[Wildflower Bloom in Central and Eastern Oregon: 2016]

Fremont National Recreation Trail #160 to the Hager Mountain Summit

from the Hager Springs Trailhead

Fremont-Winema National Forest

May 19, 2016

The lookout tower atop Hager Mountain viewed from the spur trail to the summit.......May 19, 2016.

A view south towards thefire lookout atop HagerMountain, Fremont-Winema National Forest...........May 19, 2016.

Directions to Trailhead: Just east of the Silver Lake Ranger Station in Silver Lake, Oregon, head south on paved Forest Road #28, reaching the signed Hager Mountain Trailhead on the left after about 9.3 miles. This offers the longest roundtrip hike and greatest elevation gain. If you choose this hike, park here and walk back north about 100 meters to find the trail. Expect an 8 mile roundtrip hike with 1990 foot elevation gain from this spot.

If you'd like a shorter hike, continue south on FS Road #28 an additional 0.2 miles to FS Road #012 on the left, a dirt road leading uphill through the conifers. Continue uphill about 1.2 miles, passing masses of balsamroot and paintbrush under the trees to where the Fremont National Recreation Trail #160 crosses the road. The trail is faint, but a blue diamond on a tree at the right alerts you to the prescence of a trail. Park where you can (a wide spot in the road is about 50 meters uphill). Expect a 6.6 mile hike with approximate 1700 foot elevation gain from this trailhead.

If you'd like a shorter hike, continue driving uphill on Road #012 to the end of the road (a fainter road heads downhill at a sharp angle to the left). This trailhead has room for about 3-5 vehicles, depending on how everyone parks. This is the Hager Springs Trailhead. A trail sign directs foot traffic to the rightfor about 75 meters before reaching the Fremont Trail. Veer left up the hill, quickly passing fenced Hager Springs (not flowing in May 2016). The trail climbs steadily through conifer forest along the south edge of a clearcut, the path marked by numerous blue diamonds on the trees (put there to aid navigation for winter x-country skiers). After several switchbacks, the trail veers north passing above the old clearcut and soon begins to break out into flower-filled, bunchgrass slopes. At about 1.1 miles from the car, you will reach a signed junction. Veer left to stay on the Fremont Trail and pass along the north-side of Hager Mt., or continue straight on the trail to the summit of Hager Mt, first passing gently through more flower-filled meadows before climbing more steeply through coniferous woods to a shoulder on the south side of the summit. Proceed several hundred meters east, then switchback uphill to the left with the first glimpses of the summit. The trail wraps around the west side of the summit before switchbacking south and climbing directly to a picnic table and outhouse at the summit after a 1.4 mile climb from the previous junction. A fire lookout dominates the summit (7195'). This is manned during the summer. The lookout is available for rent from fall through mid-May, and sees heavy use during that time. Views east show Abert Rim in the distance and Winter Rim about 10 miles east. Views south include Gearhart Mt., Sycan Marsh, Thompson Reservoir and Mount Shasta horizon behind the reservoir. The tree-lined ridge of Yamsay Mountain (8196') dominates the western skyline, although several of the Cascade Peaks can be seen on a nice day. To the north, one can see the pyramidal peak of Bald Mt. (7393') with Newberry Crater behind, and Fort Rock and the Christmas Valley further east in the distance. Expect a 4.4 mile roundtrip hike with 1450 total elevation gain from this trailhead.

Weather: Temperatures in the mid 40s in the morning climbing to the mid 50s by the afternoon. The morning saw partly cloudy skies with light wind which made the hike comfortable. The afternoon became mostly cloudy, with cold winds across the summit, although the winds abated once reaching parts of the trail in the forest.

* indicates the wildflower is currently in bloom.

California White Fir: Abies concolor x Abies grandis

Western Juniper: Juniperus occidentalis

Lodgepole Pine: Pinus contorta var. latifolia

Ponderosa Pine: Pinus ponderosa var. ponderosa

* Sagebrush Mariposa: Calochortus macrocarpus var. macrocarpus

Mission Bells: Fritillaria atropurpurea - In bud.

Washington Lily: Lilium washingtonianum ssp. purpurascens

* False Solomon Seal: Maianthemum racemosum ssp. amplexicaule - Beginning to bloom around Hager Springs.

Rattlesnake Plantain: Goodyera oblongifolia

Fremont's Wild Buckwheat: Eriogonum nudum var. pubiflorum - In bud.

Cushion Buckwheat: Eriogonum ovalifolium var. ovalifolium ? - In bud. At the summit.

* Sulfur Flower Buckwheat: Eriogonum umbellatum var. aureum - Beginning to bloom.

* Nevada Sulfur Flower Buckwheat: Eriogonum umbellatum var. nevadense - Beginning to bloom.

* Erubescent Miner's Lettuce: Claytonia rubra ssp. rubra

Menzie's Campion: Silene menziesii

* Upland Larkspur: Delphinium nuttallianum

* Sagebrush Buttercup: Ranunculus glaberrimus var. glaberrimus - Grassy slopes near the summit.

Brown's Peony: Paeonia brownii

* Creeping Oregon Grape: Berberis repens

* Holboell's Rockcress: Boechera pinetorum

* Daggerpods: Phoenicaulis cheiranthoides - Fading out of bloom at the summit.

Roundleaf Alumroot: Heuchera cylindrica var. alpina - In bud under rock outcrops below the north side of the summit.

* Wax Currant: Ribes cereum var. cereum

* Saskatoon Serviceberry: Amelanchier alnifolia (var. alnifolia ?)

* Utah Serviceberry: Amelanchier (utahensis ?)

* Mountain Mahogany: Cercocarpus ledifolius var. intermontanus - Fading out of bloom.

Cinquefoil: Drymocallis sp. - Only basal leaves.

* Broadpetal Strawberry: Fragaria virginiana ssp. platypetala

Prairie Smoke: Geum triflorum ssp. ciliatum - In bud near the summit.

* Oregon Crabapple: Malus fusca ?

* Bittercherry: Prunus emarginata var. emarginata

Common Chokecherry: Prunus virginiana var. melanocarpa

* Antelope Bitterbrush: Purshia tridentata

Rocky Mountain Mountain Ash: Sorbus scopulina

* Goosefoot Violet: Viola purpurea ssp. venosa - Fading out of bloom near and at the summit.

Western Blue Flax: Linum lewisii (var. lewisii ?) - In bud.

* Mahala Mat: Ceanothus prostratus

Snow Brush: Ceanothus velutinus var. velutinus

Fireweed: Chamerion angustifolium

* Nevada Desert Parsley: Lomatium nevadense var. nevadense - Near the summit.

* Nine-leaf Desert Parsley: Lomatium triternatum (ssp. platycarpum ?)

* Green-leaved Manzanita: Arctostaphylos patula

Prince's Pine: Chimaphilla umbellata

Little Prince's Pine: Chimaphilla menziesii

Pinedrops: Pterospora andromedea - Last year's stems.

White-veined Wintergreen: Pyrola picta

Scarlet Gilia: Ipomopsis aggregata ssp. formosissima - In bud.

Pinnate Ballhead Gilia: Ipomopsis congesta ssp. congesta - In bud.

* Midget Phlox: Microsteris gracilis

Navarretia: Navarretia sp.

* Spreading Phlox: Phlox diffusa

* Variedleaf Phacelia: Phacelia heterophylla ssp. virgata

* Puccoon: Lithospermum ruderale

Mountain Balm: Monardella odoratissima - Along trail below summit.

* Wavy-leaf Paintbrush: Castilleja applegatei var. pinetorum

* Small-flowered Blue-eyed Mary: Collinsia parviflora

Hotrock Penstemon: Penstemon deustus (var. ?)

Creeping Snowberry: Symphoricarpos mollis

Mountain Snowberry: Symphoricarpos oreophilus

Yarrow: Achillea millefolium

* Sagebrush Agoseris: Agoseris parviflora

* Pussytoes: Antennaria sp. - at least 2 species

* Heartleaf Arnica: Arnica cordifolia - Beginning to bloom around the trailhead.

Sagebrush: Artemisia sp.

Mountain Big Sagebrush: Artemisia tridentata ssp. vaseyana - Near the summit..

* Northwest Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza deltoidea

* Tapertip Hawksbeard: Crepis acuminata

Gray Hawksbeard: Crepis intermedia - In bud.

Gray Rabbitbrush: Ericamaeria nauseosa (var. speciosus ?)

Yellow Desert Fleabane: Erigeron linearis

Yarrow-leaved Eriophyllum: Eriophyllum lanatum var. achilleoides - In bud.

White-flowered Hawkweed: Hieracium albiflorum - Basal leaves only.

Scouler's Hawkweed: Hieracium scouleri

* Woolly Groundsel: Packera cana - Beginning to bloom.

Salsify: Tragopogon dubius - Only a small amount along this section of trail.

Animals Observed During This Hike:


Red Squirrel

Bald Eagle

Turkey Vultures

Ruffed Grouse - Drumming.

Pinyon Jays - Heard.

Stellers Jays - Heard

Black-headed Grosbeaks

Mountain Bluebirds

Yellow-rumped Warblers

Chipping Sparrows

Dark-eyed Juncos

Red-breasted Nuthatch

Ant Lions

Paul Slichter