Jardine Juniper, 18 June, 2023
A group of 11 hikers made the journey to the Jardine Juniper, the oldest known Rocky Mountain juniper. It is estimated to be 1,500 years old, and still has a cluster of live branches near the top.
We encountered numerous hikers and mountain bikers at the trailhead and throughout the day. About 1.4 miles into the hike, a new bridge installed in 2021 allowed hikers and bikers to safely cross a seasonal stream that was flowing at an unusually high rate. Along the trail, we were able to view other peaks, including Mt. Elmer, Beirdneau Peak, and Logan Peak. After reaching and spending some time at the ancient tree, we ate our lunch at a point above the tree overlooking Cottonwood Canyon.
The entire landscape, from lower/mid elevation sagebrush, juniper and aspen communities to higher elevation mixed conifer, had a lush, green appearance due to weeks of spring rain and cool temperatures. Several shrubs and forbs were in bloom, including chokecherry, serviceberry, bitterbrush, snowberry, snowbrush, Oregon grape, arrowleaf and cutleaf balsamroot, low larkspur, death camas, sticky geranium, waterleaf, Solomon’s seal, penstemons, woodland strawberry, woodland star, western clematis, northern sweetvetch, Jacob’s ladder, green gentian, mountain dandelion, western wallflower, meadowrue, heartleaf arnica and leopard lily.
to Chris for the narrative and photos, Jane, Michelle,
Dan, and Dave P. for photos and Ralph for photos and