After an early morning of shooting the sunrise I wanted to get up into the mountains and chose the Heather Park Trail as my access point because I needed something near the campsite and so I could get up, down and home for dinner.
The trail starts through the typical NW forest though this one was both younger and lacking the undergrowth typical of the woods with which I’m most familiar.
A short way up the trail I found this slime mold whose color was quite striking among the dappled light coming through the trees.
Not too far from the slime mold I saw some candystick and pinesap poking through the forest floor. These are wildflowers but they lack chlorophyll and get their nutrients from the rich humus. I was beginning to feel like I was in some enchanted forest.
About two miles into the hike I started encountering blow-down, none of which was too difficult to traverse but presented an obstacle nonetheless.
After the forest and onto the higher slopes, you start to see a really excellent wild-flower display, including one of my favorites, red columbine.
I found one of the cool parts of the hike to be these tiny little flowers growing among the rock. The heat from the sun was really intense when fully exposed and these plants were basking in it.
I stopped here to have a light lunch because the views of Mt Baker, to my left, were phenomenal and, to my right, I could hear and see a waterfall.
After lunch I started further up the trail to Heather Park, encountering my first snow pack.
Heather Park was covered in both snow and wildflowers, including these American globeflowers, but not much heather.
If you’re considering this hike be prepared for an intense workout because it’s quite steep, especially coming through the woods.