Summer in the PNW is something to get really excited about. After all the doom and gloom, the sun starts peeking out, the wildflowers bloom, and it’s no longer dark around 4 pm! The season is glorious and we’ve been trying to spend as much time outside and soak in as much sun as possible.
A couple of weeks ago, we hit the trails in search of some wildflowers! We usually have the worst luck with timing, and made it to certain spots a day or two late, but we still managed to find some. Since wildflower season comes later in the PNW, we started anticipating it after seeing our friends post about Cali’s superbloom. We were determined not to miss it this year. After a long, strenuous hike, we were met with an endless field of beautiful yellow flowers!
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Last Updated: April 4, 2019 // First Created: June 15, 2017
BEST WILDFLOWER HIKES IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST
Thing to Do
Local Tip / Pro Tip / Note: dsfsdfsd
Whenever possible, we love bringing our Bota Box wines on our adventures! It’s nice getting to relax at the top of a peak or overlook while having a bite to eat and drinking our Bota Minis. The Bota Minis’ compact packaging makes them perfect for easy to moderate hikes (for strenuous ones, I recommend just water).
They fit right into the compartments in my camera bag, and since they are resealable, we don’t ever worry about glasses, corkscrews, or finishing them in one sitting. If you’re camping, you can bring the original Bota Boxes that are equivalent to 4 bottles of wine per box. We loved having those on our climbing trips to Joshua Tree.
As Local Adventurers, we always believe that we should never take our weekends or backyard for granted! There’s always an adventure to be found. To help you get inspired, here’s a list of awesome wildflower spots in the PNW.
Trailhead Coordinates: 45.0483103,-123.9942557, map
Distance: 6.8 mi out and back
Elevation Gain: 1310 ft
Best Time to Visit: Mid-May to Mid-June
What You’ll See: Hairy Checker Mallow, Cascade Head catchfly (99% of catchfly’s world population found here)
Trailhead Coordinates: 45.657062, -121.086237, map
Distance: 6.9 mi loop
Elevation Gain: 1060 ft
Best Time to Visit: April
What You’ll See: Lupine, Balsamroot, Mountain Buttercup, Douglas’ Draba, and More
Trailhead Coordinates: 45.6992035,-121.7101839, map
Distance: 6.9 mi modified loop
Elevation Gain: 2800 ft
Best Time to Visit: Mid-May to Early June
What You’ll See: Northwest Balsamroot, Columbia Gorge Lupine, Harsh Paintbrush, Spring Gold, and More
Local Tip: This hike gets very crowded especially during the spring. Do the hike either early (before 8am) or in the late afternoon. Even on a weekday, we saw the parking lot fill up quickly.
Distance: 2.4 mi RT
Elevation Gain: 650 ft
Trailhead Coordinates: 44.414678, -122.8781921 // Map
Best Time to Visit: Mid-June to Mid-July
What You’ll See: Wood Strawberry, Vanilla Leaf, Field Chickweed, Oregon Sunshine, Lupine, and More
Distance: 10.4 mi RT
Elevation Gain: 2200 ft
Trailhead Coordinates: 45.4075238,-121.7880405 // Map
Best Time to Visit: Late July
What You’ll See: Western Pasqueflower, Lupine, Piper’s Anemone, and More
Distance: 5.2 mi
Elevation Gain: 905 ft
Trailhead Coordinates: 45.695384,-121.33854 // Map
Best Time to Visit: Early April to Early may
What You’ll See: Desert Shooting Stars, Upland Larkspur, Brad-Leaf Lupine, Northwest Balsamroot, and More
Distance: 3.5 mi
Trailhead Coordinates: 45.684777,-121.3959485 // Map
Best Time to Visit: Early April to Early May
What You’ll See: Northwest Balsamroot, Prairie Star, Fiddleneck, Pungent Desert Parsley, and More
Trailhead Coordinates: 45.682958, -121.302225, map
Distance: 1 mi
Elevation Gain: 100 ft
Best Time to Visit: Mid-April to Early May
What You’ll See: Lupine, Balsamroot, and More
Distance: 5 mi
Elevation Gain: 500 ft
Trailhead Coordinates: 46.8749031,-121.5199889, Map
Best Time to Visit: July
What You’ll See: Indian Paintbrush, False Hellebore, Western Pasqueflower, Valerian, and More
Distance: 5.4 mi
Elevation Gain: 1,797 ft
Trailhead Coordinates: 46.7867266,-121.7367875 // Map
Best Time to Visit: July
What You’ll See: Avalanche Lilies, Lupine, Indian Paintbrush, and More
Distance: 7.6 ft
Elevation Gain: 800 ft
Trailhead Coordinates: 43.842,-122.564194 // Map
Best Time to Visit: June
What You’ll See: Cliff Larkspur, Northwest Balsamroot, Rosy Plectritis, Cardwell’s Penstemon, and More
Map of Best Hikes to See Pacific Northwest Wildflowers
PRO TIPS FOR HIKING TO PACIFIC NORTHWEST WILDFLOWERS
- Keep in mind that the blooming season varies every year. Use the best times to visit as a general guideline, but check the wildflower reports before you go.
- Be respectful of wildflowers and help preserve them for others to enjoy. Don’t pick or trample through meadows. Stick to trails, try to stand on rocks or packed down dirt, rather than plant life.
- Know your plants! There are some areas that have a lot of poison oak mixed amongst the wildflowers. “Leaves of three, let them be” might help you remember what to avoid.
What to Pack for the Pacific Northwest
Best Places to Stay
- To Do
- To Do
- To Do
What kind of adventures will you be chasing after this summer? Have you done any of these Pacific Northwest wildflower hikes?
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Esther + Jacob
Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, which is one of the top 5 travel blogs in the US. They believe that adventure can be found both near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They explore a new city in depth every year and currently base themselves in Portland Oregon.