Bunchgrass Creek, 25 July 2021
Twelve people took a chance to hike on mostly unmaintained paths: Teresa, Dan, Susan H, Laurel, Brent, Susan B, Cameron, April, Dave W, Jane, Ludger, and Dave P (leader). The shuttle cars went to the Tony Grove backcountry lot and one carried that group back to join the others at the gravel pit starting point. From there we headed up the ridge between Bunchgrass Creek and the Right Fork Tony Grove Creek.
The weather was hot and smoky from fires in Oregon and California, which made distant mountains into grey silhouettes. The route was thigh-high in coneflowers, sagebrush, buckbrush, etc. but easy to follow in part because horses have been using it. Many of the flowers were fading, but butterflies were everywhere.
We followed the route down off the ridge to join a slightly more well-defined cow-path in Bunchgrass Creek. We hiked up through forest and over end (terminal) moraines from former glaciers. We hoped to see the pond above the moraines, but unlike our previous trips, the pond was now dry. Farther up there was water in the creek. We observed “fucoids” (fossil worm tracks) in Swan Peak quartzite boulders.
We reached the former trail to White Pine Lake and stopped for lunch. After lunch we followed the former trail south to join the current White Pine trail and on down to the backcountry parking lot.
Thanks to Dave P. for the narrative and photos, Dan for photos, and Dave W. for photos and GPS data.