Searching for the golden larch tree high in the Northwest

Southwest Life

Searching for the golden larch tree high in the Northwest

Discovering the wonders of a deciduous conifer
Subalpine larch trees change color in a view from Kangaroo Pass in Washington state in 2014. Larch trees are a deciduous conifer. In the fall, their soft needles turn golden and are shed.
There are numerous recreation spots near Leavenworth, Wash., including camping and hiking along Icicle Creek, just outside of town. Also, the wheelchair-accessible 1-mile Icicle Creek Nature Trail is a great spot to view wildlife or take a leisurely stroll.
Western larch trees are seen in 2016 along Interstate 90 in western Montana, near the Dena Mora Rest Area about 5 miles east of Lookout Pass at the Montana-Idaho border.
If you go

Best drive from Seattle to view western larch: Interstate 90 east to State Highway 970 to U.S. 97 and back west on U.S. Highway 2.Best drive for alpine larch: State Highway 20 through North Cascades National Park and over Washington Pass.Hikes: Details on the Washington Trails Association website – www.wta.org. Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest: www.fs.usda.gov/okawen.North Cascades National Park: www.nps.gov/noca/index.htm.

Searching for the golden larch tree high in the Northwest

Subalpine larch trees change color in a view from Kangaroo Pass in Washington state in 2014. Larch trees are a deciduous conifer. In the fall, their soft needles turn golden and are shed.
There are numerous recreation spots near Leavenworth, Wash., including camping and hiking along Icicle Creek, just outside of town. Also, the wheelchair-accessible 1-mile Icicle Creek Nature Trail is a great spot to view wildlife or take a leisurely stroll.
Western larch trees are seen in 2016 along Interstate 90 in western Montana, near the Dena Mora Rest Area about 5 miles east of Lookout Pass at the Montana-Idaho border.

Searching for the golden larch tree high in the Northwest

Amy McMillin stops to feel the incredibly soft needles of a larch tree along the Crater Lakes trail in north-central Washington in October 2017. The western larch grow up to nearly 200 feet in height; the alpine larch averages 40 to 50 feet tall.

Searching for the golden larch tree high in the Northwest

Larch trees dot the mountainsides along the Crater Lakes trail off State Highway 153 west of Methow, Wash., in October 2017. It requires a hike to get a close look at the trees, which grow at elevations above 1,600 feet for the western larch and above 5,200 feet for the alpine larch.

Searching for the golden larch tree high in the Northwest

A slight dusting of snow remains on the rocks as the sun reappears to highlight the golden larch trees in October 2017 along the Crater Lakes trail in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. The larch trees are a deciduous conifer, shedding their needles each fall.

Searching for the golden larch tree high in the Northwest

The larch trees on the east side of the Cascades turn a brilliant gold in autumn and shed their soft needles. Western larch live for 300 to 500 years, and the oldest on record is 920 years. The alpine larch live 400 to 500 years, and the oldest on record – in Kananaskis, Alberta – is 1,943 years old, according to Tom Hinckley, professor emeritus at the University of Washington.
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