"Step out and smell the roses…the Rosa nutkana or Nootka roses, that is! In Peter Stekel’s Best Wildflower Hikes Western Washington, you’ll find trails that will lead you to the Rosa nutkana, a wild rose native to Western North America, as well as many other wildflowers. The book shares 40+ hikes in 9 Western Washington regions that showcase the diverse blooms found throughout the year. A handy Trail Finder lists the best wildflower hikes with views, lakes, waterfalls, in addition to those for parents with children, history lovers, and budding geologists. Each hike has a map, quick summary, and logistics like distance, difficulty, time, trail surface, best season to view the wildflowers, permits required, and available services nearby. A detailed description of the hike follows with photos and other nearby hiking options. The Best Wildflower Hikes Western Washington is your guide to exploring the blossom beauty of the Evergreen State."
"Best Wildflower Hikes Western Washington by Peter Stekel is a good choice for the Seattle area native plant fancier. It provides a list of favorite hikes, many in or near our three national parks. Others are for easy, lowland hiking, including trails on the San Juan Islands. Each will take you past areas where wildflowers are prominent in season, or to especially good stands of native trees. A thorough introduction provides guidance on essential things to bring, including equipment such as hiking poles. Other sections help you choose the best trails for children and/or dogs, and even give advice on trail etiquette.
The tone here is more casual than in plant guidebooks. In a description of the hike to Panorama Point in Mount Rainier National Park, the author encourages that “a further 0.2 mile of huffing and puffing, and you’ll be rewarded with dizzying views down in the valley of the Nisqually Glacier.” Elsewhere, he is quite political: “Are you tired of all these fees? Then, do something about it!”
There is enthusiasm in Stekel’s writing and he is especially keen on the Columbia River Gorge. “If your timing is right, your eyes will be overwhelmed by acres and acres of yellows, blues, reds, and greens—that, and awe-inspiring views of the mighty ‘River of the West’ making its way to the sea.”
Excerpted from the Summer 2019 Arboretum Bulletin.
—Brian Thompson, Arboretum Bulletin