Greg and I headed out to hike the old Weldon Wagon Road on Sunday. The weather didn’t cooperate too well (earlier in the week the forecast had said mostly clear but it turned out to be completely overcast). But neither of us had done this hike before so I was excited to do a new-to-me trail. And I got to see my favorite wildflowers: balsamroot!
The trail starts out on an old road through the forest. (Along this stretch of road we passed three men in military camo and carrying guns. They were on their way out. Very creepy.)
We immediately started seeing wildflowers, including fairy slippers and great hound’s tongue.
The trail leaves the forest and enters an area of meadows and oaks. Although the trees hadn’t leafed out yet the ground was carpeted in beautiful new spring grass. So green!
We started getting some nice views. Here is the White Salmon River valley:
Mt. Hood is out there behind the clouds somewhere:
The trail enters an area known as the White Salmon Oak Natural Resources Conservation Area. We could see hundreds of leafless oak trees all over the hillsides.
We could see across the valley to the huge sloping meadow of balsamroot before we started walking through it. A little less than half were in bloom. It’s just getting started and the next two weekends it should be great.
Here’s a shot looking back across the meadows.
We also saw some coralroot:
We saw a few other hikers out there, and a horseback rider passed us at one point:
The trail leaves the meadow and enters forest. It’s private property all around there so there are signs everywhere.
The last stretch of trail is a wide grassy path along an abandoned Christmas tree farm.
It ends at Sanborn Road where there is a sign with history of the old road and some rusty old farm equipment.
Then we turned around and headed back the way we came. I’d definitely hike this trail again, but only a clear day so I could get the full views. Great little hike!