Intermountain Region

You Are There! Hike the Highline Trail

Mountain Meadows

Square Top and meadows.
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.

Mountain Meadows Photo Gallery

Aconitum columbianum
Aconitum columbianum. Photo by Teresa Prendusi.

Zygadenus elegans
Allium brevistylum. Photo by Sherel Goodrich.

Camassia quamash ssp. quamash
Camassia quamash ssp. quamash. Photo by Jenny Moore.

Carex raynoldsii
Carex raynoldsii. Photo by Sherel Goodrich.

Dodecatheon pulchellum
Dodecatheon pulchellum. Photo by Charmaine Delmatier.

Frasera speciosa
Frasera speciosa. Photo by Charmaine Delmatier.

Gentiana calycosa
Gentiana calycosa. Photo by Charmaine Delmatier.

Mertensia ciliata
Mertensia ciliata var. ciliata. Photo by Charmaine Delmatier.

Mimulus guttatus
Mimulus guttatus. Photo by Teresa Prendusi.

Mimulus lewisii
Mimulus lewisii. Photo by Wayne Padgett.

Pedicularis groenlandica
Pedicularis groenlandica. Photo by Teresa Prendusi.

Polemonium occidentale
Polemonium occidentale. Photo by Teresa Prendusi.

Polygonum bistortoides
Polygonum bistortoides. Photo by Teresa Prendusi.

Viola nuttallii
Viola nuttallii. Photo by Teresa Prendusi.

Zygadenus elegans
Zygadenus elegans. Photo by Teresa Prendusi.

Subalpine Coniferous Forest…

…Highline Trail Trailhead