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Iron Bear Creek - Teanaway Ridge

Iron Creek/Bear Creek Trailhead

June 27, 2011

I'm a little behind in my blog posting. I've been enjoying taking pictures but I just can't seem to get them processed and posted. But I'll try.

Teanaway is area on the East side of the Cascades. I've blogged about it several times and it is our favorite place to hike. It is usually sunny and the trails are great. Plus it has lots of unique and abundant wildflowers due to serpentine soil.

There are two approaches. The traditional and most common is up the Teanaway Valley road just outside of Cle Elum. The road follows the Teanaway River up to the headwaters in Esmeralda Basin about 20 miles - 13 miles along dirt road. You can also approach it from Blewett Pass east of the river. This was the way we decided choosing to do the Iron Creek/Bear Creek Trail just off of Mineral Springs on Blewett.

Everything has been late this year due to the heavy snow fall and the cold spring. We done this hike as early as Memorial Day in the past but this year we had to wait until end of June. We called up our friend G and planned an early departure. We left at 8am arriving just after 10:00 and we were on the trail by 10:30.

The trail starts along the creek amidst the tall Ponderosa Pine trees soon opening along open rocky slopes fulled with wonderful rock plants; onion, gilia, penstemon, paintbrush dot the hillside along with showy yellow balsamroot daisies. You can see the ridge top which is our destination. It is a gentle climb up where you have an expansive view across the Teanaway Valley and on to Mt. Rainier.

We stopped for lunch before continuing up. The hill gets steeper climbing up to 5489' high point. I told the guys to go ahead and I would meet them on the way down. I had intended on staying back but I meandered along and before I knew it - I was at the high point. Gorgeous vista across to the Stuart Range. And even better, a couple of precious little high altitude plants including the steer head bleeding heart.

It was a quick trip down the three miles. Unfortunately, we ran into Sunday traffic and spent about 30 minutes in stop and go traffic on the way up to Snoqualmie Pass. Who would have thought - a traffic jam in the wilderness.

Along the trail
Along the Trail

Teanaway Country
Ridge top and rocky garden

Arrow Leaf Balsamroot
Arrow Leaf Balsamroot

Leaves of Balsamroot
I love the fuzzy leaves

Arrow Leaf Balsamroot
The contrast of the gray and yellow blossoms

Scalloped onion
Scalloped Onion

Red Indian Paint Brush
Brilliant red of the Indian Paintbrush

Mt Rainier in distance
Flower garden with Rainier in the distance

Mt Rainier from the Saddle
Mt Rainier from the Saddle

Clouds over Teanaway Country
The clouds created such wonderful patterns on the dark blue skies

Stuart Range From Teanaway Ridge
Craigy Mt Stuart and Enchantments in the distance


Steer's Head Bleeding Heart
Steer's Head Bleeding Heart

Saddle on Teanaway Ridge
On the way back at the saddle - the high point in the distance - Great day!

Comments (1)

Looks like a great hike! I was intrigued by your photo of the Indian Paintbrush - we have a wildflower here by the same name but it looks very different. Cool how that happens from one side of the continent to the other.

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