Monday, March 27, 2017

2017 Native Plant Field Hikes

Anyone is welcome to join these free trips. Please reserve a spot on any hike by contacting the trip leader.

Trip Leaders, here are the documents to print for each walk you lead. 

Click Here for the Release Form (Have all attendees fill out)

Okanogan Chapter WNPS 2019 Field Trips

Saturday, April 6 - Spokane Gulch/Goat Wall
Meeting Time:  10:00am
Meeting Place: Mazama Trailhead parking lot (aka ‘the corral” parking lot)
Hike Leader: Eric Burr

Explore Spokane Gulch early spring flowers, including possibly Steer's Head, Arrowleaf Balsamroot, Spring Beauties, Yellow Bells and more.  Wear sturdy shoes suitable for walking over icy snow patches, and/or wet, muddy areas.  This is Mazama's most popular trail and the path is already well beaten in, across the few snow patches.  Expect to be out a few hours. 

Save your spot 


Friday, April 26 - “Native Plant Appreciation Week” Patterson Mountain
Meeting Time: 10:00am
Meeting Place: Boat Launch parking lot at Patterson Lake
Hike Leader:  Mary Kiesau

Washington’s “Native Plant Appreciation Week” is April 21-28 so let’s get out and celebrate it with a hike that touches many of the Methow's different ecological communities including riparian, shrub-steppe and dry forest.  This is a half day, moderate hike that will go up the south side of Patterson Mtn to the top and loop around the north side back to the beginning.  There are steep sections but we'll move at a naturalists' pace.  Expect exceptional views, blooming flowers, tree and shrubs, and some birdsong too.  Bring lunch, a drink, clothing appropriate for the day's weather, and any other optional stuff you might want like binoculars, field guides, camera, etc. Discover Pass required for the parking lot, or park on the road.  We’ll be back to the cars between 2:00 and 3:00pm.  Limited to 12 people, registration required.

Save your spot


Sunday, April 28 - “The Great Divide” Where the Methow & Columbia Rivers Meet
Meeting Time: 8am
Meeting Place: Methow Valley Community Center (Twisp) parking lot
Hike Leader: Dana Visalli

An uphill and off-trail hike near the confluence of the Methow and Columbia Rivers, hiking up the watershed divide between the two.  This is not particularly strenuous as we will go slowly and only hike a mile or two, but there is no trail. We will be enjoying the plants of the lowest part of the watershed.  There are a few unusual species down there we might see. We will be back about 2:00pm.

Save your spot


Sunday, May 12 - Lake Creek Trail to Black Lake
Meeting Time: 9:00am
Meeting Place: Town Trailhead parking lot, behind Winthrop PT
Hike Leader: Mary Kiesau and/or Caryl Campbell

On the drive up to the Lake Creek Trailhead we’ll look for Lewisia tweedyi, a cousin to our beloved bitterroot.  It blooms along the road, over the river and up Lake Creek.  Once at the trailhead, we’ll hike 4 relatively flat miles to Black Lake.  It is a great option for early season hiking due to its low elevation, but it can be sunny and hot, so dress accordingly and bring sunscreen.  We should see lots of blooming penstemon and ceanothus, among many other flowers.  Bring lunch, a drink, clothing appropriate for the day's weather, and any other optional stuff you might want like binoculars, field guides, camera, etc.  This is a full day hike, but not a strenuous one.  Limited to 12 people, registration required.  NW Forest Pass required at Lake Creek Trailhead.

Save your spot


Saturday, May 25 - The Chewuch River
Meeting Time: 8:30am
Meeting Place: Winthrop library parking lot (but park at the Red Barn)
Hike Leader: George Wooten

We’ll walk the Chewuch River Road from the end of the road. This is an easy walk, timed to occur when Lewisia tweedyi is in bloom. We will see the Chewuch Research Natural Area, featuring large-scale disturbances. We will hike from the end of the Chewuch River road (either Thirtymile Trailhead north, or if the bridge is out, we will walk south along the main road). Bring gear for any type of weather, including mosquito repellant. We will carpool to the end of the Chewuch Road and begin walking around 9:30, returning to town around 2:30pm.  Limit 15 people.

Save your spot


Sunday, May 26 - Edible and Medicinal Plants of the Methow: Methow Valley Interpretive Center Garden Tour
Time: 5:00 to 6:30
Meeting Place: Methow Valley Interpretive Center
Leaders: George Wooten and Rob Crandall

Rob Crandall and George Wooten will stroll through the Methow Valley Native Plant Garden to help identify edible and medicinal native plants and talk about their uses.  Free and open to the public


Saturday, July 6 - Hart’s Pass Meadows
Meeting Time: 9:00am
Meeting Place: Winthrop library parking lot
Hike Leader: George Wooten

We will visit verdant meadows southeast of Hart's Pass, along the road, paying close attention to the umbel family, its chemistry and uses by humans and wildlife.  There is ample camping in the area for those who want to explore more on their own, otherwise we’ll be back around 2pm.  Limit 15 people.

Save your spot


Saturday: July 20 - Exploring Long Swamp
Meeting Time: 10:00 AM
Meeting Place: Tonasket Ranger District Parking Lot
Hike Leader: Erica Heinlen

This will be an all-day adventure.  We will park at the Long Swamp Campground and explore from there.  Long Swamp is a very large wetland complex that holds many botanical treasures.  There are no trails.  Erica, the hike organizer, is an expert in mosses and can teach some basic moss identification and show the group some interesting mosses found in this unique environment.  Otherwise you can simply explore the wetland.  You will need rubber boots and bug repellant, and then normal field gear (lunch, water, layers of clothing, sun protection).  It takes over an hour to drive to the campground.  If you plan to camp or meet at the campground, please coordinate with Erica. Limit 10, registration required.

Save your spot:


2018 Plant Walks

April 29:  MVIC Native Plant Garden Tour
Wander around the Methow Valley Interpretive Center’s Native Plant Garden and hear about the many medicinal and edible uses of the plants we find there. We will meet at 11am. Space is limited to 12. Reserve your spot by contacting the trip leaders. Rosalee & Xavier de la ForĂȘt or 997-0545

May 28Pearrygin Lake 

A walk in the hills just above Pearrygin Lake on Sunday May 28th; we will park along the road at the big pond on the way in to the lake and walk east from there, around the pond and over hill and dale. making a loop. The terrain will be mild, not steep, but the hike
will be in off trail in the shrub-steppe. We will do some botany-- learning to identify plant families, identifying the grasses that we see, and keying out a few plants just for the fun of it.

There are at least a couple of unusual plants of there: a favorite of mine, blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium), and a rare plant called Monolepis which
we may or may not find.

We will meet at the trailhead parking lot adjacent to Winthrop Physical Therapy at 9 AM, and will try to be back to the cars at 1 PM, after walking 2-3 miles.
Call or write Dana to sign up or with questions. 

May 5: Goal Wall Hike out of Mazama
Our route up the Goat Wall Trail will zigzag gently from the climbing rock parking lot, rather than straight up.  We'll meet at the Mazama store first, to insure all have lunches, water, and to carpool.  Register with Eric Burr & Margrit Broennimann

July 8th: Sweetgrass Butte (Suitable Road and Snow condition dependent)

Sweetgrass Butte is about 17 miles out of Winthrop up the Cub Creek drainage on mostly FS gravel roads.  High clearance vehicles may be needed. You can drive to the top of the Butte, but road conditions may not be ideal.  At 6100’ the plants are starting to take on a bit of that subalpine and alpine feel.  Once up to the Butte, the terrain is easy to moderate depending on where we end up.  Good hiking shoes/boots are recommended.  Bring a lunch, bug repellant, sunscreen, water, and the basic back country attire for all possible weather.  We will meet at the Barn in Winthrop at 8am to carpool.  We will return to the Barn no later than 3 pm.  I will check on road and snow conditions just prior to the trip and let those signed up know what to expect.
Limited to 10 people.

Contact Therese Ohlson or call 509-997-0118. 

July 15-16: Dollar Watch Mountain Obsidian
This is an 18 mile round trip overnight campout in the Pasayten Wilderness. We plan to camp near the Lost River confluence of Deception Creek where we will look for volcanic rocks on Sunday morning. The total elevation gain and trail level of difficulty is moderate, crossing two low passes Billy Goat Pass (<1500 ft relief) and Lucky Pass (1200 ft relief). Email George for more information and a list of required gear for this extended outing. A short version of the hike that only goes to Billy Goat Pass for a Saturday day hike is possible if a leader volunteers for the return portion. Billy Goat Pass is an easy 1.5 mile hike beginning at Eightmile Pass Trailhead. It goes along a Rocky Trail and ends at the Pasayten Wilderness Boundary. Rock lovers will like shrubby penstemon and saxifrages; shade lovers will like Tiarella.

Confirm attendance with leader George Wooten (509-997-6010,, limit 12 people total. You will need Wilderness gear, backpack, meals for 2 days, sleeping bag and a tent. We will carpool from Winthrop. Parking permits are required for $5 per day if you don't have a pass.

June 23: Butterfly Field Trip
Depending on conditions, we’ll choose a spot with easy walking where we can enjoy the flowers and catch butterflies to look at them closely, and then release them. Bring nets and field guides if you have them, but we have extras. Look for location confirmation via email a few days in advance of the trip. We will meet at 9am. Limited to 12 people. To reserve your spot, notify Joyce. 509-996-7808

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