North Cascades Trip: Grasshopper Pass

This is the second installment of my trip to the North Cascades and Pasayten Wilderness in July. For the first part, see this post. I took a lot of photos of this incredible area, so let's jump right to them without too much talk. I'll just say that large portions of this area burned in a forest fire 11 or 12 years ago. You can still see many burned trees, but the area has recovered amazingly well.

Most of the photos in this post don't show the burned areas, but here's an example.

 Larches dominate most of the upper slopes. At these altitudes (around 6500') these are most likely Larix lyalli, though they're quite large specimens.

This hike is absolutely full of gorgeous vistas.

Likely an Eriogonum, but I'm not sure which one.

Possibly Penstemon davidsonii, but it could be one of the other species.

Whichever species, this was an impressive show!

This is most likely either Phlox diffusa or Phlox hoodii.

Phyllodoce empetriformis.

Whole meadows of it!

Veronica cusickii

Cassiope mertensiana

More beautiful larches. This grove must be amazing in the fall.

A mini meadow of Antennaria lanata.

Perilous snow crossing!

Polemonium pulcherrimum

Anemone drummondii

Phacelia sericea (blue-violet) and what I think is Saxifraga tolmiei (white).

Close-up of Phacelia sericea

The rock face where the phacelia is growing. Amazing where plants will grow.

Veronica cusickii, phlox, lewisia, and more!

I never expected to find Polysticum munitum (western sword fern) here, much less growing out of a rock crevice.

I think this is Saxifraga mertensiana.

Alpine garden

Happy patch of Lewisia columbiana.

Vista of mountains in the distance.

The sharp point on the left I think is Tower Mountain. On the right is Azurite Peak.

Lupine meadow, with paintbrush scattered throughout.

So much lichen!

Another view of those distant peaks with a mix of living and dead trees in the foreground. It's amazing how fires can leave living trees right next to burnt ones.

I think this is Penstemon procerus.

Rhododendron albiflorum

And a close-up of the rhododendron.

In the next part of this series, I'll share photos of the trail to Harts Pass.


  1. Mother Nature is a great designer. I wish she was better with irrigation, though.

    1. Yes, I wish she'd turn the irrigation back on.

  2. As always, I marvel at you ability to identify the plants around you. I have a (native) pentstemon that blooms in this vibrant violet color in early spring, but it's probably a different variety. I try to imagine this panoramic view when its blanketed in snow and admire the resiliency of the plants growing in such high elevation.

    1. It would be lovely covered in snow, but much harder to hike in!


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