Angel Rocks Evening Storms and Flowers

Angel Rocks Evening Storms and Flowers

I have two trip reports from this weekend, so I’ll try to keep these short and sweet. I’m still sharing a lot of photos, but don’t worry—I’ll only share a small selection of the over 750 photos I took. Most of them are wildflower ID photos for my guide, anyway.

My first trip was to Angel Rocks (trail guide) on Friday afternoon. The parking lot was fairly empty for what seemed like a beautiful spring/summer afternoon. When I started on the trail, I counted about 15 cars. I’m still tallying and identifying some wildflowers, but my count was at least 14 species blooming, with possibly a few additional similar species in the mix.

I did the entire loop, with a bit of extra up the trail that heads toward Chena Hot Springs, and the whole trail was dry. The mosquitoes were shockingly unnoticeable most of the way for the time of year.

Right after I stepped off the boardwalk, about a mile in, thunder rumbled in the distance, and it started drizzling. The drizzle turned to rain while I was still in the trees. A few more rumbles of thunder kept me down in the valley to wait for a bit before continuing out into the open.

Once out of the trees, I was greeted with some frigid arnica (Arnica griscomii ssp. frigida) and prickly saxifrage (Saxifraga tricuspidata). I’m impressed with the spots’ coloration on the prickly saxifrage; it might be one of my new favorite flowers.

frigid arnica (Arnica griscomii ssp. frigida)
prickly saxifrage (Saxifraga tricuspidata)
One more because they’re so pretty
Huecos in the granite

Once I was up wandering the tors, the storm had almost completely left the area. I could see there was some heavy rain to the north and west near Chena Dome and Angel Creek. The Sun came out behind me to light up the hillside and the tors and the juxtaposition with the dark clouds and rain made for some of the best lighting I’ve ever seen up here!

View of one of the enormous granite tors at Angel Rocks.
Close-up of the granite tower
Swainson’s thrush
The flowers of Draba nivalis, commonly known as snow whitlowgrass, growing in cracks in the granite
A yellow flower of Potentilla arenosa, commonly known as bluff cinquefoil, growing at the base of the rocks on small ledges.
Tell me how you really feel about the loop
Looking over the green Chena River Valley
Another granite tower on the way down the back side of the trail
Beaver pond on the lower trail
North Fork of the Chena River

After the storm, I never encountered another person, and when I returned, there was only one other car in the parking lot. This might have been the prettiest spring and summer trip I’ve ever had here. I also identified three flowers I don’t yet have in my guide. They should be published soon!



See all the photos from the day here: Gallery – May 31, 2024

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