The Fremont Butte area seven miles from Akron is very similar in plant life to the Pawnee Buttes near Grover  though they are separated by about 80 miles of prairie.  This probably results from their  similar soils.  The Fremont area, however, lacks the abundance of capstone that has protected the taller Pawnee Buttes.  Of the twenty-one species blooming the day I was there, six of them I have found nowhere else but the Pawnee Buttes.  I call the structure below the Sphinx though others have called it the chair.  Erosion has probably changed its name often.

This is the Fremont Butte.   John C. Fremont did not personally reach the butte on his 1843-44 exploration, heading instead to the Orchard area farther up the South Platte, named Orchard because the few cottonwood trees there reminded him of an orchard.  This area had long been a meeting place for Indians.  The Platte at that time was nearly treeless. Fremont split his expedition somewhere along the Republican River, probably still in Kansas, and headed hurriedly toward the South Platte and Fort St. Vrain’s.  The other half probably visited the butte on their trek from Bent’s Fort up to St. Vrain’s.  Fremont said the reason for the splitting was to survey a greater variety of geography. 

Not tall, but there is little around it.

Two 1935 geodetic markers are planted on top of the butte.

This milkvetch is called White Locoweed, (Oxytropis sericea).

Bastard Toadflax.  (I don’t explain the names.  I just pass them along.)

Our native rose, Rosa woodsii, finds a home along the river or on the prairie.

An oreocarya, one of the plants I have only previously seen at the Pawnee Buttes.

This Lavanderleaf Sundrop is also at the Pawnee Buttes.

First time I have seen it.  It was all over the top of the butte.   Downy Paintedcup (Castilleja sessiliflora)

A nice little garden at the top.

These two plants, the Silky Milkvetch (Orophaca sericea) and the Alpine Golden Buckwheat, I last saw at the Pawnee Buttes.

Another, the Golden Banner

Alpine Golden Buckwheat

If you are looking for help from road signs in getting to the Fremont Butte–Good Luck.

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