Blythe Lake and Coulee Trail

McDonald, Washington

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Spring in the Columbia Basin is short and intense. The air is sweet with the smell of sage and flowers are popping up everywhere. In May, the hills are still fresh and green and dotted with soft, colorful cushions of spreading phlox and balsamroot. Blythe Lake is a gem in May and is just one of several lakes located in the refuge. The refuge is ideal for hikers of all abilities, especially for those with a variety of interests (such as geology, natural history, photography, and birding). You can wander as little or as far as you like. The terrain is open, with columns of basalt towering over sagebrush–steppes and wetlands. Blythe Lake is ideal for birding enthusiasts; sandhill cranes can be seen during spring migrations. In spring, birds and small mammals are busy, and every shrub seems to hold a red-winged blackbird.
Best Wildflower Hikes Washington

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Best Wildflower Hikes Washington

by Art Kruckeberg with Karen Sykes & Craig Romano (The Mountaineers Books)

Spring in the Columbia Basin is short and intense. The air is sweet with the smell of sage and flowers are popping up everywhere. In May, the hills are still fresh and green and dotted with soft, colorful cushions of spreading phlox and balsamroot. Blythe Lake is a gem in May and is just one of several lakes located in the refuge. The refuge is ideal for hikers of all abilities, especially for those with a variety of interests (such as geology, natural history, photography, and birding).

You can wander as little or as far as you like. The terrain is open, with columns of basalt towering over sagebrush–steppes and wetlands. Blythe Lake is ideal for birding enthusiasts; sandhill cranes can be seen during spring migrations. In spring, birds and small mammals are busy, and every shrub seems to hold a red-winged blackbird.

© 2004 Art Kruckeberg with Karen Sykes & Craig Romano/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: McDonald
Distance: 5
Elevation Gain: 350 feet
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Easy to Moderate
Season: Hikable: April through October, Best flowers: May
Local Contacts: Columbia National Wildlife Refuge
Local Maps: USGS O’Sullivan Dam
Driving Directions: Directions to Blythe Lake and Coulee Trail

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Apr 2018