Field Trip 3 - Seattle Naturalists Intro Natural World Course - Table Mountain/Lion Rock

Field trip: Introduction to the Natural World Course

Field Trip 3 - Seattle Naturalists Intro Natural World Course - Table Mountain/Lion Rock

Ponderosa Pine Grasslands - Shrub-Steppe. This is a series of short naturalist hikes offering the opportunity to see and identify a multitude of different wildflowers, birds and butterflies in an elevation range from 2000' to 6000'.

  • Easy
  • Easy
  • Mileage: 3.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 500 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 6,200 ft
  • Pace: Moderate - think field classroom

For those carpooling from Seattle we will meet at Ravenna P&R beneath I-5 north of 65th N and at the far north end of the P&R 7:00 AM sharp. Please email the leader if you do not intend to meet at the P&R.

We will group up in Ellensburg a second time to car caravan (Jennika's Coffee Shop near the 4 way stop off exit 106).

From I-90 take exit 106 and cross over the freeway, heading north. You come to a 4-way stop intersection. Go straight ahead about 1/4 mile. Take a left onto Reecer Creek road, which eventually becomes FS road 3500. Stay on the main road which is paved except for the final three miles on a good graveled road. There is a short spur road left from road 3500 high on Table Mountain to Lion Rock. The final part of this spur road is best traveled with a high clearance vehicle.

This trip will be a series of short hikes along road 3500 exploring beautiful open meadows and appreciating the diversity of wildflowers, birds, and butterflies on Table Mountain. We will drive up Reecer Road from the foot of Table Mountain near Ellensburg to Lion Rock at over 6000'. This time of the year the Table Mountain/Lion Rock area is renowned for its spectacular wildflower displays and the Washington Native Plant Society lists an astounding 367 species of vascular plants/wildflowers. Butterflies and birds also abound. Table Mountain/Reecer Road is also an eBird hotspot. The short hikes (up to 1-1/2 miles) will be off trail in wildflower and sage meadows.

A camera is highly recommended and bring your binoculars, wildflower and bird apps or field guides to help with identification. Expect an email a few days in advance of the trip with updates or further instructions. 


Table Mountain/Lion Rock

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

Guide books or smartphone apps

Day hiking gear/suggest a cooler for lunch

Optional: camera and/or binoculars for birds

Trip Reports