September 04, 2020

Wallowas Castilleja

Some observations of paintbrushes made on August 20-23, 2020 trip to Wallowa Mountains of NE Oregon.

Posted on September 04, 2020 00:09 by marek marek | 9 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

August 25, 2020

Wallowas backpacking August 2020

After several day hikes into the Wallowas it was exciting to finally explore this unique mountain range on a four-day trip.

8/20 - Wallowa Lake to Frazier Lake via West Fork of Wallowa River
We started our trip at Wallowa Lake at about 4,500 feet, the transition between Ponderosa pine forest into Douglas fir forest. We saw many wild currant bushes (swamp currant Ribes lacustre and mountain gooseberry R. montigenum) and tried their berries. The black swamp currant berries were tasty, somewhat similar to store-bought black currant. The drier portions of the trail was lined with pearly everlastings (Anaphalis margaritacea) and in more shaded areas had western cornflowers (Rudbeckia occidentalis), flowering false green hellebore (Veratrum viride) and mountain deathcamas (Anticlea elegans). Particularly interesting was the fringed grass of Parnassus (Parnassia fimbriata), which I wasn't familiar with, growing in moist areas. Higher along the trail we started encountering open meadows which were quite dry at this time of year but still supported a number of wildflowers including paintbrushes (Castilleja) and wild buckwheats (Eriogonum). Some open places had monument plants (Frasera speciosa), now in fruit. Our destination at Frazier Lake was at about 7,100 ft was in a subalpine fir habitat.

The rationale for our route was to see as many of the various geologic features Wallowas show as possible. Hiking through the West Fork canyon we first walked through Permian Clover Creek Greenstone then transitioning to Jurassic granites of the Wallowa Batholith and finally, on the east side of upper canyon, shales of the Hurwal Formation and limestone/marbles of Martin Bridge Formation, together spanning Upper Permian to Lower Jurrasic.

Posted on August 25, 2020 21:11 by marek marek | 11 observations | 1 comment | Leave a comment