2014 Field Trips

2014 Events Calendar
Okanogan Chapter, Washington Native Plant Society

The Okanogan Chapter of the Washington Native Plant Society covers the area between Wenatchee and Republic, from the Cascade crest to the Columbia River. Each year we visit botanically interesting areas in order to appreciate, conserve and study our native plants and habitats.
This is our 2014 calendar of hikes and events. All of these events are open to the public, but space is limited so registration is required. For more information call Dana at 509-997-9011 or George at 509-997-6010.

Native Plant Appreciation Week: April 27 – May 3

Thursday, May 1. with Methow Conservancy. 
“After-Work” Wildflower Walk & Talk. Join a botany volunteer or Mary Kiesau, the Methow Conservancy’s Educational Programs Director, on a native plant “after-work” walk and talk. We'll go to a different location on each walk, appropriate for the time of the month. These mini-classes are free but space is limited so registration is required. Contact Mary for more details or to reserve your spot at mary@methowconservancy.org or 509-996-2870. 

Saturday, May 3. Golden Doe Wildlife Area, Native Plant Appreciation Week
Visit a large bench on land below towering McClure Mountain. The landscape is open, with scattered shrub-steppe, wetlands and forest stringers. Bring lunch, dress for the weather, and consider binoculars for the abundant wildlife. The hike involves moderate off-trail difficulty, but no steep slopes. Meet at 9am in the parking area behind Hank’s Market & Ace Hardware in Twisp. Prepare to carpool; cars parked on state land require Discover Passes. To join this field trip, notify G. Wooten (509-997-6010; george232@centurytel.net). 

Spring hikes
Thursday, May 8. Judd Ranch. 
Former WDFW Methow Wildlife Area Manager, Tom McCoy, leads us in this little-visited area, at a time when wildflowers should be in their prime. The first steep mile leads up to a plateau of rolling hills with meadows. Bring lunch, dress for the weather, and wear boots appropriate for snake country. The hike involves moderate walking distances. Meet at 8am in the parking area behind Hank’s Market & Ace Hardware in Twisp. Prepare to carpool; cars parked on state land require Discover Passes. We need at least 5 people to take this trip, and no more than 12. To join this field trip, notify Joyce Bergen (509-996-7808; magpie@methownet.com).

Saturday, May 17 (Saturday) Moccasin Lake Ranch Wildflower Walk and Picnic. 
Greata Beatty, author of Wildflowers of Moccasin Lake Ranch, will show us some of her best wildflower viewing spots. This event includes a picnic lunch and short walks accessed by vehicles. Funds will benefit the Methow Valley Interpretive Center, partners with the Native Plant Society through the native plant garden in Twisp. To register for this field trip, notify George Wooten (509-997-6010; george232@centurytel.net). Cost is $40.

Sunday May 18. Gentle Homestead Walkabout.  Dana Visalli will lead an easy walk around his 9 acres, where he claims at least 200 bitterroot will be in bloom, plus many other native shrub-steppe wildflowers, and an intact soil crust of mosses, clubmosses and lichens, plus a wildflower garden full of various penstemons.  1-3 pm; meet promptly at 1 pm at Dana's house on the East County Road near Balky Hill.   To join and for directions call or email Dana at 997-9011 or dana@methownet.com

 (Saturday June 14 & 15. Sinlahekin 75th Birthday. 
There will be hikes both days, all day, with experts on bees, lichens, mosses, molluscs, birds, kids, ungulates, and natural history. On Saturday, June 14, from 6 to 8 pm, Dana Visalli presents: A Walk Through Time: The Evolution of the Sinlahekin's Rocks, Plants and Animals, an evening walk with a localized introduction to “Big History”  and the connection between all things. On Sunday the 15th, from 9am to noon, Dana Visalli and George Wooten will lead a wildflower hike. Contact (509) 223-3358 or 509-892-7853 for more information.

Saturday, June 21. Butterflies for Beginners. 
And plants too, possibly traveling to Lookout Mountain. Bring close-focus binoculars, nets, jars, and butterfly field guides if you have them. No collecting, just catch-identify-and-release. This hike is of moderate difficulty, but there are options to chase after butterflies. Destination could change, depending on conditions. Look for location confirmation a few days in advance of the trip. Meet at 9 a.m. at the Grange parking lot in Twisp. This trip is limited to 12 people. To join this field trip, notify Joyce Bergen (509-996-7808) magpie@methownet.com).

Sunday, June 29 Hoodoo Pass Alpine Wildflower Extravaganza.  
The best alpine wildflower show in the Methow is on Bigalow Mountain above Hoodoo Pass.  Only problem is it’s hard to get there; 14 miles round trip, with about ¼ mile of talus hopping.  Rewards include Alpine Forgetmenot (Eritrichium nanum) and Snow Douglasia blooming together.  Meet at the Methow Valley Community Center parking lot in Twisp at 6 am.   To join, call or email Dana at 997-9011 or dana@methownet.com 

Sunday, July 13th
Midnight Mountain

Join us for an all day excursion into Midnight Mountain country on Sunday July 13th.  The hike is moderately arduous following an unmaintained trail off the end of Little Bridge Creek Road.  It is somewhere around 7 or 8 miles round trip with an elevation gain of about 3,000 feet.  We travel through old growth Douglas fir, alpine meadows, scattered whitebark pine, and an odd Pacific Silver fir community.  

There is water at the start of the hike and when we get to the top only.   So bring lots of water, lunch, and the usual mountain attire.   We will meet at 7:30 and will start hiking no later than 8 am.  8 person limit.  Please let Therese Ohlson know if you plan to come or have any questions.  997-0118 or email peteandtherese@centurytel.net

WNPS—Okanogan Chapter
2013 field trips

We are still looking for a few field trip leaders to help fill out the calendar. You don't need a lot of plant knowledge, just a willingness to coordinate a trip. 
Please contact Bergen Brell if you are interested: (509) 997-0625 or bergenbrell at yahoo.com.  

Sunday, April 21st: Methow Rapids Natural Area Preserve
Sandra Strieby will lead an exploration of the DNR’s Methow Rapids Natural Area Preserve (NAP).  Located near Pateros, the NAP features two rare types of native shrub-grassland that were once common: the antelope bitterbrush/bluebunch wheatgrass association and the smooth sumac/bluebunch wheatgrass association.  It is also home to a variety of forbs, from ferns (Cystopteris fragilis) to cactus (Opuntia cf fragilis)—we’ll see what’s blooming when we get there.  In particular, we will be looking for any plants that are not already on the DNR’s list for the area.  
When: We will meet at 9:00 in back of Hank’s (next to the apple orchard), and plan to return to Twisp by 2:00.  Parking is very limited at the NAP, so we’ll aim to carpool in as few vehicles as possible.  
Trip rating: 3 (moderate).  The terrain is gently sloping; walking is fairly easy, but there is no trail.  The ground is strewn with granite boulders of various sizes.  The site is fenced and getting in requires climbing over or through the fence.  
The NAP is a sensitive site, accessible only by permit.  The field trip is limited to 12 people, including the leader.  Please bring a lunch, water, sturdy footwear, all-weather clothing and sun protection.  
To join this field trip notify Sandra Strieby, (509) 997-2576 or sandra102 at centurytel.net.  Reservations are strongly recommended as our permit allows only 12 people.  

Thursday, April 25th: Patterson Mountain
Caryl Campbell will lead the trip up Patterson Mountain.  The spring flowers should be in full force by then, but the bitter-root will probably not be blooming yet, but maybe.  Bring binocs, we always notice birds too.  Bring snacks and water and always carry rain gear.
When: Meet at 9:00 am at the MVSTA town trailhead parking lot...or at Patterson Mt. parking area.  Let Caryl know which lot you will be in.
Trip rating: 3 (moderate).  The trail is about 3 miles; we will spend about half a day, depending on how much botanizing we do.  Limit is 12 people.  

To join this field trip notify Caryl Campbell (509)996-3458 or email: bearfight at methownet.com.  

Sunday, April 28th: Aspen Lake Area
Join Bergen Brell and Rosalee de la ForĂȘt for a trip up and around the Aspen Lake area observing early spring wildflowers and medicinals to kick off Native Plant Appreciation Week!  
When: 9 a.m. at the back of the Community Center parking lot in Twisp, then car pool up to the Frost Rd. pull out just before the gate.  
Trip rating: 3 (moderate).  
To join this field trip notify Bergen Brell, (509) 997-0625 or bergenbrell at yahoo.com.  

Sunday, April 28th: Planting at the Methow Valley Interpretive Center’s Native Garden.  
Join Rob Crandall in planting natives after the Aspen Lake walk, before the Interpretive Center’s last-Sunday talk, or anytime in between.  Please call Rob at (509) 341-4060 or visit http://www.okanogannativeplants.org/p/field-trips-2013.html for more information. 

Wednesday, May 1st: Native Plant Appreciation Week Wildflower Walk
Celebrate Washington’s Native Plant Appreciation Week (April 28–May 5) with a native plant “after-work” walk with the Methow Conservancy’s Educational Programs Director and naturalist, Mary Kiesau.  
When: 4-6 pm.  Location to be announced depending on what’s blooming and where.  
Trip rating: 1 (easy).  
To join this field trip notify Mary Kiesau, (509) 996-2870 or mary at methowconservancy.org.  

Sunday, May 5th: Climbing Rocks/ Spokane Gulch Area
Join Eric Burr for one of the best, and most scenic, spring flower hikes.  We follow a roughly marked, but easy foot path above the lower "rocks", actually cliffs, stopping frequently for flowers, gawking at the views, and photo ops.  Broad grassy ledges gently climb to a high vantage point lunch stop about 500 feet vertically, and a mile from, the parking area.  
After lunch at least one hiker wants to follow the markers on over to Spokane Gulch and descend to Mazama that way. Consequently we'll arrange a car shuttle/car pool at the Mazama store before we start.  Shoes with ankle support are preferred by most hikers for the ungraded and irregular foot path, and some also like the extra protection from the remote chance of encountering a rattle snake.  Runners however love this trail to train for the Cutthroat Classic Race, and it's also been done in flip-flops.  Delicious lunch stuff and liquids are handy at the store, but bring your own rain gear, if it looks possible on the appointed day.  
When: 9:00 a.m. at the Mazama Store Parking Area
Trip rating: 2 (easy to moderate)
To join this field trip notify Eric Burr, burrski at methownet.com.  

Sunday, May 12th: Cross Hill Area
Join Dana Visalli for a hike up the ridge that extends down to the south of Twisp from the hill with the cross on it.  There are two species of rare and interesting plants on the gravel balds along the ridge, a lupine and a Cryptantha.  Total distance will be about two miles; level of difficulty is easy except for the first half mile going uphill on a trail along the ridge.  
When: 9 a.m. at Hank’s Parking Lot; we won’t leave the cars there. We will be back by 12:00 noon.  
Trip rating: 1(easy) overall except for the first half mile going uphill on a trail along the ridge, which would be a 3 (moderate).  
To join this field trip notify Dana Visalli, (509) 997-9011or dana at methownet.com.  

Sunday, May 26th: Twisp River Rearing Ponds
George Wooten will lead an afternoon visit to the Twisp River fish rearing ponds at the west end of Twisp to study the plants and the pollinators.  Bring snacks, water and rain gear.  Optionally, at the end of the hike we can to head over to the Methow Valley Interpretive Center on the TwispWorks Campus and hear the Last Sunday Event featuring Bob Gillespie speaking on native bees beginning at 5 p.m.  
When: Meet at 1:00 pm at the Twisp Works.
Trip rating: 1 (easy).  The area has a small trail and footbridges.  We will meander the paths along the river.  Limit is 15 people.  Please confirm your spot with George.  
To join this field trip notify George Wooten (509) 997-6010 or george232 at centurytel.net.  

Saturday, June 8th: Butterfly Walk
Butterflying for beginners, and plants too, at a location to be announced, probably within the Methow Wildlife Area.  Bring close-focus binoculars, nets, jars, and butterfly field guides if you have them, but extras will be on hand.  No collecting, just catch-identify-and-release. Joyce will confirm the destination with participants in advance of the trip.  
When: 9 am at the MVSTA trailhead parking lot in Winthrop.  This trip is limited to 12 people.  
Trip rating: 1 (easy)-3 (moderate).
To join this field trip, notify Joyce Bergen, (509) 996-7808 or magpie at methownet.com.  

Monday, July 8th: Tiffany Springs Camp Ground to Honeymoon Pass.  
Date may change if the snow hasn't melted out and/or there are no flowers yet.  
Caryl Campbell will lead us through wonderful fields of flowers on the way to Tiffany Lake including the yellow columbine. .Up by the pass we may see the pygmy Lewisia, and if we do climb up to Middle Tiffany we will look for purple saxifrage.  
When: Meet at 8 am at the MVSTA town trailhead.  
Trip rating: 3-4 (moderate to somewhat difficult), about 4-5 miles round trip, but we will be at an altitude of above 7000 ft.  We might go further up towards Middle Tiffany in which case the hike is cross country and steeper.  
*It probably will be wet, so boots are needed.  Always bring a rain coat when you go to Tiffany; it could also get cold.  This will be an all day trip, so bring lunch.  Binocs if you want.  
To join this field trip notify Caryl Campbell, (509) 996-3458 or bearfight at methownet.com.  

Friday, July 12th: Copper Pass
Join Mary Kiesau for a short hike through a bit of forest, then open up to a wide south-facing slope covered in multiple avalanche paths that are full of subalpine flowers.  From here, we make a relatively easy traverse across to the back (south) side of Blue Peak.  The north side of Stiletto will face us the entire way and we are surrounded by peaks and a huge glaciated valley.  Time permitting, we'll climb the short, steep approach to Copper Pass which looks down into the Twisp drainage.  
When8 a.m. at the Mazama Corral Parking lot.  Limited to 12 people, no dogs.
Trip rating: 4-5 (difficult).  
To join this field trip notify Mary Kiesau, (509) 996-2870 or mary at methowconservancy.org

Sunday, July 14th, Burch Mountain
Join Kathleen Learned for a trip up Burch Mountain. Tentatively scheduled for July 14th. 
When: July 14th, contact Kathleen for more information. 
Trip rating: 4-5 (difficult); 10-mile hike with a 3,000 foot elevation gain
To join this field trip notify Kathleen Learned, (206) 323-3974 or klearned at seanet.com

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