Andy G. on Zoa Peak:
“A lovely mid-week excursion on a fine trail, this hike was nicer than I remembered. Bob and Tec joined me to meander our way up to the summit at a leisurely pace. As we got back to the car we decided to head in to Falls Lake to check it out – pleasant enough though very windy, it added less than half an hour to our trip. We were finished within 5 hours.
The trail was in good condition, though still a little wet at higher elevations where some snow remains. In places the trail is a small running stream, but perfectly manageable with hiking boots. There are a couple of excellent rocks for lunch spots with a great view of Alpaca, Vicuna and Guanaco.
Thankfully there were far fewer bugs than on my last visit a couple of years ago – I got only 3 bites compared with 120 last time! It was quite breezy, which seemed to keep them at bay.
Plenty of flowers out, but I think the best is yet to come. Glacier lilies are probably at peak bloom near the summit (a bit beyond the obvious viewpoint); they’re well past it on the open southerly slopes. Other flowers include (deep breath!): paintbrush, lupine, orange agoseris, valerian, arnica (at least 2 species), columbine, wild strawberry, buttercups, cinquefoil, thistle, marsh marigolds, globeflower, western anemone, rosy twistedstalk, queen’s cup, green bog orchid, phlox, spring beauty, meadowrue, larkspur and a columbia lily or two.
No animal sightings but we did find what we thought was mountain goat wool snagged on the heather, and saw a foot hoof-prints in the mud. The wool was incredibly soft and fine.
Thanks to Bob and Tec for a great day out. Photos from Bob and myself are up on Flickr.”