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Wildflower Bonanza

Peak Summited2022 Bonanza Peak
Type of HikeDay hike
TrailheadBonanza
EncounteredWildflowers blooming
Hiking CompanionsHiked with a group
Road ConditionsRoad rough but passable
Bug StatusNo bugs
Snow ConditionsSnow free
Trail ConditionsTrail in good condition
Additional Informationhttps://www.strava.com/activities/7298947634

First off, let's talk about the road to the trailhead. The actual trailhead is at the end of a bumpy two-mile gravel road. We got back there in a Toyota Sienna, but I wouldn't have wanted to take a low car like a Nissan Altima. In dry conditions, 2WD is fine, but an SUV would be desirable. My Kia Sportage could drive it. If you don't feel comfortable, there is a turn out immediately as you begin the gravel road, but bear in mind that this adds two-miles each way to the total mileage.

Next, let's talk about the shade. This trail has been described as “very” shady. I found it to be about 40% shade coverage, which I wouldn't describe as “very” — maybe “somewhat shady” would be a better description. We did get there early  (first car at the trailhead) due to the extreme heat, and it was tolerable on the ascent. We started our hike at 6:42 AM.

The wildflowers were insane! So many different varieties and they were all blooming. This was our fifth peak in the challenge in four days, and it by far had the most wildflowers. Really beautiful.

One you reach the ridgeline it is somewhat exposed until you dip back onto the backside of Bonanza and back into the trees. To reach the summit, there are two places marked with cairns on your left. Take the SECOND exit, where the use-trail is easy to follow to the summit.

Finally, let's talk about the mileage. This is marked on AllTrails as being about 7.4 mi and 2,965 feet of vertical gain. I tracked it at 10.08 miles and 3,193 feet of total vertical gain — a significant difference (over 2-1/2 miles longer).

It was uncrowded. We saw two people as we ascended (they camped overnight near the summit) and about eight people making their way up as we descended.

The descent was pretty warm.  I drank three liters of water and wish I had brought four. Total moving time was 4:25 and total hike time was 5:38.

Great hike that would be even better on a cooler day. 

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