Castle Crest Wildflower Trail
ElevationAscent: 37' 11 m
Descent: -35' -11 m
High: 6,427' 1,959 m
Low: 6,393' 1,948 m
GradeAvg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 5% (3°)
Popular hikes nearby
Crater Peak Trail
2.8 mi 4.5 km • Point to Point • 729 ft Ascent 222.14 m Ascent
Sun Notch Trail
0.5 mi 0.8 km • Point to Point • 129 ft Ascent 39.37 m Ascent
Cliff Lake: Eastern Approach
11.5 mi 18.6 km • Out and Back • 1,027 ft Ascent 313.1 m Ascent
Sky Lakes Basin Loop
16.9 mi 27.1 km • Loop • 2,238 ft Ascent 682.12 m Ascent
Rogue Wolf Loop
28.7 mi 46.1 km • Loop • 4,123 ft Ascent 1256.59 m Ascent
Devils Peak Loop Hike
14.0 mi 22.5 km • Loop • 2,984 ft Ascent 909.45 m Ascent
Navigate on-trail with our free app
“Small brook, lush vegetation, spectacular blooms of wildflowers in summer months”— Brian Smith
Family Friendly This is a nice, easy loop with the opportunity to teach youngsters a thing or two about wildflowers!
In summer, a multitude of flowering plants, suited to moist soils and plenty of sunlight, flourish in the meadow. While lingering snowbanks melt, tiny violets and buttercups bloom, shooting stars unfurl pink darts, and bistorts display white florets. Verdant mosses claim the wet meadow center. Different species come into bloom throughout the season to change the meadows complexion.
In average winters, 50 feet of snow falls on Castle Crests slopes. Seeds, roots, and runners of a host of plants lie dormant beneath the snowpack. As spring arrives in June, new shoots push upward and willow branches sprout fresh leaves.
Through plant succession the meadow community is constantly changing as plants compete for sunlight and compete for sunlight and water. Willows encroach upon the meadow herbs. Red fir-mountain hemlock forest gradually replaces the willows. The forest can regenerate itself indefinitely under present climatic conditions. For now, Castle Crest Spring continues to bathe the roots of the pink monkeyflowers and other colorful mountain wildflowers.
Look for these wildflowers: Gorman buttercup (Ranunculus gormanii), Shooting stars (Dodecatheon alpinum), American Bistort (Polygonum bistortoides), Pacific red elder (Sambucuc racemosa var. microbotrys), Scarlet paintbrush (Castilleja miniata), Eastwood willow (Salix eastwoodiae), Columbia monkshood (Aconitum columbainum), Pacific bleedingheart (Dicentra formosa), Arrowleaf groundsel (Senecio triangularis), Mountain Violet (Viola purpurea, var. venosa), Blue stickseed (Hackelia micrantaha), Lewis monkeyflower (Mimulus lewisii), Common pearl-everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea)
Hiked this trail?
We need help with the following missing trail information:
Photos, ADA Accessible, Need to Know