Mount Rainer's renowned wildflowers bloom for a limited amount of time every year. The "peak" bloom for wildflowers is heavily dependent on weather and precipitation patterns, so accurate predictions are difficult. In most years, many flowers will be blooming by mid-July, and by the first of August the meadows should be very impressive. Frost can occur by late August, but even after light frosts the meadows continue to be very beautiful, thanks to changing leaf colors and seed pod development that take the place of colorful blossoms.
For a better idea of what the wildflowers are doing this year, please see the Currently Blooming section below, which summarizes what's blooming where.
NPS/Carolyn Loren Photo
Reports say that wildflower conditions along Upper Kautz trail are already looking great with numerous flowers starting to bloom. However, this lovely patch of Bunchberry/Dwarf Dogwood (Cornus canadensis) was photographed near the start of the trail by Kautz bridge. The distinctive four white "petals" of Bunchberry are actually bracts, or modified leaves, that protect the flower. The actual flowers are very small and greenish-white.