NATURE -- While a few snow patches still lingered on the upper slopes of Mount Spokane on the third weekend in July, the state park's wildflowers are making up for lost time and bursting into bloom.
From delicate calypso orchids along Trail 110 to the beargrass exploding all over the mountain, this is prime time to fill your eyes with the color nature is splashing on the landscape.
Two notable attractions I found during 12 miles of hiking on the mountain Sunday:
- Beargrass at the top of the Eagle Crest Trail in the cross-country ski trail system is particularly prolific...resembling deep snow banks in some spots.
- Lupine is blooming in one of the most spectacular displays on the mountain from -- of all places -- a former gravely mining equipment "parking lot" on the road near the summit of Quartz Mountain. Check it out.
Crews have been out to clear blowdowns, leaving most of the trails open for easy cruising.