Goat Rocks Gardens
Time: I simply do not have it right now. I’d love to write a thoughtful, intelligent post about the biogeography of the Washington Cascades, but that is not going to happen. So please enjoy some alpine gardens from the Goat Rocks Wilderness.
The Goat Rocks are a deeply eroded old volcano, essentially what Mt. Rainier or Mt. Hood will become after a few hundred thousand years of dissection by the elements. The rich volcanic soils, augmented by periodic dustings of ash from neighboring volcanoes, notably St. Helens, is conducive to very lush plant growth, and the wildflowers of the Goat Rocks are stunning. (The area has some striking resemblances to the San Juan Range in Colorado, which has very similar, albeit larger, geology.)
Summer had not yet fully come on for my first visit in July. The flowers were just getting underway, but were already quite impressive. A few weeks later, the lupine on the drier east side were certainly thriving.
I still haven’t fallen in love with the Washington Cascades, but the flowers and views (when you can get them) are fantastic!