Vortex Station and Agate Mountain Lookout

Photo: Vortex Station Lookout
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Seventeen naturalists showed up to join Tip Anderson on a drive to Vortex Station and then a hike to Agate Mountain Lookout. Vortex Station is a bearing point for airplanes. From there they can veer off in the direction they wish to follow. Ascending steep steps, we came to a flat area that gave a spectacular view to the west of many visible mountain peaks. There were speculations as to the names of these peaks, but it was difficult to know because of the different angle they were being seen. After a few minutes of admiring the view, we started our hike to Agate Mountain Lookout. The road we followed led us through areas of plentiful flowers which included Tiger Lily, Trapper Tea, Diverse-leaved Cinquefoil, Wild Rose bushes, Bunchberry, and the incredible White Bog-Orchid. “These species occur at low high elevations, in wetlands, seepage areas, subalpine meadows, wet coniferous forests and clearings.” (Plants of Southern Interior BC, Parish et al) A perfect description of the ecology on either side of the road that we hiked. Meanwhile, our lepidopterist, Sue Elwell, saw 12 categories of butterflies. To list just a few, they were Chryxus Arctic, Mariposa Copper, Anise Swallowtails, and Checkerspots. For most of us, the butterflies moved too quickly to truly appreciate what we were seeing. Reaching Agate Mountain Lookout, the group was able to enjoy yet another incredible view of Princeton and surrounding area. The drive down also provided some wonderful vistas, among them a glimpse of Wolf Lake.