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The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) stretches from Mexico to Canada along the crest of the mountains – from the Sierra Nevada in California to the Cascades of Washington. It intersects roads in many places so day hikers can get a taste of what the through hikers do everyday for months on end. One of my favorite pieces of the PCT follows a ridgeline to Grasshopper Pass. I like this trail for a variety of reasons – one, it’s never steep; two, the views are outstanding; three, the wildflowers are grand; and four – later on the larch trees change to a lovely shade of orange before dropping their needles. Oh, there are also lots of marmots and ground squirells and pikas! Pikas, if you are not familiar with them, live in talus slopes and are the smallest member of the lagomorph family; they are tiny rabbits. They do not hibernate like many of the mammals of the high alpine country. Instead, during the summer and fall months, they gather grasses and vegetation and create little hay piles to keep them nourished through the LONG winter! And it is long. The snow has only just recently melted from this region.

Only 35 miles to Canada. Doesn’t sound so bad.

The trail starts out crossing this rocky talus slope where the pikas live.

Anemone

I do not know this pretty blue flower

I think this is Lewisia columbiana

Its tiny delicate flowers up close

A vibrant red Castilleja (paintbrush)

Really, do I always have to include an image of lupine?

Ground hugging phlox

I think this is a penstemon

I knew this one last year!

Columbine

Maybe a lousewort?

The trail is carpeted with last year’s needles from the alpine larch trees that are now covered in fine green foliage.

Nothing better than finding a snow field on a July hike!

See the smoke in the lower left hand corner? Probably a result of the previous night’s lightning storm.

Bugs do it.

Anyone know what kind of bug does it? The flower is an anemone seedhead.

Looking back on the trail across the talus slope

Ahhhhh.

Thistles are not well liked by most but they are attractive

Cow parsnip?

I think these are non-native daisies but they sure are pretty little things.

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  1. By The blogs that make my day!! | ibelivetoday on 03 Aug 2012 at 1:08 pm

    […] visited this photoblog, I had to hit on follow!! Especially the Summer Scenes & Hiking on the Pacific Crest Trail. Also the Tiffany Mountain actually. This blogsite is just too […]

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