Tam A Lau Trail

The Tam-a-lau trail is located on a peninsula at Lake Billy Chinook at the confluence of the Crooked River and the Deschutes River. The trailhead is well-marked at the Cove Palisades State Park. This may be the best early spring place to find wildflowers in Central Oregon. April to mid-May would be my recommendation, depending on the kind of a spring we are having, of course.

On the lower parts of the trail, expect to see mostly Arrowleaf Balsamroot. As the trail starts up steeply, more flowers will be found, especially lots of wild onion. Once the 600′ elevation gain is accomplished, the loop trail on the top of the peninsula is level. This is where most of the flowers will be found, and the views are great!

My plant list for this area is not as long because this is such a harsh environment. It’s a very hot, dry place in late spring and summer. Hawksbeard, balsamroot, false dandelion, buckwheat, linear-leafed daisy, biscuitroot, oregon sunshine and stonecrop head the list of yellow flowers so common in our desert. Expect to find some brodiaea, paintbrush, larkspur, phlox, death camas, large-headed clover and tidy-tips. In the last mile of the loop, you will see many clumps of Townsendia. Plant list available upon request.