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Esmeralda Basin Trail, Teanaway, WA
June 2017

Found in the Teanaway area (north of Cle Elum), the Esmeralda Basin trail traverses the drier side of the Cascades through wet wildflower meadows, tall ponderosa pine, open spruce forest, trickling creeks, and rocky hillsides while offering beautiful views of the Esmerelda Peaks and the basin surrounding. The elevation gain of this trail means traveling through different successions in blooming wildflowers. During late June, near the trailhead were sprays of tall silvercrowns, broadleaf arnica, and spreading phlox. Filling the wet meadows and bordering wet mossy creeks were impressive blooms of Jeffery’s shooting star. Higher up the trail, where the snowfields were melting were glacier lilies, alpine anemone and snow dwarf-primrose.

Typical of birding in the forest of the Cascades, it is much easier to hear the birds singing rather than seeing them. Olive-sided Flycatchers, MacGillivary’s and Townsends Warblers, Hermit Thrush, Warbling Vireo, and Cassin’s Finch could be heard singing and calling amongst the pine branches. Clark’s Nutcrackers were a little easier to spot flying from tree to tree across the basin.

The trail ends at a barren ridge of Fortune Creek Pass with grand views of Ingalls Peak and Hawkins Mountain. We attempted to take the spur to Lake Ann, but the snow field was still to deep. Overall a great early summer hike with a greater focus on impressive views and beautiful wildflowers than on the forest birds of the Cascades.


Pictures (click on the pictures to enlarge)

Bird List
Rufous Hummingbird
Northern Flicker
Olive-sided Flycatcher
Hammond's Flycatcher
Warbling Vireo
Steller's Jay
Clark's Nutcracker
Mountain Chickadee
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Pacific Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Mountain Bluebird
Townsend's Solitaire
Hermit Thrush
American Robin
MacGillivray's Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Townsend's Warbler
Chipping Sparrow
Fox Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Spotted Towhee
Western Tanager
Purple Finch
Cassin's Finch
Pine Siskin
Mule deer
Golden-mantled Squirrel
Douglas Squirrel
Vole sp.
Yellow-pine chipmunk
Flowers in bloom
Small-flowered Woodland Star
Harsh paintbrush
Wenatchee paintbrush
Raceme pussytoes
Dwarf bramble
Black swamp currant
Sticky currant
Woodland strawberry
Spreading phlox
Red columbine
Common butterwort
American biswort
White bog orchid
Jeffery's shooting star
California corn lily
Largeleaf sandwort
Three-parted minterwort
Broadleaf arnica
Shrubby penstemon
Manyflower stickweed
Tall silvercrown
False solomon's seal
Fendler's waterleaf
Ballhead waterleaf
Showy fleabane
Western meadowrue
Smooth yellow violet
Western sweet cicely
Glacier lily
Alpine anemone
Goosefoot violet
Wenatchee desert-parsley
Columbia lewisia
Rock penstemon
Areowleaf groundsel
Slender bog orchid
Calipso orchid
Snow dwarf-primrose
Fan-leaf cinquefoil
Lanceleaf springbeauty
swallowtail sp.
Green anglewing
Green hairstreak
Nevada skipper
Sara's orangetip


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page updated: 7/16/17