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Sauk Mountain, Rockport, WA
July 2017


Wildflowers are definitely the highlight of this Western Washington trail. The trail starts high above the Sauk Valley in an open mountainside meadow surrounded by a forest of hemlock and Douglas fir. In the early summer, the meadow is a plush carpet of blossoms in white of cows parsnip, spotted saxifrage and sitka valerian, blue and purple of lupine, edible thistle, spreading phlox, Cascade penstemon, red of Wenatchee and harsh paintbrush and red columbine, orange of tiger lilies and mountain dandelion, and yellow of stonecrop, and broadleaf arnica. Peppered in the showy colors in the mountainside meadow are the more subtle flowers of braced lousewort, fragrant fringecup, and western meadow-rue. Switchbacks climb the steep mountain through these colorful fields. Along the ridge top where the snow was freshly melted, glacier lilies, fan-leaf cinquefoil, and eschscholtz’s buttercup bloomed among the dam packed down earth. 

Snow still covered some of the trail during this time of year, but we picked our way along the ridge and up to the viewpoint where an old lookout was located. Along the way, we saw a couple of Hoary Marmots scurrying along the rocks below and a pika squeaked from the rock fields. Below the rock fields we could see the aqua blue waters of Sauk Lake peaking out from the trees. From the lookout, we could see Mt Baker to the north and the rocky peaks of the Alpine Wilderness to the southeast.

What this trail lacks in bird diversity, it makes up in with abundant wildflowers, beautiful views, and butterflies. It is a great nearby (but busy) trail to enjoy the wonders of Western Washington Cascades.


Pictures (click on thumbnail)

Bird List
Sooty Grouse
hummingbird sp.
Northern Flicker
Olive-sided Flycatcher
Steller's Jay
Black-capped Chickadee
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Townsend's Solitaire
Hermit Thrush
American Robin
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Dark-eyed Junco
Lazuli Bunting
Red Crossbill
Hoary Marmot
Flowers in bloom
Scarlet Indian paintbrush
Harsh paintbrush
Wenatchee paintbrush
Spreading phlox
Red columbine
American biswort
Broadleaf arnica
Fendler's waterleaf
Western meadowrue
Glacier lily
Slender bog orchid
Fan-leaf cinquefoil
Lanceleaf springbeauty
Edible thistle
Cascades penstemon
Sitka valerian
Bleeding heart
Tiger lily
Broadleaf lupine
Subalpine fleabane
Queen's cup
Braced lousewort
Narrowsepal phacelia
Pacific stonecrop
Fragrant fringecup
Elegant groundsel
Cow parsnip
Lyall's angelica
Field chickweed
Parry's catchfly
Oregon sunshine
Smooth alumroot
Spotted saxifrage
Cascade desert parsley
Mountain dandelion
Swamp gooseberry
Largeleaf sandwort
Shrubby cinquefoil
Silky phacelia
Rocky Mountain goldenrod
Pink mountain heather
White mountain heather
Hooked violet
Eschscholtz's buttercup
Stream violet
Sitka mountain ash
Arrowleaf wild buckwheat
Littleflower penstemon
Sara's orangetip
Fritillary sp.
Blue sp.
Clodius parnassian


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page updated: 9/29/17