Posts tagged: autumn colors
HIKING — Last month I emphasized that the hunting seasons shouldn't deter hikers from getting out to enjoy the region's trails during the brilliant autumn show of colors.
Ann Fennessy and her husband second that motion. As Ann said in an email, the season can be full of discoveries, for hikers and their companions:
My husband and I had a beautiful hike this past Friday close to Chewelah Peak. Our Golden Doodle, Mae, bailed out over the trail for a moment, then returned with a dog's version of a rich man's home on Halloween: the remains of a field-dressed deer. We couldn't see the carcass, but the hunter had kindly sawed the bones into 8-9” sections: perfect for each of our hounds to find a hunk and carry it along for the rest of the hike.
Oh, Lord, were they prancing and dancing! Occasionally, they just had to flop down and gnaw their treasure for a minute. Bob and I were happy to pause and let them savor while we savored the surroundings.
As you can see, we are decked out in fairly visible gear. I do get nervous hiking at this time of year, but take precautions. Plus, my husband and I carry on conversations most of the time and we stick to the trails.
A couple of weeks and a couple of wind storms later, the larch are losing their golden needles and the autumn hiking season is fading away.
Summer is gone and the first day of fall has arrived, as Montana outdoor photographer Jaime Johnson reminds us with the photo above.
HIKING — The alpine larch are putting on their annual autumn show of golden brilliance in the region's high country, from the North Cascades across the high Selkirks and Purcell Mountains of British Columbia.
The Alpine Lakes Wilderness has reputation for a sensational larch display, but local backpacker Tanner Grant just got back from a spectacle in the North Cascades where no special permits are required.
“We do a trip every year in search of golden alpine larch,” he said. “This year we went to Sunrise Lake high above the Methow River and it was spectacular.”
The snow was patchy around 6,300 feet and consistent above 7,000, he said, noting the hike to Sunrise is 13.5 miles round trip with a serious 3,700 feet of elevation gain
Larch feature branches with needles that look somewhat like those on fir trees except that they turn color and fall off in fall like the leaves of deciduous trees.
The western larch of the lower forests such as the Pend Oreille Valley and even Lookout Pass, are still about two weeks from prime time for yellow color displays.
But Grant says the alpine larch displays at higher elevations are likely to peak around this week.
Other favorite North Cascades spots on Grant's apline larch fall colors list include Cooney Lake, Eagle Lakes, Crater Lakes, Cutthroat Pass, Maple Pass, and Blue Lake for starters.
“Always check the forecast this time of year and plan for winter conditions,” he advised. “Any precipitation will fall as snow.”
Click here to see more of Grant's photos from his recent larch extravaganza.