For all field trips: bring lunch, water, sunscreen and appropriate clothing and footwear. Hiking level varies with each trip. Your trip will be enhanced by bringing field guides and magnifying lenses, although these are optional. Carpooling is encouraged. Call ahead if the weather looks iffy. Check http://www.twitter.com/SIE_CNPS for updates. Our field trips are open to everyone. Bring a friend or two. It is Chapter policy that pets are not allowed on our field trips. We appreciate everyone’s adherence to this policy.
Sign up for our field trip alerts e-mails. Send an e-mail with the subject line “Field Trip e-mail List” to Jennie at email@example.com. We’ll use this mailing list and Twitter to provide timely information of field trip changes and those impromptu “emergency field trips.”
March 26 – Red Hills. Leaders: Barry and Judy Breckling. Hiking level: Moderate with some rocky terrain. Red Hills is known statewide as one of the premiere locations for spring wildflowers, and the displays can be spectacular in “good” years. We’ll meet at 9:30 a.m. at the main parking lot along Red Hills Road. From the intersection of Highways 120 and 49 at Chinese Camp, take Red Hills Road about 3½ miles to the parking area. For more information, contact the Brecklings at 209-878-3041 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 2 (Tentative Date) – Orvis Ranch Wildflowers. Leader: Don Kurtz. Hiking Level: easy. We will drive to various locations within Orvis Ranch, off of Highway 4, to see vernal pools and fields of wildflowers [www.orvisranch.com]. The vernal pool species we see will depend on what is growing when the roads dry out enough for us to access the property. The fields may be muddy so bring sturdy shoes. Meet at 10:00a.m. in front of Roasters Coffee in Copperopolis Town Square, 240 Town Square Rd., Copperopolis. There is parking in the rear. We will carpool to Orvis Ranch from the Town Square. High clearance vehicles are required to navigate muddy patches. To ensure that you receive updates and specific information about the trip, sign up with Don. To sign up or for more information, contact Don at email@example.com, 925-998-8736.
April 22 – Abernathy Lava Caps. Leaders: Barry and Judy Breckling. Hiking level: Easy, but with some rocky, steep areas. We’ll visit remnants of ancient lava and mud flows, where we can expect to find goldfields, monkeyflowers, and volcanic specialist species. We’ll also be on the lookout for Bajada Lupine (Lupinus concinnus), tiny Shiny Chickweed (Stellaria nitens), and tiny Flatpod (Idahoa scapigera). We’ll meet at 10:00 a.m. at the Camp Mather General Store in Mather. For driving directions or any other information, contact the Brecklings at 209-878-3041 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
May 20 – Evergreen Road to Mather Road, In Search of Monkeyflowers. Leader: Lynn Robertson. Hiking Level: easy – this will be “car botanizing.” We will look for nine species of monkeyflowers known from this area while enjoying the incredible wildflower display in Ackerson Meadow & along the roadside. Meet at 9:30 a.m. at the library parking lot next to Mary Lavaroni Park in Groveland (Highway 120). For more information, contact Lynn at email@example.com or 209-966-5316.
May 27 – Trumbull Peak (destination tentative). Leader: Jennie Haas. Hiking Level: easy. We last visited this favorite destination in 2013, a spring following a very dry winter. There are over 100 plant species in this very diverse and scenic locale perched at about 5,000 feet elevation. It is a Historic and Botanic Special Interest Area sitting on the Rim of the Merced River Canyon, in the Stanislaus National Forest. Road conditions might prevent access to the area in which case an alternative destination will be offered (TBD). Meet at 9:30 a.m. at the Groveland library next to Mary Lavaroni Park on Highway 120 in Groveland. For more information contact Jennie at firstname.lastname@example.org, 209-962-4759.
June 10 – Yosemite Valley Restoration Projects. Leader: Alisa Simonoff-Smith and Anna Puchkoff. Hiking Level: easy. This field trip will tour some recently implemented projects in Yosemite Valley, including pollinator habitat, wetland mitigation, and meadow hydrology restoration. We’ll check out different sites on an easy walking tour, and observe some of the common plants used in these projects. Space will be limited, please sign up in advance. Meet at 9:00a.m. at the El Portal Market to organize carpools. Bathrooms, gas, snacks and coffee are available here. The market is located at 10913 CA-140, El Portal, CA 95318, east of the Yosemite View Lodge and park boundary. Hopefully we’ll be able to fit in vehicles with a pass to enter the park (bring yours if you have one). Otherwise, entrance into the park is $30/vehicle. For more information, contact Anna Puchkoff, 718-619-0293, email@example.com.
June 17 – Feliciana Mountain Preserve and Sierra National Forest. Leaders: Bridget Fithian, Alison Colwell, and Joanna Clines. Hiking Level: Easy. Explore the Sierra Foothill Conservancy’s Feliciana Mtn. Preserve (http://sierrafoothill.org/feliciana-mountain-preserve/) with Executive Director Bridget Fithian and botanists Alison Colwell and Joanna Clines. Botanize along Feliciana Ridge on the Sierra National Forest en route. See some unusual plants on this remote ridgeline (pitcher sage, Fremont’s bushmallow, rushrose, and Parry’s horkelia) and take in 360 degree views of the Merced River Canyon. Learn about the Endangered Limestone Salamander that calls the SFC preserve home and more about local conservation efforts and forest management. Meet at the Midpines Post Office at 9 am: 6629 State Highway 140, Midpines, CA 95345. For more information, contact Bridget at firstname.lastname@example.org, 209-742-5556. Joanna’s cell: 559-760-3618.
June 24 – Bell Meadow. Leader: Jennie Haas. Hiking level: moderate. Bell Meadow, near Dodge Ridge ski area, was set aside by the Forest Service as a Research Natural Area for the aspens that grow there. The aspen stands are protected from other uses so that they can be preserved for future study. There is a large diversity of wildflowers in and around the meadow. The geology of the area is interesting and a diversity of plant communities awaits our exploration. Meet at 9:30a.m. at the parking lot between the KFC and Kohl’s in the Junction Shopping Center in east Sonora. Sign up in advance to ensure you get the latest information on the trip. To sign up or for more information, contact Jennie at email@example.com, 209-962-4759.
July 27 (tentative date) – Carson Pass Area. Leader: Bob Dean. Hiking Level: strenuous due to the very high elevation. The destination of this Thursday hike will be a small meadow with a lot of native plants. The hike starts at about 8,000 feet elevation and rises to about 9,000 feet, with a lot to stop and see along the way including ancient junipers, beautiful scenery and plenty of wildflowers in the snowmelt-fed runnels. RSVPs are necessary in case the date needs to be changed due to a lingering snow pack and to coordinate meeting place and time. To RSVP or for more information, contact Bob at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 209-754-5887.
July 29 – Rare Plant Treasure Hunt, Rare Plants of Glacier Point Road Meadows. Leaders: Peggy Moore and Alison Colwell. Hiking level: easy to moderate, depending upon participant preference, but including some off-trail hiking. Glacier Point Road has provided tourists access to the famous overlook of Half Dome since the 1880s. The greater bounty, however, has since been enjoyed by botanists, who have relished the easy access to the diverse plant communities of the red fir zone and the lush wet meadows of this granitic upland. The botanical rewards are many, as this area was largely unglaciated during the recent Tioga Glaciation and is thus a refugium, including for several CNPS-listed species. We are likely to see Bolander’s clover (Trifolium bolanderi), Yosemite Ivesia (Ivesia unguiculata), and Yosemite bog-orchid (Platanthera yosemitensis). We may split into small groups to visit multiple meadow sites to census populations of one or more rare species. Note that an entry fee to Yosemite NP of $30 is required. Please sign up so that updates and directions can be sent and car-pools arranged. For more information and to sign-up, contact Peggy at 209-966-5728 or email@example.com.
August 5 – Gaylor Lakes. Leader: David Campbell. Hiking Level: Arduous due to elevation. Departing from the Tioga Pass entrance station in Yosemite National Park, this hike is a 3.6 mile round trip with about 800’ of elevation gain and descent. The hike begins at about 10,000’ elevation, so be prepared to be winded. Acclimating to elevation before the field trip is recommended. Crossing through lodgepole pine forest the trail leads to Gaylor Lakes and lovely meadows filled with high elevation flowers, including some reported but unverified rare plants such as Davidson’s fritillary (Fritillaria pinetorum). Nearby metamorphic outcrops also harbor rare flora that may be of interest. Group size will be limited; RSVP required. Meet at 10:00a.m. at the Tioga Pass entrance station on Highway 120. If arriving from the east, no entrance fee is required. If coming from the west, a $30 entrance fee is required. Carpooling is encouraged. Let David know if you’re interested in carpooling when signing up. For more information or to sign up, contact David at 612-867-8700, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
August 19 – Rare Plant Treasure Hunt, the Alpine Spring Beauty of Echo Peaks. Leader: David Campbell. Hiking level: Very arduous, this trip will involve off-trail mountaineering and climbing a rugged peak. The destination is about 5 miles into the backcountry from the trailhead with about 2,500’ elevation gain. The alpine spring beauty (Claytonia megarhiza) is a CNPS list 2B.3 rare plant. Several reported locations exist in the alpine fell fields of Yosemite, but due to inaccessibility, most of these locations have not been visited since the 1980’s. We will visit one such location at Echo Peaks, in the Cathedral Range of Yosemite’s High Country. We will collect geospatial and habitat data on its occurrence, and make collections to be submitted to permanent herbaria. This foray will be logistically complicated and will require advanced planning. Experience in high elevation mountaineering is a must for anyone attempting the trip. Contact David by August 1st if you are interested in joining. For more information or to sign up, contact David at 612-867-8700, email@example.com.
October 14 – Fall Colors. Leader: Jennie Haas. Hiking level: very easy (car tour with limited walking). We’re going to try something different this year. We’ll do a car tour of our local fall colors in the Stanislaus National Forest. The actual route will firm up as the time gets closer but it will likely include areas such as Bell Meadow, Road 3N01 out of Long Barn and perhaps Cottonwood Meadow, providing road conditions allow access. Meet at 9:30a.m. at the parking lot between the KFC and Kohl’s in the Junction Shopping Center in east Sonora. Sign up in advance to ensure you get the latest information on the trip. To sign up or for more information, contact Jennie at 209-962-4759, firstname.lastname@example.org.
ARCHIVED FIELD TRIP SCHEDULES FROM PREVIOUS YEARS