Plans were made early in the week to go to Sauk Mountain. It is known for the spring wildflower blooms and views. Mid-late July is perfect time to visit to catch a gorgeous hill side filled with color. We did *not* expect clouds and heavy mist during a Seafair weekend but it is what we woke up to Sunday morning. Heck, we were going mainly for flowers anyway so what's a little mist?
We left Edmonds late - around 9-ish and arrived at the trailhead around 11am. The turn off is easy to miss coming from the west on Hwy 20. Watch for signs for Rockport State Park and a gravel road to the left. If you reach the park, you've gone too far. Turn around.
The road is a narrow single lane with few pullouts. I was glad I wasn't driving when we got to curves. The clouds were low down and we were driving in fog. We met one or two cars. It was drippy when we arrived a trail head. We pulled on our polypro and rain gear which we brought along.
The flowers started right away. Tiger lily, goat's beard and valerian were the dominant blooms with splashes of purple lupine and penstemon. The plant boys got right to identifying plants. First off was the bracted Lousewort - Pedicularis bracteosa. After a couple of switchbacks, we had groups of rocks to plant hunt around. Here we found heuchera, saxifrage and alpine blue bells. We were constantly surrounded by flowers everywhere we turned.
The switch backs are well done and make it easy to meander up the hill. The mist would open and close giving us glimpses down a couple of switchbacks but never opening up to see any father. We could hear the drone of traffic on Hwy 20 off into the grey.
As we got closer to the top, the clouds closed in and it started drizzling. The trail swings around the side of the mountain and we came across a couple of patches of snow. We never saw any of the small lakes below. Near the top, we decided to stop and have lunch. It was already after 1pm and everyone was hungry. There was no purpose to go any further since it was wet and you couldn't see squat.
The drizzle didn't let up. It was a wet cool 1-hour descent back to the parking lot . My pants were soaked below the knees from the wet foliage. We stripped off the rain gear and threw it in the back of the car. We headed off to Cascade... for milkshakes.
The flowers were wonderful. It was good that it wasn't a hot day because it would have been a very hot climb up the exposed switchbacks. And we have a reason to return since we never saw the view.
Click on through for more pictures.