Last updated: July 4, 2021
Scenic View/Photo Spot, Trailhead
At 6300 feet in elevation, the Castle Crest Wildflower Trail loops around a spring-fed meadow, through a mixed conifer forest, over streams, past a grassy slope, and below Castle Crest Ridge which towers 2,000 feet above the trail on the north and east sides. All this in just 0.41 miles. This trail is not accessible.
Castle Crest Wildflower Trail hosts over 200 species of wildflowers, and is surrounded by trees, shrubs, grasses, and moss. While lingering snow melts, tiny violets, buttercups, and spreading phlox (Phlox diffusa) bloom just above the soil. Shooting stars (Dodecathean alpinum) unfurl from slender stems and American bistorts (Polygonum bistortoides) flash white florets. Different species bloom as summer brings the warmth of drier, hotter days. Two of the most prolific wildflowers are Lewis' monkeyflower (Mimmulus lewsii) and paintbrush (Castillejaspp). Other favorites are the bog orchids such as (Platanthera dilatata var. leucostachys), blue stickweed (Hackelia micrantha), Columbia monkshood (Aconitum columbianum) Pacific bleeding heart (Dicentra formosa), and a variety of asters. White pollen skyrocket (Ipomopsis aggregata ssp. formosissima) is a gorgeous, tubular, orange flower which grows on the western pumice slope.