Spring Hiking Conditions at Paradise Meadows

This weekend Jocie and I decided to venture into the snow and look for early blooming plants at Paradise Meadows in Strathcona Provincial Park. This section of the park is easily accessible once the snow pack melts and the boardwalk and trail is clear—it’s a great place to see some of the beautiful flowers that make the meadows special.

Paradise Meadows Pond
Still plenty of snow around the Paradise Meadows loop trails.

We were glad we wore rubber boots. There was still plenty of snow in places around the meadow loops (although the boardwalk was bare in places as well) and in some places away from the Centennial Loop, the trail was a little hard to find. Still a bit early for running shoes, waterproof foot ware of some sort is recommended for a few weeks yet.

Hillside Seep
Snow on south-east facing slopes heats up and melts quickly, creating a wet seep that is ideal for sub-alpine wildflowers.

The melt is in full swing and large patches of sunny south or east facing slopes were bare of snow. Water was running everywhere and the creeks were full.

Alpine White Marsh-marigold (Caltha leptosepala)
Alpine White Marsh-marigold (Caltha leptosepala) often blooms as the snow melts.
It is plentiful on the meadows right now.

There’s not a lot of variety out yet and in our rounds we found mostly alpine white marsh-marigold (Caltha leptosepala) and a few early Jeffrey’s shootingstar (Dodecatheon jeffreyi) just coming into flower. Both of these species typically bloom early with the snow melt.

Jeffrey's Shootingstar (Dodecatheon jeffreyi)
Jeffrey’s Shootingstar (Dodecatheon jeffreyi) is starting to come into bloom up at Paradise Meadows as well.

We’ve got a little longer to wait until the first bloom really kicks in, but it looks like it might be a good year.