It’s Camas time

Camas time is very short, so if you want to see them, you better hurry. I am of course talking about one of our floral treasures up here in the Sierras, the Camas Lily. A few weeks ago I recommended a hike at Sagehen Creek as one of the early hikes possible before the snow melts up here on the summit. Last weekend I took my advice and drove over to Highway 89 and hiked out the creek trail to Sagehen Meadow. While the flowers all along the trail are great, it is the fields of Camas Lily that bloom this time of the year that truly make this hike a must do.

This year is spectacular for the Camas and one of the best I’ve seen in the years I’ve been going out there. Unfortunately, the bloom time is very short. The Camas only last about a week, so if you want to catch the lilies, you will have to get out to Sagehen in the next week. If you are going, be forewarned that this is a very popular hike this time of the year. On the weekend the small parking lot at the trail head fills up early. There is additional parking about fifty yards north of the trail head on the west side of 89. Also there is a lot of water rushing down the creek this year and if you want to get over to the main meadow down by Prosser reservoir, you are going to have to get your feet wet. When I waded across last weekend the water was about calf high, and very cold. The main meadow was spectacular and worth the wade for me, but if you are not so adventurous there are smaller blooms of Camas on the north side of the creek that don’t require a dip. The trail is very dog friendly so feel free to bring your pooch, and if you don’t have one, be prepared to see a lot of them out there.

Did I mention that time is short for the Camas. If you really want to see them out at Sagehen, you really have to go this week. However, we are lucky up here on the summit because we do get our own bloom of Camas Lilies some years in Van Norden Meadow if you miss the one at Sagehen. The meadow is still covered with snow right now, but we may be lucky and see a Camas bloom sometime in July, when the snow is finally gone. I’ll be checking the meadow as soon as the road isn’t too muddy and let you know if I see any.

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