[Wildflowers in Bloom in Central & Eastern Oregon - 2004]

Pike Creek

East Side of Steens Mt.

June 18, 2004

The photo above shows the mouth of Pike Creek as it drains the east side of the Steens Mt. and enters into the Alvord Desert. Note the old mining road at right. Photographed on June 18, 2004.

The registry at the wilderness boundary indicates that wildflowers are fairly abundant along this trail as early as mid May.

Please be on the constant lookout for rattlesnakes and mountain lions along this trail. There is one small stream crossing at about one mile. Several abandoned uranium mines may be seen along the trail. After crossing the creek, continue along the trail as it traverses up the south-facing slopes. Where the trail dips back down to the creek, look for a faint track that continues onward. This will eventually take you to the headwalls of Pike Creek. The slopes are steep in this vicinity and evidently only one place is suitable for pitching a tent and camping.

* Indicates a wildflower currently in bloom.

1. Western Juniper: Juniperus occidentalis var. occidentalis

2. Black Cottonwood: Populus trichocarpa

3. Willow: Salix sp

4. Willow: Salix sp - long, narrow leaves

*5. Green-banded Mariposa Lily: Calochortus macrocarpum - In bloom at the lower end of the camping area.

6. Western Blue Flag: Iris missouriensis

*7. Stinging Nettles: Urtica dioica

8. Slenderbush Buckwheat: Eriogonum microthecum var. laxiflorum

*9. Oval-leaf Buckwheat: Eriogonum ovalifolium var. purpureum

*10. Miner's Lettuce: Claytonia (Montia) perfoliata

*11. Nuttall's Sandwort: Minuartia nuttallii var. fragilis

*12. Crimson Columbine: Aquilegia formosa

*13. Virgin's Bower: Clematis ligusticifolia

14. Desert Larkspur: Delphinium andersonii ?

*15. Sicklepod Rockcress: Arabis sparsiflora - pedicels mostly ascending, some spreading. Fruits ascending to spreading and arcuate.

*16. Nevada Jewelflower: Caulanthus major var. nevadensis

17. Daggerpods: Phoenicaulis cheiranthoides

*18. Thick-leaved Thelypody: Thelypodium laciniatum var. laciniatum

19. Creek Dogwood: Cornus stolonifera

*20. Red Alumroot: Heuchera rubescens

21. Serviceberry: Amelanchier alnifolia (or utahensis)

*22. Desert Spray: Holodiscus dumosus var. glabrescens

*23. Owyee Ivesia: Ivesia baileyi var. beneolens

*24. Glandular Cinquefoil: Potentilla glandulosa var. - (petals smaller than sepals)

*25. Chokecherry: Prunus virginiana var. melanocarpa

26. Antelope Bitterbrush: Purshia tridentata

*27. Pearhip Rose: Rosa woodsii var. ultramontana

*28. Thread-stalk Milk Vetch: Astragalus filipes

29. Freckled Milk Vetch: Astragalus lentiginosus

*30.Tailcup Lupine: Lupinus argenteus var. heteranthus

*31. Yellow Sweet Clover: Melilotus officinalis

*32. Filaree: Erodium cicutarium

33. Wild Hollyhock: Illamna rivularis

*34. White-stemmed Mentzelia: Mentzelia albicaulis

*35. Common Clarkia: Clarkia rhomboidea

*36. Rock Spring Parsley: Cymopteris petraeus (C. terebinthinus var. petraeus)

*37. Cow Parsnip: Heracleum lanatum

*38. Parsley-leaf Desert Parsley: Lomatium dissectum

*39. Nine-leaf Desert Parsley: Lomatium triternatum

*40. Western Sweet-cicely: Osmorhiza occidentalis

41. Large-flowered Collomia: Collomia grandiflora

*42. Pungent Phlox: Leptodactylon pungens

*43. Ball-head Waterleaf: Hydrophyllum capitatum var. alpinum

*44. Varileaf Phacelia: Phacelia heterophylla

*45. Threadleaf Phacelia: Phacelia linearis

*46. Branched Phacelia: Phacelia ramosissima var. ramosissima

47. Puccoon: Lithospermum ruderale

48. Nettle-leaf Horsemint: Agastache urticifolia

*49. Wavy-leaved Paintbrush: Castilleja applegatei var. pinetorum

*50. Scarlet Paintbrush: Castilleja miniata ?

*51. Small-flowered Blue-eyed Mary: Collinsia parviflora

*52. Hotrock Penstemon: Penstemon deustus var. pedicellatus

*53. Steen's Mt. Penstemon: Penstemon davidsonii var. praeteritis

*54. Showy Penstemon: Penstemon speciosus

*55. Common Mullein: Verbascum thapsus

*56. Cleavers: Galium aparine

*57. Shrubby Bedstraw: Galium multiflorum

*58. White Plectritis: Plectritis macrocera

*59. Blue Elderberry: Sambucus mexicana (S. cerulea )

*60. Yarrow: Achillea millefolium

*61. Large-flowered Agoseris: Agoseris grandiflora

62. Low Sagebrush: Artemisia arbuscula

63. Big Sagebrush: Artemisia tridentata

64. Longleaf Aster: Aster ascendens - Nearly in bloom high on the trail after the stream crossing.

*65. Arrowleaf Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza sagittata

*66. Blepharipappus: Blepharipappus scaber

*67. Hoary False Yarrow: Chaenactis douglasii

*68. Thistle: Cirsium sp.

*69. Tapertip Hawksbeard: Crepis accuminata

70. Meadow Hawksbeard: Crepis runciniata var. hispidulosa

71. Gray Rabbitbrush: Ericameria nauseosa

72. Green Rabbitbrush: Ericameria viscidiflora

*73. Scabland Fleabane: Erigeron bloomeri var. bloomeri

74. Spreading Fleabane: Erigeron divergens

*75. Desert Yellow Daisy: Erigeron linearis

*76. Oregon Sunshine: Eriophyllum lanatum

*77. Slender Tarweed: Madia gracilis ?

*78. Woolly Groundsel: Senecio canus

*79. Common Dandelion: Taraxacum officinalis

*80. Gray Horsebrush: Tetradymia canescens

*81. Yellow Salsify: Tragopogon dubius

The photo looks up Pike Creek towards its headwall on the Steens Mt. The faint trail continues up the north side of the canyon to the headwall about 1 mile away. Wildhorse Creek about 1/2 to 1 mile downstream of Wildhorse Lake is directly behind the ridgeline. Photographed June 18, 2004.
Another view out towards the Alvord Desert from midway up the Pike Creek Canyon.

Paul Slichter