Saturday, August 20, 2016

Hike 2016.037A -- Alpine Pond Trail, Cedar Breaks National Monument, Utah

Hiked Friday, July 28. 1 mile. I took this short hike from Chessmen Ridge Overlook. This little alpine lake can be approached from the south or the north; I took the first one, which is from the south.

Hiked here last fall. Then, it was a little late for fall color. This time, it was a little late for spring color. There were still plenty of flowers in bloom, but also many that had already gone to seed.
It's a nifty little hike, that ends at a small alpine pond. Well, actually, it goes around the pond. As mentioned, above, the southern trailhead is called, "Chessmen Ridge." The northern trailhead is called "Alpine Pond." It's supposed to be a two mile loop if you walk the whole thing. Last fall, I hiked from the Alpine Pond side, so, this time, I hiked from Chessmen Ridge. I took the lower, or left trail towards the pond, then returned via the upper trail.

There's an app from Cedar Breaks that has photos and descriptions of many of the wildflowers in the park. I've had it for a while, so I no longer remember if I found it on their website or just searching on the google play store. But, as is typically the case, I just took pictures during the hike, with the intent of identifying the flowers, later.
Of course, some, I already knew. Others, I knew their family, but the specific species. For example, the second and seventh pictures of this post are obviously Indian Paintbrush. The third one is obviously a form of lupine, but I wouldn't have known what kind (although I did note it looked similar to the one I saw at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. The best match I found was Silvery Lupine.
The thistle was Arizona thistle. The larkspur is given as subalpine larkspur. the large and common (on that day) white flower (sixth photo) was Colorado columbine.
The ninth shot may be of Aspen daisy or Oregon fleabane. They're relatives, and, apparently, can come in different color varieties. The 12th shot may also be one of those two, but a whiter version.
Couple of large moths or butterflies hovering around. He seemed partial to the subalpine larkspur.
One deer, I saw from a bit of a distance It's with a telephoto, and then cropped a bit. He was against the tree line. The trees were dark, but a ray of light struck across the photo, partially illuminating the deer.

I saw many more deer on the drive back.
The last shot is kind of neat. It's right along the highway, where the upper part of the loop comes quite close to the main road. Nice meadow, lots of flowers. The yellow ones were well past peak, but the color was still pretty impressive. Should have come a few weeks earlier, though.

OK, guess I'll leave it there.
After this little hike, I decided to check out the upper part of Rattlesnake Creek trail. Did that, next. Many, many deer spotted on that trip, too.

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