You Are There! Hike the Highline Trail
Square Top and meadows. Photo by Charmaine Delmatier.
At the valley floor of 8,000 feet, around the Green River Lakes' edge and in nearby adjacent green meadows, the bottomlands are filled with delicate wildflowers including yellow buttercups, yellow and purple violets, several species of gentians ranging from deep blue to lilac, and even the fragile white hooded ladies’-tresses orchid (Spiranthes romanzoffiana). Most often, these wildflowers are obscured by a diversity of green sedges and rushes. However, if we walk slowly and are careful not to injure the surrounding plants and vegetation, we might spot some of these extraordinary wildflowers, including the vivid fuschia-colored wild onion (Allium brevistylum).
Interspersed within these mountain meadows are small meandering streams, often lined with mountain bluebell (Mertensia ciliata var. ciliata), vibrant-pink monkey flower (Mimulus lewisii), common yellow monkey flower (Mimulus gutattus), and narrow-leaf paintbrush (Castilleja angustifolia). If we are lucky, we might be able to find small camas (Camassia quamash) or elegant camas (Zygadenus elegans). At early evening, one of the more exciting outdoor experiences is to witness a sighting of a moose feeding on willows sporadically abundant along both lakes and adjacent meadows.
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