03 August 2019

Mt Rainier: The wildflower meadows

Today was especially hot, and as soon as I opened the car door to a rush of hot air I immediately regretted wearing jeans. It's wildflower season in Mt Rainier, so my mom and I spent this Saturday driving around as a late birthday present for her. We had a couple stops on our list, albeit a little ambitious considering our track record of getting lost around the park. It doesn't hurt to try, though!

Despite the heat it was a beautiful blue afternoon, with not a cloud in sight. You could see the mountains so clearly, even from the Puget Sound.
Our first stop was Tipsoo Lake, which was easy to get to from the main road. By the parking lot and trail entrances (of which there are several!) were picnic benches where people could rest and eat. The lake is very family friendly, and was full of small kids running along the narrow path with their parents in toe. No wading or swimming in the lake!
Since the beginning of summer I've been waiting for the wildflowers to be in peak bloom. And admittedly that was nearly all that I photographed. One of the really great things about Mt Rainier National Park is their extensive online resources. Amongst a plethora of useful information and tips, they have a section just for identifying wildflowers throughout the park. I'd like to get better at IDing plants while I hike, so it was really fun finding the names of the flowers I saw along the path.
lupines and partridgefoot
a few magenta paintbrushes and broadleaf arnica mixed in. The taller white flowers are sitka valerian!
Closer look of the sitka valerian. They're pretty similar to gray's lovage but once you compare them side by side it's easier to see their differences.

The lupines were definitely my favorite at Tipsoo Lake. Can you tell? :)

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