Sunday, May 13, 2007

The Front is open for hiking

Up from the Willow Creek bottom

An irresistible high point

The Front spreads beneath our feet
It’s time to high-tail it to the Rocky Mountain Front for your hiking pleasure.
The snow levels are just below 7,000 feet, making most trails, except those with north-face exposure pretty much clear of snow.
It has greened up to about 6,000 feet making the foothills resemble something out of an Irish landscape.
And the flowers! My!
On a hike to the ridgeline to the north of Rogers Pass Sunday we counted 17 varieties of alpine wildflowers, some that I normally don’t expect until June.
Of course, where the snow had just cleared there were glacier lilies. We were treated to carpets of pink phlox, blue forget-me-nots, and bright yellow biscuit-roots.
A few snow patches left off Rogers Pass
On Saturday we climbed an unnamed limestone peak of about 7,500 feet south of the Willow Creek Falls parking area, above Ford Plateau.
We found the same flowers blooming there we saw near Rogers Pass. The plateau was a bright green. Snow banks dotted the north and east facing slopes.
The higher peaks to the south and west, like the Steamboat and Scapegoat ridges still have plenty of snow.
This was spring hiking at its best.

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