Wildflowers in full force on Elk-Kings Mountain Loop

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Wildflowers in full force on Elk-Kings Mountain Loop

Post by mrblisterdundee » June 5th, 2017, 7:54 am

A ranger at the Johnston Ridge Observatory warned against hiking the Mt. Margaret Backcountry without an ice axe and crampons, so me and my hiking partner opted for a quick training session on the Elk-Kings Mountain Loop, and were not disappointed by the flora (nor the black bear I saw running across Timber Road on my drive south to the trailhead from Astoria):
Elk-Kings Mountain 1.jpg
The floral displays were thick and varied along the Elk-Kings Mountain Loop.
Elk-Kings Mountain 2.jpg
There were multiple alleys lined by wildflowers on the ridgeline and brief flat spots between Elk and Kings mountains.
Elk-Kings Mountain 5.jpg
My hiking partner stops to enjoy the flowers about halfway through the Elk-Kings Mountain Loop.
My hiking partner came from Vancouver, and I from Astoria, so we parked a car at either trailhead, limiting the hike to a very tough 8 miles, including a 1,500 foot climb over 1.5 miles, a lot of steep up-and-down between Elk and Kings mountains and a 2,500 foot descent over 2.5 miles at the end. Here's hoping that I can get to some of those mountain hikes around St. Helens before the blooms are over. The Plains of Abraham is one I've been trying to get to for a few years but have still not been able to hit at the right time.
Elk-Kings Mountain 4.jpg
It was one of those days undulating between sunny and overcast on the Elk-Kings Mountain Loop.

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Re: Wildflowers in full force on Elk-Kings Mountain Loop

Post by ssinfo503 » June 5th, 2017, 10:10 am

Thanks a lot for the TR. need to go there to check out the flowers.

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Re: Wildflowers in full force on Elk-Kings Mountain Loop

Post by maobie15 » June 6th, 2017, 10:25 am

Thanks for the great photos! I hiked Elk-Kings on Memorial Day and the flowers were just starting to pop, so this takes me right back!! The paintbrush along the steep trail up to Elk Mountain helped take my mind off the steep incline :lol: and then the flowers right after the trail junction with the Elk Creek Trail were really great!

If you don't make the Mt. Margaret Backcountry for the spring flowers, I highly recommend it in the fall. I went there a few Septembers ago and it is still one of my faves for fall colors! All the huckleberry along the trail really made for an enjoyable fall day.
Follow me on Instagram: meg.john815

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” –Albert Einstein

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