Along the Stafford Creek trail>

Stafford Creek lies in the "rain shadow" east of the main series Cascade Mountains -- colder in the winter, hotter and drier in the summer. I think of it as straddling the imaginary line that divides the wet western side of Washington state from the dry eastern side. Where the Stafford Creek trail takes you up the slopes away from the creek, it is clear that this forest is not the same kind of lush area that you will find just a few miles to the west. The trees are sparse, the ground is stony, almost no grasses — the plants are various kinds of wildflowers. Maybe it should not be too surprising that with so many wildflowers, some are unique to this area.

Stafford trail