Attention mountain wildflower lovers! The Paradise meadows at Mount Rainier National Park are in bloom. Everything is a bit early this year, as the winter was very mild. The summer blooms are mixing in with the spring Avalanche Lilies. Prominent blooms are the Magenta Paintbrush and purple Sub-alpine Lupine. Yellow Cinquefoil is plenty, too, as well as Bistort and Sitka Valerian. I noticed some clumps of pretty, pink Heather still blooming, too. It appears that the Avalanche Lilies are fading away quickly now and probably won’t be around much longer with the very hot temperatures expected for this coming weekend. Most of them can be seen along the Nisqually Loop Trail and that vicinity of Paradise.
Unfortunately, the mountain was playing hide and seek among the cumulus clouds that gathered about its summit. Ironically, the day started out with a clear, blue sky; but as the day wore on, clouds appeared about the summit and nowhere else. This is a very common occurrence, as the very high Mount Rainier creates its own weather. But certain types of clouds can make some very interesting shapes and make for some great photo images.
Come on up to the mountain and enjoy the wildflowers! Be sure to wear plenty of sunscreen, bug repellant, wear your sunglassses, a hat, and take along plenty of water if hiking up the trails, and maybe some high-energy trail bars. As well, I highly recommend trekking poles, since the trails are quite steep. Have fun and stay safe!
All photos property of Peggy A Thompson