Page 21 - Walks In The Black Range, Vol. 4
P. 21

 Sawyers Peak Trail/Sawyer Peak Trail/Sawyer’s Peak Trail - Take Your Pick - A Summary of How A Trail Changes in the Black Range
Over the years the Black Range Website has reported on this trail, the following is a summary of some of those reports - a comparison of these reports with the report you have just read, above, will give you an idea of how a trail can change over time.
During the summer of 2013 the Silver Fire burned a significant portion of the Black Range. Following the fire, the U.S.D.A. Forest Service seeded many parts of the range with annual grasses to prevent erosion. In many cases the grasses obscured the trail and footing proved treacherous for the unobservant. The fire and subsequent erosion means that portions of many of the trails in the Black Range are uneven, have washouts, are through burnt snag areas, etc. As always proceed with caution. The range of potentially harmful critters can be found along the trail, including Black Bear, Mountain Lion, Bobcat, and various Rattlesnake species. On most hikes you will not see anyone else on the trail. Lodging is available in Hillsboro and Kingston, dining is available in Hillsboro at certain times/days.
Some people will talk about vistas, and Sawyers Peak Trail provides some great ones, but for me the high point of a hike to Sawyers Peak - in the summer - are the swarms of Hippodamia convergens (Convergent Lady Beetle) which can (or could - I have not been there since the Silver Fire) be found at the summit. The photograph, above, was taken on June 10, 2010. This year, in early August, a friend encountered a flock of Wild Turkey and a Black Bear with cub along the trail.
Following the fire a number of flowers, I had not seen along the trail before, started to appear, like the Crag Lily (Echeandia flavescens) pictured at the top of the next column. In August (2014) Alpine Woodsorrel, Oxalis alpina, was especially prevalent (second photo next column), along with Scarlet Penstemon and many other species.
The following maps depict a short walk along the trail (just short of 1/2 of its length). On this walk a portion of the route was on a game trail along a ridge - in search of good photographs of Hairy Woodpecker. Numerous other bird species were sighted on this occasion, including Pygmy

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