[Wildflower Bloom Reports for Washington & Oregon] [Wildflower Destinations in the Columbia River Gorge]

Wildflower Bloom in the Columbia River Gorge of Oregon and Washington

2015

Balsamroots and lupines in bloom on Sevenmile Hill west of The Dalles, OR..........March 30, 2015.

Balsamroots and Columbia Gorge lupines (Lupinus latifolius x sericeus) beginning to bloom in quantity on Sevenmile Hill...........March 30, 2015.

Wildflower Bloom in the Columbia River Gorge in Previous Seasons

[2018] [2017] [2016] [2014] [2013] [2012] [2011] [2010] [2009] [2008][2007] [2006] [2005] [2004] [2003] [2002] [2001] [2000 and Before]


Use the links to previous bloom year data directly above to search for bloom reports at a particular location to better fit a recent flower visit. NOTE: As of early 2015, flower bloom is about 2-3 weeks earlier than most past years!

I am currently spending time hiking and making plant lists for those trails and cross country routes that aren't well represented in the Columbia River and Klickitat River Gorges this season, so if you don't see your favorite hike here, please check the lists from previous years above to see what you'd see along those hikes. Comprehensive plant lists for a number of hikes in the Columbia River Gorge (Look under the state and county they are found in.) can be found at http://science.halleyhosting.com/nature/bloomtime/lists/plantlists.html

May 31, 2015: Brooks Memorial State Park at Satus Pass, Washington - A Native Plant Society of Oregon hike.

May 30, 2015: Little Bowman Creek (Canyon Creek Trailhead, Klickitat Wildlife Area) - A Native Plant Society of Oregon fieldtrip.

May 24, 2015: Brooks Memorial State Park at Satus Pass, Washington

May 22, 2015: Canyon Creek accessessed from the eastern trailhead off the Glenwood-Goldendale Highway (Klickitat Wildlife Area)

May 15, 2015: Grassy Knoll Trail #146 (Gifford Pinchot National Forest)

May 7, 2015: The summit meadows of Dog Mountain are still looking good for masses of balsamroot bloom, but bloom there will soon diminish with the unseasonably dry and warm weather.

May 6, 2015: Panakanic (private, vernally moist meadows south of Conboy Lake National Wildlife Refuge)

May 4, 2015: Western Canyon Creek (Klickitat Wildlife Area, between Canyon Creek and Anderson Road)

April 30, 2015: Dog Mountain should be nearing its peak of balsamroot bloom this weekend and into next week. If you go over the weekend, go very early to get a parking spot, or go during a weekday!

April 26, 2015: Starvation Ridge Trail #414 and Starvation Ridge Cutoff Trail #414B (Starvation Creek State Park)

April 24, 2015: Margerum Ranch (Columbia Land Trust Property)

April 22, 2015: Trails to Elowah and McCord Creek Falls, John B. Yeon State Park

April 20, 2015: Phlox Point atop Hardy Ridge, Beacon Rock State Park

April 19, 2015: Mitchell Point

April 16, 2015: Upper Columbia Hills State Park and Columbia Hills Natural Area Preserve. - Remember to display your Washington Discover Pass to avoid the $99 fine!

April 12, 2015: Sevenmile Hill (USFS) from Sevenmile Hill Road

April 3, 2015: Scabland Benches Around the Rock Quarry Between US 30 and I-84 Between Hood River and Mosier

March 30, 2015: Sevenmile Hill (USFS) from Sevenmile Hill Road

March 29, 2015: Perham and Wygant Trails from Old Highway 30 one-quarter mile west of Mitchell Point.

March 27, 2015: Memaloose Trail

March 8, 2015: Sevenmile Hill (USFS) from Sevenmile Hill Road

March 5, 2015: Columbia Hills Natural Area Preserve

March 3, 2015: Catherine Creek (below the elevation level of the Arch).

March 3, 2015: Columbia Hills State Park from the Crawford Oaks Trailhead. We're seeing western fence lizards, so it should soon be warm enough for rattlesnakes to be out and about at many Gorge locations, so be careful!

March 3, 2015: The first glacier lilies (Erythronium grandiflorum) were observed in bloom with oak toothworts (Cardamine nuttallii var. nuttallii) under the oaks in the burned area of the Rowena loops (along old Highway 30). Some chocolate lilies (Fritillaria affinis) were observed in the same location with well-sized flower buds.

February 26, 2015: Klickitat Wildlife Area (Old Headquarters Road, upper half of Soda Springs Road, and the Klickitat Breaks)

February 15, 2015: Columbia Hills State Park (above the Dalles Mt. Ranch)

February 13, 2015: Sevenmile Hill (USFS) from Sevenmile Hill Road

February 11, 2015: Memaloose Trail from Eastbound Memaloose Rest Area on Interstate 84 west up to Memaloose Overlook (on US 30), south to Marsh Hill, south and then east across Marsh Cutoff Road across public lands towards Dell Road, then back north across US 30 to the east end of the rest area. Plants are slower to bloom here than on the Washington side of the river. Plants observed in bloom were Columbia desert parsley (Lomatium columbianum), pungent desert parsley (Lomatium grayi), salt and pepper (Lomatium piperi), grass widows (Olsynium douglasii var. douglasii), Smooth prairiestars (Lithophragma glabrum), and the first western buttercups (Ranunculus occidentalis) of the season.

February 8, 2015: Paved trail along the lower section of Catherine Creek - Columbia Desert Parsley (Lomatium columbianum) and pungent desert parsley (Lomatium grayi) are beginning to bloom here. Look for them along the lowest sections of the paved trail. Salt and pepper (Lomatium piperi) are very numerous along the paved trail. They may be nearing their peak bloom at that elevation. Douglas' grass widows (Olsynium douglasii) are becoming abundant along the trail, with many multi-bloom clumps. I'd guess that they will reach their peak bloom below the parking area within the next 10-14 days. Smooth prairiestars (Lithophragma glabrum) are becoming more noticeable below the Catherine Creek trailhead. The first says phoebe was observed perching on fence posts along the parking area. Watch for Lewis' woodpeckers which are displaying and chasing each other amongst the oaks. Occasional bald eagles should be seen over SR14 and the Columbia River, or perched on trees in lower Major Creek. Keep an ear out for the resident western bluebird population that overwinters in this area.

February 7, 2015: Klickitat Trail, Lyle Trailhead to MP 2.5 - Columbia Desert Parsley (Lomatium columbianum) was observed beginning to bloom on the cut banks above the Klickitat Trail upstream from the Yakima Nation fishery research buildings. Goldstars (Crocidium multicaule), pungent desert parsley (Lomatium grayi) and white alder (Alnus incana) were also observed in bloom here. Leaves of some large Columbia Gorge lupines (Lupinus latifolius var. thompsonianus) and smaller barestem desert parsley (Lomatium nudicaule) were also observed. They'll be several weeks away from blooming. To see the goldstars, it helps to have binoculars to look upslope with. To see the better wildflower display, park at the Fisher Hill Bridge and walk about a mile upstream from there along the Klickitat Trail. About 2 dozen eagles can still be seen perched or flying around the mouth of the Klickitat River at Lyle. Common mergansers and common goldeneyes are common on the river, as are red-tailed hawks. Native lady beetles, small moths, bumblebees, honeybees, flies and numerous small pollinating insects were observed, including many on the columbia desert parsley blooms. Early butterflies should be observed here soon! The first lyme disease carrying deer ticks were picked off several of us today. Time to do a daily tick check when you get home! The Klickitat River is at flood stage so stay away from it. It rose a good foot during the several hours we were there.

February 6, 2015: West Bank of the lower Deschutes River (just upstream of the Heritage boat launch) - The first blooming yellow bells (Fritillaria pudica) was observed in bloom in weedy grasslands above the west bank of the Deschutes River.

February 5, 2015: Labyrinth Trail - The first pungent desert parsley (Lomatium grayi) were observed in bloom in the lower Labyrinth today.

January 31, 2015: Catherine Creek - The buds containing "pussywillow" catkins are beginning to open in Catherine Creek where the road to the lower end of the arch first reaches the creek. Still too early to identify which willow species.

January 25, 2012: North end of the Highway 197 bridge over the Columbia River at The Dalles, OR - The first goldstars (Crocidium multicaule) were observed roadside at the north end of the bridge today.

January 25, 2015: Cherry Orchard Trailhead - The first blooms of Columbia Desert Parsley (Lomatium columbianum) were observed today around the trailhead.

January 25, 2015: Catherine Creek to Courtney Road via the Indian Pits and the Atwood Road - Numerous salt and pepper (Lomatium piperi) were observed blooming within 200 meters uphill from the old highway just west of the lower end of the Labyrinth. At the same location, some good displays of Douglas' grass widows (Olsynium douglasii) were also observed. The first smooth prairiestars (Lithophragma glabrum) were also observed here.

January 19, 2015: Columbia Hills State Park and Columbia Hills Natural Area Preserve - The first obscure buttercup (Ranunculus triternatus) was observed in bloom in the state park today. Douglas' grass widows (Olsynium douglasii) are are in bud at Horsethief Butte in Columbia Hills State Park. The leaves of grass widows (Olsynium inflatum) are coming up near the southern boundary of the NAP. Salt and pepper (Lomatium piperi) is in bloom in the state park and beginning to bloom high in the NAP. The other salt and pepper (Lomatium gormanii) is probably in bloom too. Canby's desert parsley (Lomatium canbyi) is also beginning to bloom high in the NAP. Several Hood's phlox (Phlox hoodii) were observed with flower buds in the NAP. Soils in the upper half of the NAP are saturated. Many streams are flowing where the usually aren't seen. Flower bloom is about 14 days latter than at this same time last year for this location.


Klickitat River flooding above the Fisher Hill Bridge........February 7, 2015.

The Klickitat River in flood stage as seen along the Klickitat Trail about one-half mile above the Fisher Hill Bridge.........February 7, 2015. The Klickitat Trail may not be as floriferously picturesque as Catherine Creek but it is a good spot to hike in early spring as it offers protection from the strong westerly winds and on souther exposures, can be 5-10 degrees warmer than Catherine Creek. The first Gorge butterflies are usually seen here by mid-February. Bring binoculars to observe bald eagles, river birds and wildflowers on the slopes above the trail to the west. Stay on the trail as the first several miles of trail pass through private lands.

Paul Slichter E-mail