Fall Colors Walks Bring New Faces to Snow Mountain Ranch

On a crisp and sunny Saturday, dozens of first-time visitors to Snow Mountain Ranch experienced the land’s diverse wildlife and walking opportunities. As part of our Fall Colors Walks event, participants chose between a two-mile creek-side stroll, a brisk hike up to the Cowiche Mountain summit, and everything in between. A few highlights:

Terri Knoke, of the Washington Native Plant Society, led a group on an educational native plant tour of the ranch. She showed off the diversity of plant life on display on the ranch’s many landcover types. Traveling along the riparian zone to grasslands to the sun-soaked base of Cowiche Mountain, walkers learned that plants hold beauty and intelligence far beyond their colorful flowers.

Other groups – hiking the Riparian, Bench Loop, and Wildflower trails – got the chance to ask questions and swap stories while learning about the history of the ranch and its restoration successes. One of the best questions of the day, from a seven-year old, was: “Do yellow jackets do anything good?” To which the answer is, despite all their stinging and lunch stealing, yes!

The most gung-ho group of the day (below) hiked the 6.5-mile loop up to the top of the mountain, where they were greeted by a quiet resting place and views of both Mount Rainier and Mount Adams.

If you didn’t get a chance to join us on Saturday, we hope you get out and enjoy the colors of fall on your own. The clear days and flame-colored leaves won’t be around long!



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