3,105 forum posts
The July rains really freshened up the country around 8,000 feet. The mixed conifer forest included western white pine, Shasta red fir, white fir, lodgepole pine and some Utah junipers. There were mountain hemlocks near the upper treeline. Many of the trees were 300 years or more in age judging by tree ring counts. The white pines and red firs in particular were large stately trees with diameters in the 3-4 foot range. There height growth was somewhat compromised by the lack of precip during the growing season.
The understory was composed primarily of mat growing junipers, low growing manzanita, currants, gooseberry and snowberry. Wild flowers were still in bloom especially pink and orange Indian paintbrush, 3 spps of lupines, yarrow, mountain mint, mallows, tiny sunflowers, and some small unidentified alpine flowers well above treeline.
I am showing no photos because of the crummy quality of my small camera. The views available in this area only a few miles from the trailhead were very impressive, with sightlines of 50 miles or more above the recent forest fire smoke so common in the valleys. The landscape was combination of Sierran granite boulders with large igneous intrusions of dark colored igneous rocks like those that comprise Ebbett's Peak. The area is readily accessible and the day hikers thinned out fast. I will be going back there soon.