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Winnemucca Lake Hike – Alpine Lake and Widflowers

In our continuing quest to fulfill my nature study goals for 2013, we took another new hike close to home. This particular hike has been on my list of things to do for a few years. My sister called me one day all excited about Winnemucca Lake and the number of wildflowers to be seen along the trail. I just have never been able to fit it in during July but my husband and I found ourselves without anything to do one day and so we hopped in the car and within an hour were standing at the trailhead. (Woods, Round Top, and Winnemucca Lakes Trail)

The first part of the trail winds along Woods Creek, in and out of the sunshine through the tall conifers. The trail is easy going and we enjoyed listening to the birds and glimpsing the creek but don’t stop too long to admire the flowers or the mosquitoes get you.

After a mile or so, the terrain opens up and we were delighted to see the hills covered in wildflowers.

We met two fellow hikers that were on a wildflower quest and they had a wildflower guide to identify the many, many flowers that were visible from the trail. I knew quite a few of them but there were some new ones.

So many colors painted the landscape…it wasn’t too hot and the breezes were delightful which was a relief from the 100 degree weather back at our house.

This was one of my favorite flowers from the day, Meadow Penstemon. I love finding “new to me” flowers along a trail. I thought it was a variety of penstemon but the color was so much more purple than I had seen before. I looked it up in my field guide when I got home and it was indeed a penstemon.

I have only seen this flower in Yosemite National Park so it was a delight to see it along this trail. We knew it as Mountain Lungwort but it is also called Mountain Bluebell. Pretty!

The trail climbs up big granite slabs and eventually you reach the lake. This is a panorama view of the terrain and wildflowers once you arrive. There were quite a few people up at the lake enjoying the view, fishing, and swimming too.

We sat on a big rock and ate our lunch, watching the clouds blow in and we wondered if there would be some thunderstorms later in the afternoon. This was the view behind where we were sitting…yes, there were that many flowers in bloom!

For some reason I didn’t take a very good photo of the lake but this one you can see the small waterfall and the snow still left around the edges. There was a big patch near the trail and there were people throwing snowballs at each other. It actually was quite warm up at the lake so I doubt the snow will be around much longer.

Hiking back down we took a side trail to see the water cascading down the rocks…just the sound of the water made it so peaceful.

This is the view as you hike down the trail towards the trailhead. The climb is gradual but you do hike up in elevation which at around 9,000 feet. Your body tells you to slow down and we just took it easy since we aren’t used to that altitude. I didn’t hurry anyway because I was stopping to take photos quite a bit.

What a great hike and a great day! It is on our list of July hikes from now on because it was truly enjoyable.

So that completes new hike #3 for us….working on those nature study goals has really encouraged us this year.

5 thoughts on “Winnemucca Lake Hike – Alpine Lake and Widflowers

  1. What a beautiful landscape – well worth the drive to see it! We also have some trails within about an hour’s trek that I’ve been meaning to visit, but haven’t. You’ve put some wheels in motion in my mind to get moving. Thank you!

  2. Beautiful! (But sad to hear there are mosquitoes even out there!)

  3. Barb, your post is the 3rd blogpost I read about a family visiting a lake and getting eaten by pesky mosquitoes.

    I now think lakes and mosquitoes have signed a contract; the lake nurses the mosquito larvae and the mosquitoes keep polluting humans away. What do you think of my latest conspiracy theory? 🙂

    Wonderful photos. You are living nearby beautiful places.

  4. Love this! Thanks for your wonderful posts.

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