Special to The Trinity Journal
If you love wildflowers like I do then now is the time to be out on the Weaver Basin Trials. There are flowers galore and such a variety that even the most unobservant person would notice.
During wildflower season my already slow pace slows down even further to the point that onlookers would probably have a hard time seeing that I am moving. Some of the flowers are so tiny that I have to get my nose down in the dirt to get close enough to see them. And once I’m down there it’s hard to get motivated to get back up. The view at ground level is wonderful. Why not stay and enjoy for a while? Some might call this laying in the middle of the trail, but I call it wildflower-spotting. It could be considered a sport. If you look at it from that perspective, then my lounging and lolling could be called athletic. So there.
If you head out now you will catch the very last of the fawn lilies, Indian warrior, and scarlet fritillaries. The pussy ears and buttercups are going wild (wow!) and the lovely lupine, larkspur and strawflower are just starting to appear. Late last month I saw my first orchid of the season.
My favorite sections of the WBT for wildflower-spotting are the McKenzie Gulch Loop and the Garden Gulch Loop. They are both “lollipop” trails; you hike on the trail for a while and then the loop happens and then you hike back on the original stretch of trail. Both trails take about 1.5-2 hours under normal circumstances but if you’re in wildflower-spotting mode and need to lie on the ground staring at flowers for a while then it might take three or more hours.
If you are going: Wear long pants and plan to stay on the trail because the poison oak is prolific in places. McKenzie Gulch trailhead is a quarter mile up Weaver Bally Road and Garden Gulch trailhead is less than a mile further. For Garden Gulch Trail take the trail on the opposite side of the road from the trailhead kiosk. The kiosk has a nice map.