Berry picking wasn’t the end goal, but we did enjoy the variety as we hiked up B*** Creek Canyon so the kids could swim at the waterfall yesterday. Lots of thimbleberries, Oregon grape, wax currants (these ones were tastier than others I’ve tried before – sweeter and less waxy), and whitestem gooseberries. Also saw some sticky currants.
Thimbleberries are my favorite trailside snack. They’re like a tart, velvety raspberry liqueur in a fruit. They fall apart in your hand and it’s easy to see why they aren’t widely cultivated. They have enormous leaves and produce just a few berries per cane, but are well worth a wade through the underbrush.
Oregon grapes are kind of tart, but should be good to add some vitamin C and other nutrition to our kefir smoothies.
There are a few very poisonous berries around, and a good guidebook is a must. This one is our favorite. It’s small enough to fit into a cargo pocket, and exhaustive in its coverage.
Wild Berries & Fruits Field Guide of the Rocky Mountain States
by Teresa Marrone