Friday, July 26, 2019

Mt Pinos and Vicinity, Friday, July 12, 2019

The meadow near the snow play parking area and Chula Vista campground often fills with iris in early summer, depending on the winter, spring, and early summer weather.

This year, because of the cold and snowy winter and spring, the iris bloomed late. I had dropped by and taken a long hike here a few weeks before Fourth of July, and the iris had barely started growing. Got a good hike out of it (over to Mt. Abel), but didn't get the iris.
By contrast, on previous years, Fourth of July was already well past peak.

I had some ambitions of visiting the Sunday after Fourth of July (July 7), but couldn't manage that. I was pretty sure I had missed peak. But I was pleasantly surprised to find the iris in full bloom on July 12.

The iris were not as dense as in some previous visits, but definitely better than most.

I walked around for about fifteen minutes, then headed back to my car. I intended to drive back down to Lockwood Valley Road and look for Lily Meadow, a trail off of Boy Scout Road. But by the time I got my car back near Lockwood Valley Road, my car was telling me that my remaining range was less than fifty miles. Didn't want to make it too cut it too close, so I turned around before finding my road.

Probably should have put some gas in at the Pilot/Flying J by the off-ramp, but thought I had enough to make this trip and stop on the way back.

I also wanted to turn around because I came across a meadow with a nice blanket of sunflowers. So I stopped, walked into the field, and took some pictures. Then returned to Lebec, to put in some gas and buy some snacks.
Despite the limited hiking, it was definitely not a wasted trip. I chatted with the ranger in the visitor center near Chuchupate Campground. Learned about Lily Meadow there, and bought a book on local flora.

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