Checking out wildflowers from his perch on a lichen-covered rock.
Checking out wildflowers from his perch on a lichen-covered rock.

In the last weekend of May 2015, we took a walk along the Beaver Pond Loop, one of our favorite early season hikes. It’s about five miles, and other than a steepish hill for the first 3/4 of a mile, it’s pretty mellow.

This year it seems like the wildflowers are blooming earlier than in the past. The local climate is changing, too. Milder winters and longer, wetter springs are the new normal. And maybe, early-blooming wildflowers are part of that package.

Here are just a few of the flowers we enjoyed on our walk.

morel mushroom
Not a wildflower, but a tasty-looking morel mushroom.
Some kind of pea or vetch
Some kind of pea or vetch

Plan Your Own Trip

Trailhead: Park in the large parking lot just north (to the right) of the Terraces and Liberty Cap. This is the parking area for the restrooms and is south (left) of the gas station.

Distance: 5.1-mile loop

Trail Description: Walk to the left of the private home to find the trailhead. The first three-quarters of a mile are uphill, but the trail mellows out beyond that. It skirts several ponds, eventually following one edge of a larger beaver pond. From there the trail climbs a couple of small hills and turns south through sagebrush steppe dotted with orange, lichen-covered rocks.

Make loud noises as you round corners or head into a treed area to alert bears of your presence.

Interested in a VR Version of this loop from July? Take a look at this one by my husband Henry.