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Wildflower Walks - Wild lily-of-the-valleySmilacina stellata
Wildflower Walks - Wild lily-of-the-valleySmilacina stellata

Description: Six-pointed star-shaped white flowers one-quarter inch across growing from end of 1- to 2-foot stem with slender, folded leaves. Found in wet soil in open and shaded areas along streams and on mountains. Blooms May to July. (Peterson Field Guides - Rocky Mountain Wildflowers, by John J. Craighead, Frank C. Craighead Jr. and Ray J. Davis.)

Recently seen: Rattlesnake National Recreation Area, Pattee Canyon

The walk: To reach the main trailhead for the Rattlesnake, travel four miles north of Interstate 90 on Van Buren Street and Rattlesnake Drive. Turn left on Spring Gulch Drive, cross a bridge over Rattlesnake Creek and turn right into the parking area. Follow the main trail half a mile north, then turn northwest on the Stuart Peak Trail. Look for wild lily-of-the-valley as the trail follows Spring Creek about three miles gradually uphill to a junction with a path that crosses the creek and enters Kench Meadow. From here, there are several options. Turn around and retrace your path to the trailhead. A short distance back down the valley, a trail branches off to the left, crossing a bridge to the opposite side of the creek and continuing back to the main trail. Or, cross Spring Creek and follow the Wallman Trail through Kench Meadow and over Strawberry Ridge, about three miles, back to the main trail, then about 2 miles to the trailhead. Or, continue up the Stuart Peak Trail to the Twin Lakes overlook at about 8 1/2 miles, then return to the trailhead.

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