Plants of the Pinnell Mountain Trail
The Pinnell Mountain Trail is an ideal place to become acquainted with the treeless alpine tundra of northern Alaska. The plant communities along the trail have been greatly influenced by the area's low precipitation, lengthy snow cover, strong winds, cold temperatures, high elevation, and northerly latitude.
| ||Staying on the trail helps protect fragile alpine tundra.|
Vegetation along the trail consists mainly of slow-growing, low plants interspersed with rocks. Shrubs you may see include blueberry, lowbush cranberry, alpine bearberry, and crowberry. Sedges, grasses, and lichen provide a dense carpet of groundcover. You will encounter dwarf birch and willow along the trail, but to see the spruces, aspens, and birches of the boreal forest you'll have to look down into the valleys below; the trail stays above timberline for its entire length.
Spectacular wildflowers are a highlight of hikes along the Pinnell Mountain Trail. Wildflowers usually begin to bloom by late May and reach their peak in late June. Depending on when you visit, many different species may be in bloom. Here are just a few of the wildflowers you will find along the trail.