Crystal Lake June 2015

Record low snowpack let us backpack up high in the first weekend in June. Bob, Betsy, and I hiked up the PCT from road 23, cut over to the Riley Trail on the 64A connector and ascended to Crystal Lake. Lots of mosquitoes with all the water there. There were a few patches of snow starting above 5000 feet but we never needed our snowshoes to get to the lake at 6200'.

These yellow amanita mushrooms were plentiful at the start of the trail

False hellebore was quite common too

Many ponds along the Riley Trail, particularly where it cuts north, support the mosquito population

Mt. Adams from Riley Meadow

The classic Adams reflection on Crystal Lake. The breeze that kept the reflection wavy was welcome given the unseasonable heat

Great views of Mt. Rainier as well

The next morning we walked a short ways to a nearby lake above, which I christened Teardrop Lake

Returning on the PCT were many wildflowers. Here are phlox

lupine and beargrass blooms

The Cascade Creek fire probably helped the flowers a lot, and create quite a contrast