[Wildflowers in Bloom in central Oregon: 2003]

Fields Peak

Malheur National Forest

May 24, 2003

View east towards McClellan Mt. and the Strawberry Range on the horizon................May 24, 2003. Moon Mt. is to the left of the ridge at left while Riley Mt. is the peak with snow patches on its north side in the middle distance.

Malheur N.F. Map Coordinates: T14S R29E Sections 20, east part of 29, west part of 28.

Fields Peak is the highest point in the Aldrich Range, a ridge running from just east of the South Fork John Day River and extending eastward to US Highway 395. It is a hike that could be done in a little over a half day, or take a full day if one continues east to Moon Mt. or McClellan Mt. The trail to Fields Pk is 4.6 miles round trip, with an elevation gain of about 1850 feet. The summit at Fields Pk is 7362'. Plan on about 2 hours to climb the peak and about an hour to descend.

Access to Fields Peak is via Forest Service Rd #21 from Dayville or John Day, OR. Drive upwards along Rd #21 through cool conifer forests to a sign pointing to Fields Peak about 8.6 miles south of US Highway 26. This road should be service Road 115. After 0.4 miles, turn right onto Road 2160 and proceed for about 200 yards. Then turn left onto Road 041which ascends sharply upwards for about 1.2 miles to the trailhead.

The trail itself first travels upwards through forest, then proceeds diagonally up a steep flower-filled slope, eventually reaching Bitterroot Ridge after about 0.7 miles. Walk south along the ridgetop for views and rock garden plants. Continue north up slope along the main trail through forests and openings to a trail intersection after another 0.8 miles. The trail to the right proceeds another 3.5 miles to McClellan Mt. The trail to the left proceeds around the west slopes of Fields Peak before ascending to the summit on the north side of the peak. Spectacular 360 views greet the hiker at the top. One can view Sutton Mt, Picture Rock Gorge, the Ochoco Range and Aldrich Mt to the west, Snow Mt to the southwest, Bear Valley to the south, and the Strawberry and Elkhorn Ranges to the east. Bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and a hat on this trip. A breeze can also make the summit chilly even on warm days.

Western Juniper: Juniperus occidentalis var. occidentalis

Subalpine Fir: Abies lasiocarpa

Whitebark Pine: Pinus albicaulis

Ponderosa Pine: Pinus ponderosa var. ponderosa

Tapertip Onion: Allium accuminatum

*Tolmie's Onion: Allium tolmiei

*Fairy Bells: Prosartes trachycarpa

*Glacier Lily: Erythronium grandiflorum var. grandiflorum - Numerous at the trailhead.

*Yellow Bells: Fritillaria pudica - Numerous mid-mountain, sparser below.

*Star-flowered False Solomon Seal: Maianthemum stellatum

False Hellebore: Veratrum sp.

*Grass Widows: Olsynium inflatum

Parsnipflower Buckwheat: Eriogonum heracleoides var. heracleoides - Near Trailhead.

Piper's Golden Buckwheat: Eriogonum flavum var. piperi

Naked Buckwheat: Eriogonum nudum ?

Oval-leaved Buckwheat: Eriogonum ovalifolium (var. ?) - Only near the summit.

Sulfur Flower Buckwheat: Eriogonum umbellatum (var. ellipticum ?)

*Spring Beauty: Claytonia lanceolata

*Miner's Lettuce: Claytonia perfoliata (ssp. perfoliata ?)

Great Basin Claytonia: Claytonia umbellata

Bitterroot: Lewisia rediviva - Nearing bloom.

Prickly Sandwort: Eremogone aculeata

Stinging Nettles: Urtica dioica

The photo above shows the trail to Fields Peak from Bitterroot Ridge. The trail ascends to the left side of the ridgeline at left, eventually climbing through the notch at the center of the photo to ascend Fields Pk. at center distance.

*Upland Larkspur: Delphinium nuttallianum var. nuttallianum

*Sagebrush Buttercup: Ranunculus glaberrimus var. glaberrimus

Meadow Rue: Thalictrum occidentale

*Pale Alyssum: Alyssum alyssoides

*Dagger Pod: Phoenicaulis cheiranthoides

*Western Bladderpod: Physaria occidentalis var. occidentalis

Creeping Oregon Grape: Berberis repens

Worm-leaf Stonecrop: Sedum stenopetalum

Alpine Alumroot: Heuchera cylindrica var. alpina

*Bulblet Prairie Star: Lithophragma glabrum (Lithophragma bulbifera)

*Small-flowered Prairie Star: Lithophragma parviflorum

*Wax Currant: Ribes cereum var. cereum

Prickly Currant: Ribes lacustre

Curl-leaf Mt.-mahogany: Cercocarpus ledifolius (var. ?)

*Broad-petal Strawberry: Fragaria virginiana var. platypetala

Glandular Cinquefoil: Potentilla glandulosa (var. ?) - Not in bloom.

Bitter Cherry: Prunus emarginata var. emarginata

*Prairie Violet: Viola praemorsa (ssp. linguifolia ?)

*Goosefoot Violet: Viola purpurea ssp. venosa

Brown's Peony: Paeonia brownii - Nearing bloom.

Snow Brush: Ceanothus velutinus var. velutinus

*Rock Spring Parsley: Cymopterus terebinthinus var. foeniculaceus

*Cous: Lomatium cous ?

*Parsley-leaf Desert Parsley: Lomatium dissectum var. multifidum

*Pungent Desert Parsley: Lomatium grayii

*Biscuit Root: Lomatium macrocarpum

*Western Sweet Cicely: Osmorhiza occidentalis

*Sierra Snakeroot: Sanicula graveolens

*Midget Phlox: Microsteris gracilis

*Hood's Phlox: Phlox hoodii ?. -A few in bloom near the summit.

*Ball Head Waterleaf: Hydrophyllum capitatum var. capitatum

*Wood's Nemophila: Nemophila parviflora var. austiniae

Silky Phacelia: Phacelia sericea var. ciliosa - Near summit.

Long-flowered Bluebells: Mertensia longiflora

Nettle-leaf Horse-mint: Agastache urticifolia

Mondardella: Monardella odoratissima var. odoratissima

*Wavy-leaf Paintbrush: Castilleja applegatei var. pinetorum

*Small-flowered Blue-eyed Mary: Collinsia parviflora

Shrubby Penstemon: Penstemon fruticosus var. fruticosus

Showy Penstemon: Penstemon speciosus

Blue Elderberry: Sambucus cerulea

The view above shows an unnamed peak (slightly lower than Fields Pk.) looking north along the ridge from Fields Peak........May 24, 2003.

Yarrow: Achillea millefolium

*Heart-leaf Arnica: Arnica cordifolia

Big Sagebrush: Artemisia tridentata (var. ?)

*Arrowleaf Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza sagittata - Beginning bloom.

Hoary False Yarrow: Chaenactis douglasii var. douglasii

Gray Rabbitbrush: Ericameria nauseosa (var. ?)

Long-leaved Hawksbeard: Crepis acuminata

Western Hawksbeard: Crepis occidentalis

Cut-leaf Daisy: Erigeron compositus (var. ?) - At summit. A few with flower buds.

Woolly Sunflower: Eriophyllum lanatum var. integrifolium

*Woolly Goldenweed: Stenotus languinosus var. languinosus - A few beginning to bloom.

Hawkweed: Hieracium sp.

*Western Groundsel: Senecio integerrimus var. exaltatus - A few beginning bloom.

*Common Dandelion: Taraxacum officinale

Northern Mule's-ears: Wyethia amplexicaulis

Animals Seen or Heard:

Immature Golden Eagle

Red-tailed Hawk

Turkey Vulture

Prairie Falcon


Clark's Nutcrackers

Gray Jays

Stellers Jays

Northern Flicker

Mountain Bluebird

American Robin

Gold-crowned Kinglets

Red-breasted Nuthatch

Mountain Chickadees

Chipping Sparrow

Dark-eyed Juncos

Yellow-rumped Warblers

Vaux's Swifts

Many Elk tracks

Many mosquitoes below, but no ticks!

Paul Slichter