage, Hooker’s fairy bells, bear grass, Solomon’s seal, star-flowered Solomon’s seal, thimbleberry, spring beauty, devil’s club, bunchberry, false lily-of-the-valley, twisted stalk, yellow violet, yellow monkey flower, arnica, Lewis monkeyflower, rosy spirea, columbine, salmonberry, bleeding heart, pink mountain heather, Nootka rose, spotted coralroot, scarlet paintbrush, mountain bluebells

Plan Your Visit

Paradise and Sunrise are two of the main visitor center areas at Mount Rainier National Park. Both areas are well known for their impressive wildflower meadows. The park also maintains dozens of trails perfect for wildflower viewing.

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