hiking and trails, nature, photography, travel

Mary’s Peak Hike


Leila, Wes, and River came to Corvallis this weekend! We always love it when they visit. I wish we were closer in distance to one another. Leila’s sweet spirit radiates so much love and I always enjoy spending quality time together. We spent the afternoon on Mary’s Peak, for a (somewhat early) wildflower day hike.

At 4,097 ft, Marys Peak is the highest mountain in the Coast Range of Oregon and is a prominent landmark in the central Willamette Valley. To be truthfully honest, when I first arrived in Corvallis, I didn’t understand the hype and special attention given to the Peak (…please don’t hate me…) I guess I’m one of those ignorant people that need to experience something to appreciate it. And when I finally did visit the Peak after a few months of living here, my whole silly opinion changed.  Now, I am so proud to live near Mary’s Peak, and it even brings me to tears at times.  And so I regress…

firtreepovsylscarysylfeet LeandRiv

The Meadow Edge Trail showcases multiple landscapes, including the old growth noble fir forest,  and the open meadow. The forest ground is covered with wood sorrel and western trillium peeks through all over. Leila pointed out some vanilla leaf, which I still need to look up. She said it gives off a delicious scent when dried.  The leaves were really pretty, and so delicate looking. I really enjoy hiking with Leila, as she grew up in the PNW and learned all about these amazing plants over the years. She is a wealth of information when it comes to fun nature facts.

Beautiful bleeding hearts sprang up every so often. Huckleberry and salmonberry blooms called out in bright pink and gave off a light scent. Once we reached the meadow openings, we saw fawn lilies and lots of lupine, though the lupine is not yet in bloom.

Pinkflowers bleedingheart2 bleedingheart1IMG_0407-33trillium

And some crazy looking moss/lichen fungi type shoots. I will have to ask my lichen-lovin’ friend Elise about these little guys. She’s a pro when it comes to mysterious fungi!   mossysomethinglichenoldgrowth2firneedlestriforce2 oldgrowth1

The cloud cover was amazing and mysterious, creating a very mystical experience throughout the entire hike. Leila’s pup, River, really enjoyed running around the forest and would speed up and down the hillside, full of wild excitement! She also tried a few human maneuvers, like for instance, trying to climb over a fallen tree like the rest of us, rather than crawling under the convenient dog space below. It was quite cute. Once on the summit, we were surrounded by fog and more fog. There is still a small patch of snow shaded by some large firs. River really enjoyed the few moments of winter heaven we experienced.


We will return to the Peak in the next few weeks to see the ongoing springtime transformation! There were so many things that were so close to blooming, I can only imagine what it will look like up there around the first week of June. Everything is this set was captured on my Canon s110 point and shoot.

hiking and trails nature photography travel
  1. M

    Looks lovely! The first lichen is peltigera. The orangish-red things are apothecia (the reproductive structures which produce spores). The second lichen is hypogymnia.

    Thanks for sharing!

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