Card Canyon Loop, 3 July, 2022

10 hale and hearty hikers took to the mountains for a pleasant Sunday hike around the Card Canyon Loop.

As opposed to recent years, we hiked counterclockwise, starting up the west canyon and descending through the east canyon.  We generally agreed that this was a good choice as the east canyon has a more gentle grade and is less rocky.  (The west canyon is open to motorcycles which tends to cause more loose rocks on the trail.)

The day ranged from warm to hot in sunny conditions.  The variety of wildflowers was almost overwhelming and the greenery was more lush than we expected.  We enjoyed beautiful views,  interesting geological features, Mexican Walking Fish along with plentiful mosquitoes and biting flies.

Trip Summary:
  • 10 hikers: Dave P., Chris, Susan, Teresa, Dave W., Jane, Laurel, Young, Deanna, Brent (leader)
  • Started hiking at 8:40 am with temperatures in the low 60's
  • Parked at the gate and walked about two-thirds of a mile to the archery range and then took the west canyon trail
  • Lunch and mosquito wrestling from 11:35 to 12:05
  • Completed the hike at 2:50 pm with temperatures at 90 degrees
  • 6.6 miles and 2200 feet of ascent and descent

Thanks to Brent for the narrative, Susan and Jane for photos and Dave W. for photos and GPS data.

Signs at the bottom (left) and top (right) of the Card Canyon West (064) trail
Looking north over the meadow and "Peanut Stand Road" (151) at the top of Card Canyon West

Enjoying lunch at the south end of the meadow

Pebbles along the Peanut Stand Road (151) are concretions formed in an ancient lake

We found paedomorphic tiger salamanders (with gills and legs) in this beaver pond

"Bushwhacking" through bug-infested, waist-high vegetation between Card Canyon West and Card Canyon East

Standing rock in Card Canyon East
This tree has been clawed by a large animal
Descending the Card Canyon East (159) trail

Relaxing in the shade of a large white fir (Abies concolor)  near the bottom of Card Canyon East
Bigleaf balsamroot (Balsamorhiza macrophyllum), low larkspur (Delphinium nuttallianum) and sweetpea (Lathyrus ssp.)

Wood's rose (Rosa woodsii)
Blue columbine (Aquilegia caerulea)

Cow parsnip (Heracleum lanatum)
Western thimbleberry (Rubus parviflorus)

Yellow monkeyflower (Mimulus guttatus)

Our GPS track shows about 6.6 miles and 2200 feet of ascent.
You can look at our route using Google Earth or download our GPS file.