Sunday, July 29, 2018

Mount Pinos, Los Pades National Forest, July 4, 2018

This from way back on the Fourth of July. Day off, and I thought perhaps I could still catch the Iris bloom at the meadow near the parking area at the end of the road.
Although I first "discovered" this meadow in mid-July 2010, I knew this was a relatively dry and warm winter, so I figured the bloom would be earlier. Similarly, I had also been here in late June one year, and even then, the bloom was not as thick as my first visit. So I know there's a lot of variability, depending, I assume on the precipitation, how cold the winter was, how quickly the summer heats up and so forth.
This year, I felt that the iris density as definitely still not as much as my first visit, and spent blooms seemed to outnumber active blooms. However, at least at the northern end, the iris bloomed relatively thick.
I took a lot of pictures in the meadow, many with the busy swallowtail butterflies, that see to like the iris. I walked carefully, trying to minimize my impact on the flowers. Then I retreated and walked the short trail to Mount Pinos' "summit."

The hike there is not particular steep or interesting. It's mostly flat. But there are several meadows with plenty of mariposa lilies. This is probably the most reliable place I've been to for finding this flower. As you can see, some look more purple-tinged than others.
Indian paintbrush is the other most common flower on this route. They were not as thick as on previous hikes in the area, but still plentiful.

It's an easy two miles or so to the summit. From there, there's the possibility of continuing on, to Mount Abel (or other destinations, but that's the one I'd been to, in the past). However, I needed to get back reasonably early, for family purposes. So I spent only about fifteen minutes around the overlook, snapping pictures and enjoying the rest bit, then returned the way I came.
As is my habit, I stopped at the Pilot/Flying J truck stop, which is right of I-15. There used to be a Denny's there but it was closed. The truck stop's grill and fountain drink dispensers were also down (the latter due to being out of C02). It seemed like a hell of a way to be prepared for the Fourth of July, but maybe this stop is just not that busy, any more.


  1. Hello. Would it be ok for the Garden to use one of your photos from Mt. Pinos and iris to advertise one of our field trips to Mt. Pinos as an event on Facebook? We are a non-profit conservation organization. We look forward to your reply. Thank you!

  2. Thanks for the compliment. Sure, no problem using a photo for non-profit purposes. Just include a credit to my blog!

    I'm may try to head up to Mt. Pinos, again. I'm never sure when the iris bloom peaks.
    Sorry, I haven't had time to get back on-line recently!

  3. I hiked from the Mount Pinos parking lot to Mt. Abel Road, with a short detour to check out the iris meadow. No buds. Only knee high. I would guess it will be another two weeks or so before the blooming begins in earnest. Cold winter with lots of snow, so I expect things are delayed somewhat. Fourth of July and that weekend after before things reach peak, though that's just a guess.