Morris Peak

24 Apr 2018 - by Debbie Bulger (view roster page)

I've had my eye on this easy peak since I walked by it on the Pacific Crest Trail in 1992 on my way to climb Owens Peak. This year Richard Stover and I picked the exact correct time for this climb starting from Walker Pass on Hwy. 178. To say the coreopsis was in bloom is an understatement.

RichardOnTrail

Richard hiking through a sea of yellow flowers. You can see Hwy. 178 (Walker Pass) on the left margin of this photo.

CU_Flowers

Coreopsis and Tidy tips.

The entire hillside was in bloom. The whole world seemed a riot of yellow with a few splotches of white and blue here and there. As we hiked up the hill we waded through a sea of blossoms, inhaled their heady perfume, and experienced Nature at its showiest. After climbing 1000 feet up from the pass, the trail levels off and skirts the hills as one heads north. We weren't the only ones on the trail. We met several different lizards as well as humans hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.

The night before at the nearby campground, we had met several PCT through hikers, each of whom had an interesting tale to tell about their personal journey and decision to hike this classic route. Most had already logged more than 600 miles.

We left the Pacific Crest Trail at a saddle about four miles from the pass, then followed a well-routed use trail the remaining half a mile to the summit where we found three bench marks from 1926.

SummitBlock

Debbie at the base of the summit block.

From the summit we could see both the desert to the east and the southern Sierra to the north.

On the return we stopped to examine the interesting gouty oak galls on trees lining the trail. These knobby galls are caused by the cynipid gall wasp and were new to us.

GoutyOakGalls

Gouty oak galls are caused by the cynipid gall wasp

Nine miles was perhaps a little far for me to hike with a foot not yet recovered from plantar fasciitis. Returning through the flower fields after reaching the summit, I was buoyed by the glorious golden display which helped take my mind off my tender foot.


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