Horse Lake Wildflower Run

Wenatchee Wildflowers

Many Westsiders make an annual pilgrimage to the Eastern Cascade foothills in the spring to see the beautiful wildflowers and lush green hills. Typically, the flower show peaks in early to mid May, but warm and dry conditions have brought the flowers out early this year. Kelly and I went over on a beautiful sunny day to go for a run in the Horse Lake Reserve, which is just above Wenatchee.

Our friends Kayleigh and Brian met us and joined for much of the run. They live less than 10 minutes from these trails. At this time of year, I am a bit jealous of Wenatchee’s trails! In the summer they can become hot and dusty, but in the spring they are spectacular!

Lupines in the morning.

The trails are multi use for hikers, equestrians, and bikers. They are graded for bikers, being very low angle with nice switchbacks. This makes even the uphill grades “totally runnable”.

Elite “Kardio Kayleigh” jogging the slight uphills for the camera (although we walked most of them).

While Kelly said there was certainly fewer flowers than the year before, there were still sections that had abundant balsamroots and lupines. However, others seemed already dried out.

Kelly running through one of the nicer sections!
The Columbia River framed through a beautiful Ponderosa skeleton.

Around 3,000 ft, we crossed a ridge with a great cool breeze and got a stunning view of Glacier Peak, Clark, and Luahna, and the snow covered Enchantments! I was totally not expecting such good views on this run, so I was stoked. Even Kelly, who had done this run last year, had not seen this view previously because it was cloudy the other time she was here.

Great view of the ‘Chanters!

We took a break to eat some snacks and enjoy the great view.

Me and Kelly.
Elite Eastsiders Kayleigh and Brian.
Scenic spot!

Further on, Kayleigh and Brian split off to head down while Kelly and I continued on the flowy, smooth trails to get some more miles. There were many people out working on the trails, which only open on April 1 each year (they are closed for wildlife in the winter). The investment in the recreation infrastructure shows with such great trails!

Kelly with Glacier Peak behind.
An old rusty relic of some sort.

On the back end of our loop, we ran into a ton of Chinese speaking hikers. I guess we found the trail that is popular on WeChat!

More lovely lupines.
Cool sandstone formations eroded by a creek.
This section probably had the best flowers!

We enjoyed a super long, gradual descent back to our car. The trail was already getting dusty, which isn’t a good sign for mid-late April!

Down and out!

Running at Horse Lake Reserve was a really fun change of pace and scenery from ski season! Although the wildflowers were not as impressive as other years, I still appreciated the flowy trails, green hills, and great views. In many ways, Wenatchee is the Issaquah of the Eastside. At this time of year, I have to say they have the more impressive trails!

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